Sep 6, 2010

Comics: The Walking Dead, Volume Six: This Sorrowful Life

Rick, Glenn and Michonne manage to escape from the twisted Governor with inside help (but not before Michonne mutilates the psychopath to a barely human state), and make their way back to the prison, only to find it almost entirely overrun by the zombies. In the confusion of cleaning the place, Rick barely stops another threat to their little community in time.

This Sorrowful Life doesn't go anywhere in particular, but for some reason it reads easier than the previous volume. Pointless brutality aside, it actually manages to portray an interesting moral dynamic between the people in Woodbury and those in the prison. You are left uncertain as to who to root for, as Rick plunges ever deeper into savagery. Still, even though Kirkman introduced the "humans are more dangerous than zombies" element in a ridiculously ham-handed manner in The Best Defense, he is actually developing it quite well.

This volume also has a surprisingly low body-count, as the zombies only kill two characters, and one of those - off-screen. Not to say that I have a problem with the undead taking their toll, but it's a welcome change of pace, especially considering how random most deaths are (which - I am certain - is on purpose, but doesn't always quite work the way it's supposed to).

I wouldn't say This Sorrowful Life has restored my faith in the series, but it didn't continue the trend started in The Best Defense either, so I am now motivated to continue with The Walking Dead. Still, Kirkman's intentions aside, I'd be happy to see an actual ending to this story.


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