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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defense

Title: The Walking Dead Volume 5: The Best Defense

ISBN: 9781582406121

Price: $14.99

Publisher/Year: Image, 2010

Artist: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Collects: The Walking Dead

Rating: 4/5

The Best Defense is volume five of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead graphic
novel series. It is this episode that I foresee considerable problems in
converting it to a television show. More on that later.

Rick Grimes’ proclamation at the end of The Heart’s Desire that “we are the
walking dead!” was the dramatic conclusion to a lengthy speech. The story picks
up a short time later. The rift in the camp between him and Tyreese remains and
things inside the prison actually seem to be proceeding. I was left to wonder
about any possible intent or meaning behind such a dramatic line. I won’t say I
was disappointed in Kirkman, only, I was expecting…something.

Be that as it may, the story picks up as the survivors start making g a real
effort to set up house in the confines of the prison. Having found a generator,
there is a small mission just outside the fence to the parking lot to search
for gasoline. A passing helicopter just happens to start smoking and crash

I felt the plot device just a little two convenient, but not enough to
distract me from the story. Rick, Michonne, and Glen go to investigate. That’s
where I got annoyed. With a wife who is expecting, a son, plus the fact that
he’s taken quite a beating recently and only has one really good hand; Rick
seems to think nothing of literally just running off. He doesn’t even take the
time to tell his wife and son, “farewell, be back soon.”

Yes, I still think the series is spectacular, and yes, I still think Kirkman
is the new King. However, I think he stumbled in the plot just a bit here. That
could be me speaking as a husband and parent, but Rick Grimes has been
portrayed as really loving his wife and son. His regular occurrences of
abandoning them to run off on some mission might be explainable as him not
thinking anybody can do the job right save himself, but that doesn’t fit with
the character.

Anyways…that’s me nitpicking. The story does take an even darker turn here
when another camp of survivors is discovered. They are led by the evil bad guy
we’ve all been waiting for. Yes, the series finally has its Savini-esque
character. The misery he inflicts on the trio of Rick, Glenn, and especially
Michonne is where the televised version of this is going to have to get
creative. Cable or not, some really bad stuff happens here. And what happens to
Michonne is just a part of it. The gloves really come off in The Best Defense.
The material in volume five definitely caries a strong ‘R’ rating.

Once more, Kirkman gives us a bit of a cliff hanger ending. All indication
are that very bad things are about to pop off in volume six. With his
fearlessness when it comes to killing main characters, it is safe to expect the

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