There’s been a big marketing push for this issue, with countless alternate covers and even media coverage. It’s surprising really, considering it has been hitting store shelves like clockwork since October 2003. There have been collections, omnibuses, toys and a TV show. For a horror comic, that’s eons. What has kept it going is character development and melodrama. Over the years the story has shifted in different ways, but at the same time it has remained the same. It has consistently conveyed hopelessness, fear and the unsated need for power. This issue conveys all of these things and contains a major event that could be considered a game changer. By my count there have been five game changers and this is the sixth. The question remains for this single issue, especially for a book that reads much better in trade format, is it good?
The Walking Dead #100 (Image)
If you’re a trade-waiting reader don’t worry. I’ll keep any spoiling to a minimum.
Essentially the last few issues have shown a group of bad men who have tormented Rick and his group. They need to make camp as it’s getting dark. We know this group of bad men, calling themselves the New World Order, are out to teach Rick a lesson.
Never say thank you. It only precludes death or dismemberment.
I was hoping Kirkman would deliver an issue that could stand alone and I think he’s done this. The issue has gentle moments between characters with a sense of urgency that doesn’t require the previous or next issue to understand. Like any horror film, the opening pages are hushed in tone, as if there’s a storm coming. Before bad things happen, Kirkman allows his characters to come to peace with each other. As if the actions taken in the pages that follow may change them so much that a tender moment would be impossible thereafter.
Keeping each other alive is saying thanks. Much like how I treat my dog, Winston.
Like a quiet summer night, if you hear no chirping it’s generally a bad thing. Lo and behold, the bad shows up and it’s a scary bad in a powerless Saw or Hostel kind of way.
Men at work.
The leader of the NWO is introduced and you get the idea, as you do with most characters in this series, that he’s seen horrors and has become numb to the world. He says and does things in a way that suggests he’s disconnected. Definitely a scary thing.
Don’t get him started on the cah-cah talk.
Since we’ve been rooting for these characters for 99 issues it’s a very painful read. You turn the page and feel just as powerless as they do. You want to stop the injustice but can’t. That’s the most powerful thing Kirkman has done during his run; imbue the feeling of powerlessness in the characters and by extension the reader.
I surprisingly felt sick reading the final pages of this issue. It’s not that surprising though, since I know a few folks who have given up the book due to similar events in issues past. Charlie Adlard draws some twisted stuff here and while it’s very well done and paced beautifully, I can’t help but wish Tony Moore was back doing his cartoony style. But with disgust and frustration comes the desire to see vengeance made. You’ll finish this issue and wish there were five more to read in order to see how our heroes will get revenge.
For a series about zombies there aren’t too many many in this issue, but that’s the point. Humanity is surrounded by monsters, but it is we who are the real monsters. This issue conveys that incredibly well. So well, in fact, that you might feel sick to your stomach.
As far as horror comics go this issue does its job. For $3.99 there are 29 well-paced pages to get you in that frightful mood. It’s in the vein of torture porn though, so many might not like what they see. There are a bunch of great issues coming out this week so check back later today to see if it makes our 10 dollar budget in ComiX Weekly.
Is It Good?
Yes. It does everything it intends to do and does it very well.
Want the whole 9 cover set of this milestone issue?
Get it here for only $34.95!