Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
This is the most awesome book that ever awesomed something awesome. In a world overrun by zombies, a group of people travel and try and survive and live as best they can. An evil man who is using fear to control his own community is going to war with them, and seemingly winning. This issue is all about the preparation for another assault and loss of good friends. At least until the end.
This book begins and ends with the Governor, said evil leader, in his camp, planning how to use his prisoner of war. This then cuts to the main cast, hidden in their prison fortress, making plans and dealing with grief the best ways they can. Naturally, with Kirkman writing, every bit of this is perfectly true to the characters form. Also, unsurprisingly with this book, the cliffhanger ending comes out of nowhere and the tone is at perfect odds with the rest of the issue.
The art here is gorgeous, with the gloom and dirt of everything coming across perfectly. There are no zombies here, but that works fine, as they aren’t the real monsters at the moment. The darkness in humanity is contrasted well against the people struggling for hope and this comes across in the art without any of the clichés of one side being horribly disfigured or some such.
Ultimately, you have to go back a few trades to really appreciate how magnificent this truly is, but the build is second to none and the payoffs to each and every issue and arc manage to constantly raise the stakes, even when that doesn’t seem possible anymore. Add in the best characterization in comics, perhaps ever, and you have a book that there is absolutely no reason for you to not be reading. Go get a few trades, then come back to issue #46 and send me my thank you.