Comics Review: "The Walking Dead" #103
- by Señor Editor, 17 October 2012
"The Walking Dead" #103 was being hyped for months now. It's the beginning of a new volume and it was supposed to be a very important issue and a "new beginning." If you read my last article about Image's TWD (the survivor speculations one), you know that I was actually really excited for this issue and the way things have changed, starting from #100. "The Walking Dead" began being really interesting again. Here we are, with #103 out, and the question is: how was it? Be warned: plenty of SPOILERS ahead, gentle reader.
Last issue ended with Rick releasing the prisoner (one of Negan's men, the dude that must be an expert in finding Visine eyedrops in the post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world), telling his group that they're not gonna fight back against Negan, and instead they will surrended to the evil bastard. Of course, we found out at the last page that Rick is actually sending Jesus after the prisoner to find out how strong Negan's forces really are, and where their base is.
Since we got that recapped, let's get to #103.
Let's start with that cover, because damn, we've been seeing it for a long while now and people online were speculating like crazy. "Is Rick gonna die?!?" Hell no. I knew he wasn't gonna die, but I can't blame some people thinking that with the way this issue was hyped by Image Comics:
Public Enemy told me "don't believe the hype", but after actually reading #103 for myself, I think the hype for this issue was waaaay overdone. But we'll get to that. Let's recap what happens in this issue:
Obviously, Kirkman's writing and Adlard's art are top notch as usual. I'm happy that instead of making Rick carry the burdens of leadership all by himself again, he let's Andrea in on his plan. I like Andrea and I like their relationship, and I'm happy Rick doesn't screw that up and trusts her enough to tell her about his plan.
Jesus' scene is short, but shows us some of his skills and makes me think he will be around for a while and an important team member. I wrote about that in my last Walking Dead article, but it's still nice seeing someone useful on the good guys' side.
I absolutely HATE Negan. Hate him even more than after #100. Why is that good? Well, it's good because he's the villain. I'm supposed to want to see him get his ass kicked bad. Seeing him walking around all smug is really frustrating, but at the same time makes me want to keep reading.
While I'm happy with Rick opening up about his plan to Andrea, I have to ask why the hell didn't he tell Carl about it? Carl's been through enough crap to give him the benefit of doubt that he won't screw the whole plan up if he's let in on it. Carl barely talks to anybody other than his dad, anyway. And maybe he wouldn't try to talk smack to Negan and risking his life if he knew Rick & the crew aren't just giving up and they have something planned. Comicbook Carl isn't an idiot like TV show Carl. Give him some credit, Rick. Don't alienate the kid by keeping secrets from him after all the stuff you two have been through.
While Negan sure established himself as the bad guy, I still don't see anything about him that would be different from the Governor. He's basically the same character so far. I hope what Jesus finds at Negan's place will cast the character in a somewhat more interesting light, but so far Negan is just another Governor. His personality can be just described as "really bad guy" and that description wouldn't leave out anything.
Remember the hype for this issue? Yeah, I don't think this "could easily have been a new first issue." Who would want to start reading "The Walking Dead" with that? This would depress the crap out of everybody who never read the book before, and without seeing all the past those characters share, they sure don't seem like people you'd wanna root for, based on this ish alone. As far as I'm concerned, the only "jumping on point" for TWD comicbook is still #1.
While it may seem there's more "bad" than "good" things about this issue, it's probably just a reaction to the months of hype. I know this is the first issue of this story arc, and I don't expect all those game-changing events to happen in part 1, but compared to some earlier issues, not a lot happens here. I have faith in Kirkman, though. I'm sure this story will be better than just the first part. I'm hoping the similarities to the Governor arc are just first impressions, and there's more interesting stuff waiting for us down the line. I hope that the next thing coming up isn't just the old "the safe-zone is no more, the few remaining survivors are on the road again" because then it would be exactly the same as the Governor/Prison situatuion. I think there are more interesting ideas left to explore with the current setting & status quo.
I hate waiting a month for the next issue, but goddammit, what else can we do? The ending of the last arc shook things up enough to raise my interest in the series once again. Let's just hope Kirkman can keep it up and not make this arc into a rehash of what we know already.
Oh yeah, and let's hope someone beats Negan's brains out.
What did you think about this issue? Let us know in the comments!