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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Walking Dead Volume 16: A Larger World

Title: The Walking Dead Volume
16: A Larger World

ISBN: 978160706553

Price: $14.99

Publisher/Year: Image, 2012

Artist: Charlie Adlard

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Collects: The Walking Dead #91-96

Rating: 4/5

The 'Walking Dead' series has had far more ups than downs so all I had
to do was hope that volume 16 took things back on an upward path rather than
the other direction. It's a slow path upwards but 'A Larger World' does start
to move things in the right direction again.

Supplies are growing dangerously low in the settlement and the surrounding area
has been picked clean of anything useful. Trips further afield are in order and
one such trip reveals that Rick's community isn't the only one trying to
survive. New encounters invariably mean new problems to solve though and Rick
and his friends must face up to some tough decisions if their community is
going to make it through the winter...

'A Larger World' has similar problems to the previous volume in terms of just
how safe the characters all are. There's a big walled settlement for shelter
and even the weakest character has killed enough zombies for that not to be an
issue either. A little bit of the tension is missing then but Kirkman sidesteps
this rather neatly by throwing the wider setting into sharper focus. There's a
whole new world out there and Kirkman shows us the potential here for new tales
yet to come.

If there's a problem here it's very much that all these tales are 'yet to
come'. 'A Larger World' is all about setting things up for future volumes so be
prepared for not a lot to happen at times. Balancing this out though is the air
of menace that Kirkman builds up over the course of the book; 'A Larger World'
isn't just filler, things are being laid in place that promise something
explosive in the very near future. This is what I'm after and I don't mind
waiting a little bit longer if I know it's coming.

There are also more developments, on the personal front, for our band of
survivors and it's all credit to Kirkman that he keeps things becoming too much
like a soap opera. These are people learning to feel again, after some
traumatic events, and I think Kirkman captures that perfectly.

Like I said then, it's a slow road but 'A Larger World' sets the plot back on
an upward trajectory. I’m all excited again about seeing where the series takes
us next.

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