Title: The Walking Dead.
Series: Compendium Three
Writer(s): Robert Kirkman.
Penciler(s): Charlie Adlard.
Inker(s): Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano.
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn.
Letterer(s): Rus Wooton.
Publisher: Image Comics.
Format: Paperback – Omnibus.
Release Date: October 13th, 2015.
Genre(s): Horror, Comic Book.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the Walking Dead Series:
The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman.
The Walking Dead: Compendium Two by Robert Kirkman.
While society could crumble under the weight of an apocalyptic menace, humanity remains in its survivors’ hearts. Against unbelievable odds, pummeled to the ground by the relentless assault of hopelessness, humans can still find deep within themselves an iota of beliefs that holds them together, remind them of the good that they can collectively accomplish, and channel the remainder of their strengths into building the utopia that they can only envision. Building up his phenomenal dead-infested franchise, writer and creator Robert Kirkman masterfully continues his thorough and bleak exploration of human nature within a context of survival and a desperate search for happiness. Collecting issues #97-144 (volumes 17-24) of the series, this compendium further portrays a broken and grim world with brio.
What is The Walking Dead: Compendium Three? With Rick Grimes and his community finally on the verge of building the village they could only have dreamed of while the dead lurk around their walls, a new force of evil surges into their life and he has no mercy for those who do not kneel to his vision of the world: Negan. As this confrontation leads to tremendous losses and sacrifices, as well as unlikely alliances and leaps of faith, the war brings out the worse in the survivors who will do anything for a semblance of peace rather than absolute calamity. As the Negan saga ends, this compendium also introduces readers to the arrival of the mysterious and outlandish Whisperers. Can Rick and his followers ever outwit and overcome the challenges ahead or succumb to the terror that others seek to unleash upon them?
“You see, Rick. Whatever you do… No matter fucking what… you do not mess with the New World Order.”— Robert Kirkman
The story collected within this compendium continues to evolve cyclically, whether it’s in the emotional intensity of events (calm versus chaos) or the narrative structure (peace versus war). The highlight of this compendium lies in the entirety of the war against Negan and, oh boy, is he a menace to humanity. You just know, at every instance that he appears, that something absolutely wild and unimaginable is bound to happen or be said. Any casualty that occurs by his hands is bound to know a severe and eye-gouging death, beautifully insisting on a terrifying fact: humans are the most monstrous creatures in the world, even when the dead walks the earth. While Negan does easily steal the show in this compendium, there’s an unparalleled balance attained in the exploration of the psychological plights of several side characters, offering enough fruit for thought on countless universal themes but within a post-apocalyptic setting, whether it’s love, war, family, good, evil, justice, life, and death.
The black-and-white artwork by artist Charlie Adlard is once more beyond reproach. The accuracy with which he captures emotions through facial expressions, demeanours, framing, and the atmosphere is incredible. The dynamic qualities of his drawings also offer a gorgeous, cinematic, and vivid style. Rarely are readers ever lost in the story as each panel speaks a thousand words and brilliantly translates writer Robert Kirkman’s ideas. Ideas of perseverance against that of defeatism are also wonderfully captured by the unique artwork. However, just don’t forget, when the gore begins, it goes strong, and when it goes strong, it delivers a gut-wrenching punch into your mind, effortlessly creating reactions of horror and disgust when most appropriate. With that being said, sacrifice is key in this story arc as Rick Grimes tests an old saying that sometimes you just have to lose a battle to win a war. However, expect said sacrifices to be a visual treat for dark and terrifying ideas.
The Walking Dead: Compendium Three is another phenomenal volume packed with atrocities brought forth not only by the dead but two of the most terrifying antagonists in the franchise: Negan and the Whisperers.