Horror Comics: Walking Dead #121

Publisher: IMAGE
Story: ROBERT KIRKMAN
Art: CHARLIE ADLARD, STEFANO GAUDIANO & CLIFF RATHBURN

The decision to celebrate ten years of the Walking Dead with a near bi-weekly roll out of a 12 issue story arc ("All Out War") has proven to be a double edged sword for readers. It seems like Kirkman and company are struggling to find an appropriate pace for the arc. While each issue has major developments and action (and nearly always features a major character death), it's feeling more and more like each issue could have been told in half the pages.

#121 features a telegraphed character death (someone already bitten in the previous issue), yet another instance of Rick recovering from passing out (I feel like he goes unconscious more than Giles did on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and plenty of talking in circles. By no means do I condemn heavy dialogue in comics, but it just seems like a story arc titled "All Out War' would be faster paced and more action oriented. Maybe Kirkman's pacing issues are deliberate, and the final four issues in the arc will be especially brutal and satisfying.

Still, I find myself rooting for Negan more as the story moves along.

Speaking of the villainous Negan, he and the Saviors take an important character (one that's been around since issue 53 and soon to be introduced to the TV show) prisoner. While Negan's interrogation of said character is realistic (he wouldn't want to immediately disable someone so important to the war at hand), his threats do ring hollow (and none are carried out in this issue).

That said, the issue in general left me hollow and unfulfilled. I'd urge casual fans to skip it; only the diehards need to pick this one up.

Fingers crossed that next issue has me eating crow.

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