Aug 17, 2010

Comics: The Walking Dead, Volume Four: The Heart's Desire

After the cliff-hanger of Safety Behind Bars, Rick's group manages to solidify its claim on the abandoned prison. However, the arrival of a newcomer and the pressure building over Rick due to his leadership might break the survivors apart.

Kirkman's The Walking Dead saga is supposed to show us the life of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. That is all good and well, but honestly - I am getting tired of it. True, relationships change, casualties continue to pile and by the end of the volume a radical change in the way things are run is introduced. But, really, it just feels like same old same old. I don't care about any of the characters anymore, as Kirkman uses them only to hammer points home with the subtlety of a retarded rhino.

Instead of improving, the writer's style and characterization seem to worsen. In The Heart's Desire we are witness to the most inapt, clumsy and illogical aggressive argument I've seen in a while, where characters seem to yell numbingly cliched accusations seemingly just so they have an excuse to continue pummeling each other. Rick is supposed to be on the verge of snapping, but we only find that through others' declarations of it, as the way he reveals it is by being a chaotic douchebag - not exactly a textbook representation of snapping... On the up side, the stilted explanatory prose is a bit less, which leads me to hope that Kirkman might have caught up on the fact that showing always tops telling.

There are a few really good moments in The Heart's Desire, and I'm still inclined to continue reading the series, especially after the end of the fourth volume. But after 24 issues, I think I am now qualified to say that with all the hype I've read for The Walking Dead, I expected a lot more from it. The character building, the relationships and the "realism" are nowhere near good enough to warrant this endless soap opera, and since they are the main focus of the series, we don't really get much else from it. Still, hope is like the undead - tough to kill and always comes back. So I'll just keep reading.



  1. You're definitely plowing through these at a record pace...

  2. Actually, I'm reading them painfully slow. I could've been done with the series by now, but it was downgraded to toilet reading...