Aug 9, 2010

Comics: The Walking Dead, Volume Three: Safety Behind Bars

The third volume of Robert Kirkman's zombie saga begins with Rick's group finding a fortified prison where they hope to start a new life. However, the prison turns out to be occupied by not only the undead, and crisis soon follows.

Safety Behind Bars does exactly what I hoped it would do by breaking the rhythm of traveling from place to place and dropping a bucket of sh*t on the new place so that the group has to leave it. What's more, the third installment of The Walking Dead series presents the concept of creating new society and new laws in a world ruled only by death.

Unfortunately, Kirkman relies on stock cliches to achieve his goals, and thus quickly becomes annoyingly predictable. Only black people and the main character (when justified) can get enraged. Only mellow people with glasses can have real issues, be weak-willed and jealous or purely psychotic. Only drug addicts can be gay. Only stilted explanatory dialogue could show how you feel. It is easy to fall into traps such as these, but Kirkman proclaims higher ambitions and shouldn't rely so heavily on them.

However, Safety Behind Bars is a solid installment and shows that if it turns out to be a never-ending story, The Walking Dead at least intends to be an ever-changing one as well. So it's time for Volume 4: The Heart's Desire.


1 comment:

  1. It just keeps getting better. Seriously.

    Love your note below about how individual issues must be painful. I agree there - as much as I enjoy this series, I can't imagine how dull it would be to read as singles and not as tpbs.