Title: The Walking Dead.
Writer(s): Robert Kirkman.
Penciler(s): Charlie Adlard.
Inker(S): CHARLIE ADLARD.
Gray Toner(S): CLIFF RATHBURN.
Letterer(s): Russ Wooton.
Publisher: Image Comics.
Format: Paperback – Compendium.
Release Date: October 16th 2012.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in The Walking Dead series:
The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman.
Once death becomes a normal sight, there is little in the world that can reach deep enough into the heart to break a person any more than they already are. While some will wish to hold onto an illusion of normalcy, life will find ways to bring them back to reality, a reality where they’ll wish that it was nothing more than a nightmare they can wake up from. But in a world overrun by zombies, only the most resilient will find ways to survive, to hold onto life, and to find ways to keep hope alive. Collecting issues #49-96 (or volume #9-16), creator Robert Kirkman continues his brilliant foray into the horrors of a zombie apocalypse by raising the stakes and exploring the psychological trauma with frightening accuracy.
What is The Walking Dead: Compendium Two about? Picking up after the disastrous event at the prison, Rick Grimes and his son find themselves on the run while dealing with the terrifying and unexpected losses they witnessed. As they regroup with the remaining survivors, they set off into the wild world looking for hope and an opportunity for respite. A chance encounter leads them to cross paths with a peculiar group promising answers in Washington but their journey, through hell and high water, leads them to find short solace in The Community, where everything seems possible once again. However, there’s a price to living and the dead isn’t ready to give up just yet. Will the group ever be able to find a semblance of peace?
“You said some people… It was like a switch went off… One minute they were good people—then this whole thing started and poof—they’re monsters. Thing is, I don’t think that’s an entirely bad thing.”
— Robert Kirkman
What a dark, dark road they walk on! Relentless, ruthless, and gruesome. Their journey is unforgiving yet temporarily and continuously rewarding. Creator Robert Kirkman achieves an unprecedented level of terror, despair, and chaos once again with this group that is never spared of the evil that roams this post-apocalyptic world, living or dead. While the pacing is breakneck, it brilliantly delves into the broken psyche of each key character and offers mindnumbing insight into the horrors of this period void of any true form of a social contract to assure one’s security. Unfortunately, the sinister nature of this chaos, aptly epitomized by the pitiless walking dead, does not forbid these morally grey characters from doing all that is within their power to recreate a life they once had but the realization of its fleeting essence is what drives them to ponder the psychological sacrifices that they must make to become the very creatures they would have never dared to become if they are to survive.
Charlie Adlard’s black-and-white artwork continues to be phenomenal as well. The very concept adds a much-needed air of oppression that simply captures the group of survivors’ sense of loss and hopelessness. Brilliantly playing around with shadows, the emotions drawn and depicted for each character throughout the story also tells far more than any words could ever describe, sometimes hinting at evil intentions and enhancing the dark atmosphere filled with danger and mistrust. Although human characters are central to this narrative, thus making it crucial that the artwork properly conveys their emotional state, there’s no denying that the walking dead themselves are also drawn perfectly. In fact, whenever they do appear, it is hard to forget how worrisome and distressful it can get for these survivors. Their rotten allure is a not-too-fresh reminder of what fate awaits them if they do not continue to survive.
The Walking Dead: Compendium Two is an unparalleled and illustrative zombie apocalypse odyssey shedding light on the foul and grisly nature of humanity.