Cassie’s Image Comics Review: THE WALKING DEAD #94

It’s time for Rick and his group to take a chance and trust a stranger, especially if it could lead to a more comfortable life and a return to normalcy. With the promise of trade lines and meeting new people, Rick follows newly kidnapped stranger, Jesus to his network of communities. Driving through the streets of Virginia and dodging walkers in the interim, the group hopes for a better life awaiting them at the end of their journey.

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I am trying incredibly hard not to let me hatred of season two of “The Walking Dead” television series rub off on my views of the comic, but it’s hard when they share characters and a plot line; especially when (at least recently with both mediums) they are so poorly paced. Since this is a zombie comic, I expect zombies on a regular basis, and there has been a definite lack of zombies lately. I suppose this is just the nature of the beast though (there can’t be zombies all the time) and I will continue to be as objective as possible.

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This issue of The Walking Dead is a whole lot of set-up as the group prepares to meet and possibly organize trade with a neighboring community. Their communications manager (so pre-apocalypse) Jesus, is currently being held hostage by Rick to ascertain his true intentions. Although with nothing discovered in terms of possible subterfuge, Rick is letting Jesus lead him and a small group of people (Michonne, Andrea- the A team) to meet this new community.

We get to see a lot more of Carl, who I love because he’s a tiny little no-nonsense powerhouse who sees the world in black and white terms. No pun intended on the lack of color from Charlie Adlard. Upon seeing Jesus he immediately asks why he isn’t dead yet. He just doesn’t see the point of keeping him tied up because he’s a possible threat and is contributing absolutely nothing with his presence. In other words, Carl is a tiny little bad-ass. Regardless of his height restrictions, he is smart, strong, and completely capable. Throughout the course of the issue he is able to strike up conversation with Jesus, learn what we assume to be true intentions, bamboozle an entire community of adults, and trick his way into a mission.

In terms of artwork, I am not the biggest fan of Adlard’s style, but I do appreciate how he portrays a characters inner thoughts so well through their facial expressions. His strength comes when he illustrates eyes, see: the Rick/Andrea scene from a few issues back. Whether it is a façade or not, we are given the distinct impression that Jesus is trustworthy and innocent, quickly making him a sympathetic character. It’s hard to say no to those big, shiny doe eyes.

This issue is poised between mystery and discovery, and after issues of speculation, we are finally about to find out what happens next. Preferably of the zombie variety.

Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Cover: Charlie Adlard
32 Pages/B&W
$2.99
On Sale February 29, 2012!

4 Stars