Warning !!!! Spoliers ahead !!!!
The cover of Issue 54 promises ‘All out action!’ and that was also the solicitation byline that accompanied issue 54. The only thing is, what you see on the cover is not what you see in the book – not that that matters, because there is plenty of action as The Walking Dead takes a whole new direction…..
First off, let me say that 2 of the 3 new characters are already getting plenty of focus in their initial appearances in this title. Let me also state that one of them, Sgt Abraham Ford, is looking likely to emerge as the leader of this newly formed collective. He has courage, a soldiers killer instinct and capability and he has a moe human side. There are a few hints of a backstory (he had a wife and kids, he has suffered as much as anyone) and despite his brashness (and his cutting sense of humour, which raised a few smiles)he has a heart. He needs to get his companion Dr Eugene Porter to Washington DC as (he claims) he has the knowledge to help stop the advance of the undead. It seems as if the cause of the outbreak was down to the Military ‘weaponizing’ the advances in science and medicine, and the result was the cataclysmic end of most life on Earth.
As for the cast of regulars, they seem mistrusting of the new arrivals but are eventually persuaded to go on the road with the Doctor, Sgt Ford and Rosita (of whom we know little yet). There is still time for little cameos from Maggie and Glenn, Dale and Rick, Rick and Carl and, most interesting of all, Michonne and Rick. I dont know why, but I get the feeling that after their mutual secret swapping previously, a little more intimacy could be developing in their relationship.
Oh, there is action, and it is great – but no guns. Oh no. That would bring a herd down upon you, and a herd is what you most definately want to avoid. Listen to Sgt Ford – he is the new voice of authority.
The quality of this title remains incredibly high – the story is moving in an exciting new direction, the new characters (especially Sgt Ford) are worthy additions and the established faces all get some space in this issue too. The art from Charlie Adlard is, as ever, perfect for this title. I could imagine no-one else rendering this vision ofhope and despair so well.
That cover was a bit misleading though. But when the stuff inside the covers is as good as this, I think we can allow a little artisitic licence (and marketing) to pass us by.