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The Walking Dead #187 (Image Comics)
While The Walking Dead TV show has seen it’s main character leave the show and the ratings dip, the comic from which the show came has had a pretty solid run of stories. The continuing comic book narrative of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors has remained consistently entertaining, which is no small feat when you consider how many issues this series has been running. Yet even at 187 issues, The Walking Dead still finds ways to surprise you, and nowhere is that more apparent than with Walking Dead #187.
After defending Governor Milton from Dwight, Rick Grimes and Michonne are worried that their time in the Commonwealth community is at an end. But surprisingly, Milton gives Rick her highest regard, and has him give a speech to the Commonwealth community. Elsewhere, Maggie sends Carl and a small group of other survivors out to investigate the Commonwealth for Rick and Michonne’s whereabouts, and a group of enforcers within the community start banding together to change their fortunes.
It’s a testament to Robert Kirkman’s skills as a creator that he’s able to keep things fresh and interesting at close to 200 issues. Part of that is due to the fact that Kirkman knows that longtime readers have come to expect certain things from the series, and that gives him the ability to upend those expectations, like he does here multiple times. Kirkman also gives plenty of weight to character’s decisions and actions, making you really believe that Michonne and Rick, while disagreeing, are still there for each other.
It’ll be hard to imagine a day when The Walking Dead won’t be drawn by Charlie Adlard. While he was never the original artist for the series, Adlard’s style is so deeply associated with the series that one has to imagine that he’ll be with the book forever. Like Kirkman’s writing, Adlard’s detailed style is still engaging, even in issues like this one where it’s primarily an issue where the characters are all conversing with each other and not fighting zombies.
I haven’t watched The Walking Dead TV show in about a season and a half, but I’m happy that the comic has still been entertaining. Reading a series for this long brings a real attachment to the characters, and Kirkman makes sure that his emotional moments count, which is probably one of the reasons why the comic has still been resonating with me in ways the show hasn’t. In terms of The Walking Dead, one creative team is a better fit than a whole team of writers.