I did a search for 'Walking Dead' in General Comics Discussion, and nothing popped up. I seem to remember reading about the comics somewhere on this site, but maybe I'm remembering the "Movies and TV" section thread about the TV show. Anyway, if there's an ongoing discussion about The Walking Dead the comic book somewhere, I apologize.

 

Meanwhile, there's just something I want to mention. And that is:

SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER

 

Once again, The Walking Dead the comic book is getting kind of slow ... and every time that has happened in the past, something huge and awful has happened to winnow down our hapless heroes. I see no reason why that won't happen again, especially since we're five issues from issue #100, and the solicits already indicate "the unthinkable" will happen then (actually, in issue #99). 

 

OK, I'm not falling for hyperbole. But just the same, I noticed something odd in the last two issues. If you're following the book, you know that Rick & Co. have run across a guy named Jesus, who has ridiculously sharp fighting skills. But he isn't an attacker, but instead a scout, who wants to lead the gang to his community, which is larger than Rick's, for the purpose of trade and such. So Rick taps Glen and Michonne to go with him in a van, leaving the other regulars behind to defend their community. But Andrea fast-talks her way aboard, and Carl stows away. Nothing much to say about that, except ...

 

Those are exactly the surviving members of the original group. Andrea, Carl, Glen and Rick are the only survivors from the first storyline, with Michonne coming along around issue #14 or so. Everybody else we've met from before the Governor's attack around issue #50 is dead (except Maggie, who doesn't show up much these days). So these five are the most familiar faces in the book -- nobody else has been around even half as long. 

 

So why separate the Big Five from everyone else as issue #100 approaches? It's not as if it happened organically -- the smart move (which was Rick's original plan) is to leave Carl and Andrea behind, but writer Robert Kirkman found (slightly implausible) reasons for them to come along. So now they're together in one separate group, something I don't recall happening before. 

 

My wife says that means everyone they've left behind is toast. It does raise the issue of whether Kirkman is now going to kill off his original crew and leave Abraham to lead the survivors. (He's itching to make a play for leadership anyway.) Or maybe it doesn't mean anything at all.

 

What do you Dead-O-Philes think?

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I think I'm reading the trade paperbacks and shouldn't have read this.*  But now that I have, either scenario seems pretty plausible to me. But "unthinkable" makes me lean toward lights-out for Rick & Co. 

*EDITED TO ADD: Totally my bad, by the way -- I knew going in there'd be spoilers since you mentioned the issue number way at the top.

Just in case I added spoiler spoiler spoiler

Just finished Walking Dead #100 last night.

Good heavens. That was gross.

I don't read the comic but I do follow the show. I did flip through issue 100. Man that was brutal.

My wife and I are both still bothered by The Walking Dead #100. The events there have really turned me off on a book I used to look forward to. Maybe that's the appropriate reaction to such a thing, I dunno. Anyone else react that way?

What was it, exactly, that turned you off, Cap? Was it the person who died? The sheer brutality of it? Or was it the nature of the new villain or Rick's reaction? Just curious...

The brutality, I think. And, yeah, that was our favorite cast member. Just left a bad taste in my mouth.

And it probably should -- I mean, I get that we were supposed to be repulsed. But I sure don't want to see any more of that, legitimate story reasons or not, and with this book it's entirely likely I will. So I'm not looking forward to it like I used to.

OK, Spoilers -- of a sort, I guess.

Well, I was surprised and bummed out about Lori, way back when. But that development led to what I thought was the interesting plot device ("phone-Lori").

My biggest reaction to this issue --at first -- was fatigue. I mean, really, ANOTHER f*cking Governor? Really? And then -- as we were in the midst of "Eeenie-Meenie-Minie-Moe", the phone rang -- or a kid came in, or something -- point is, I put the book down unfinished.

But in the hour the book was down, I was thinking about it in the back of my mind -- clearly, something was going to happen. Kirkman doesn't have scenes like this without SOMEONE getting it in the neck. So who was it going to be?

After we (sort of) dodged a bullet with Carl a few issues back, I was expecting something awful, My money was on Andrea (which the end of last issue makes you think is a likelihood, and still might be, I guess) . But Andrea's not there, getting "eenie-meenied". So then I start thinking -- my god, he's going to off Rick.

It makes perfect sense -- big, divisible-by-25-issue in a comic famous for pulling the rug out from under you and killing beloved main characters. We're 100 issues is, what better way to prove no one is safe than by offing the main character? I mean, sure, the book's not called "Rick Grimes and the Walking Dead", but he's been a constant. But what if he wasn't?

So THEN, I start thinking that This Character Who Gets It in #100 might actually emerge as the main character in the NEXT 100 issues, that maybe we all realize it's been This Character Who Gets It in #100's story all along. It made sense. This Character has been kind of a non-entity lately, and has turned out to be kind of a break out character in the show, I mean, why not?

I think I like my story better.

But, as always with this book, I'm curious to see what happens. Yes, it was awful and, as I noted above, about as gross as anything he's done yet (which in a zombie comic is saying something, I think), and I'm not looking forward to the next few issue -- but there's a chance he could turn this into something really interesting, I think.

Bottom line, though, I still think it says a lot that after all this time, after this whole weird journey Kirkman has cooked up, I'm still a hell of a lot more interested in finding out what happens in Walking Dead than I am in any other book currently getting published.

SPOILER WARNING STILL IN EFFECT

After leaving this on the back burner for a while, it finally dawned on me what annoyed me about the events of The Walking Dead #100, and it has nothing to do with what we've discussed so far. And that is:

It felt too scripted.

What bothered me is that I saw the little man behind the curtain, and that made the events "fake" and inorganic, and that it was a deliberate, and clumsy, effort to force an emotional reaction -- which annoyed me. (Remember, you're talking to seemingly the only guy in America who hated E.T: The Extraterrestrial, because I hate being emotionally manipulated, and that movie was a tour de force of emotional manipulation.) In short, I thought it bad writing and a cheap shot.

All along, I felt the "event" coming, which means it wasn't a surprise, nor was it arising organically from the story. I mean, suddenly the second community is too far to get there by car in a full day of travel, when earlier the group got there in a timely manner without a problem. Secondly, despite the omnipresent danger of walkers plus violent human predators in the area, Rick & Co. don't bother to barricade themselves in a safe place for the night. (They even discuss it, and make a decision leaving themselves so vulnerable that *I* knew it was a bad decision, and I'm not living in the zombie apocalypse.) Third,one of the bad guys knows how to use a lariat. Who knows how to use a lariat? Miiiiighty convenient.

In retrospect, at this point I stopped really caring what happened next. I knew it would be bad, but I also didn't care -- the writer had stepped out from behind the curtain and said "I'm about to do something awful." Well, go ahead then, but don't expect me to be impressed when you've already shown your cards. I mean, I was having the reaction I usually have when I'm watching horny-teen horror movies and when the lights go out and somebody says, essentially, "let's split up and look in all the closets and basements and attics." I mean, if you're THAT dumb, you kinda deserve what's coming next. So Rick & Co. had been as dumb as the horny teens in a Halloween movie, and that's pretty dumb -- which is to say, implausibly dumb, and a deliberate set-up that the reader can see a mile away. People who love horny-teen horror movies don't mind the obvious set-up, because they're not there for story coherence. But I demand story coherence to enjoy a story, which is why I don't watch horny-teen horror movies -- or enjoy bad comic books.

And in that instance, The Walking Dead was a bad comic book. 

This was further compounded when the bad guy did the "eeny meeny minie moe" routine. I actually said aloud, "Oh, come on." Having artificially put his major characters in jeopardy, Kirkman was now artificially saving most of them. Why wouldn't the bad guy simply kill them all? He's got the opposition's leadership in his power -- why not decapitate the enemy and simply wait for the surrender? Instead, he's going to piss them off and let them go back and lead their army against his army. This is the big, scary, bad-guy leader? Hard to believe he got this far wasting resources like that. 


So then he picks a fan-favorite character -- and if you've been reading and watching his interviews, Kirkman keeps telling us he deliberately offs popular characters -- and kills him. Disappointing. But then he rubs it in by making it as over-the-top brutal and shocking as he can make it. 

Then, further further, the bad guy makes a speech to the reader. Sure, it was supposedly aimed at Rick & Co., but it was basically Kirkman telling us how we should feel before these events, and how we should feel afterward. "You probably thought you were safe ... probably been a while since anybody important died. ... But that's all changed." Or words to that effect. Jeez, when did this guy become telepathic? Barring that, he's breaking the fourth wall. Either way, it was ridiculous and poorly done. It's as if the bad guy had read the previous 99 issues, and was dictating to the reader how he or she should feel. Picture that same speech as if it had been presented in captions by an omniscient narrator, and see if you don't agree.

So I felt like an attempt to emotionally manipulate me, which annoyed me. But further, it was a clumsy attempt, and poorly written, and an "event" dictated by an issue number instead of organic story growth ("In this issue: Somebody dies!"), all of which disappointed me terribly. And it was that disappointment that bummed me out, not the death of the character. I suddenly have a "who cares" reaction to what was previously one of my favorite books, and that's no fun.

I'll keep reading, of course, and fortunately I had already made the decision to switch to trade-waiting Walking Dead after issue #100, so it'll be a while before I have to address the issue again.

But, my point in short: Disappointed.

What?  There might be spoilers in this thread?  Who said that?!

Captain Comics said:

Just in case I added spoiler spoiler spoiler

Cap,

Well, when you put it THAT way......

I see your point.

Bummer.

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