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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Updated list of trades in my collection

I recently found a cache of trades that I either haven't seen in years and thought I had sold, lost or never had. Because of this, I wanted to post an update of my collection; starting with a list of the trades that I have already posted reviews for.

Publisher Title # Variant Publish Date

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1 A - The Long Way Home 11/1/2007

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2 A - No Future for You 6/1/2008

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 3 A - Wolves at the Gate 11/1/2008

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 4 A - Time of Your Life 5/1/2009

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 5 A - Predators and Prey 1/1/2009

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 6 A - Retreat 1/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7 A - Twilight 1/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer 8 A - Last Gleaming 1/1/2011

  • Dark Horse Gear School 1 10/1/2007

  • Dark Horse Gear School 2 9/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Ghost: Nocturnes 1 5/1/1996

  • Dark Horse Grendel: Red, White, & Black 1 8/1/2005

  • Dark Horse Guild 1 11/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Hellboy: Masks and Monsters 1 10/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom nn 4/1/2000

  • Dark Horse Serenity 3 A - The Shepherd's Tale 11/1/2010

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Infinities - A New Hope nn 2/1/2002

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Infinities - Return of the Jedi nn 7/1/2004

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Infinities - The Empire Strikes Back nn 2/1/2003

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: The Force Unleashed nn 8/1/2008

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II nn 1/1/2010

  • DC Azrael: Death's Dark Knight 1 1/1/2010

  • DC Batman R.I.P.: The Deluxe Edition 1 1/1/2009

  • DC Batman: Sword of Azrael 1 1/1/1993

  • DC Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne Deluxe Edition 1 1/1/2011

  • DC Blackest Night 1 1/1/2010

  • DC Brightest Day 1 1/1/2010

  • DC Brightest Day 2 1/1/2011

  • DC Death of Superman 1 1/1/1993

  • DC Final Crisis 1 1/1/2009

  • DC Gotham City Sirens 1 A - Union 1/1/2010

  • DC Gotham City Sirens 2 A - Songs of the Sirens 1/1/2010

  • DC Identity Crisis 1 1/1/2005

  • DC Infinite Crisis 1 12/1/2007

  • DC Superman: Earth One 1 1/1/2010

  • DC Superman: The Black Ring 1 1/1/2011

  • DC Superman: World Without A Superman 1 1/1/1993

  • DC Watchmen nn 1/1/1987

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 1 1/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 2 3/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 4 1/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 5 1/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 6 1/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 7 1/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe 1 7/1/2009

  • IDW G.I. Joe Season 2 1 A - Cobra Civil War Volume 1 10/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1 2/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 1 A - Cobra Civil War 12/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 4 A - The Death of Cobra Commander 1/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds 1 1/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Origins 1 9/1/2009

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes (2010) 1 4/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Special Missions 1 6/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Special Missions 2 10/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Official Movie Adaptation nn 7/1/2009

  • IDW Infestation nn 12/1/2011

  • IDW Spike: After the Fall nn 2/1/2009

  • Image Bluntman & Chronic 1 12/1/2001

  • Image Walking Dead 1 J - Days Gone Bye 1/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 2 E - Miles Behind Us 12/1/2006

  • Image Walking Dead 3 E - Safety Behind Bars 1/1/2009

  • Image Walking Dead 4 E - The Heart's Desire 1/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 5 C - The Best Defense 1/1/2009

  • Image Walking Dead 6 A - This Sorrowful Life 4/1/2007

  • Marvel Cable and the New Mutants 1 6/1/1992

  • Marvel Captain America: The Death of Captain America 1 1/1/2007

  • Marvel Dark Avengers 2 A - Molecule Man 1/1/2010

  • Marvel Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia 1 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Dark X-Men nn 1/1/2010

  • Marvel Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America nn 1/1/2007

  • Marvel Marvel Zombies: Dead Days nn 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Secret Invasion nn 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Secret Wars 1 1/1/2011

  • Marvel Secret Wars II nn 1/1/2011

  • Marvel Siege nn 1/1/2010

  • Marvel Siege Prelude 1 1/1/2010

  • Marvel Spider-Man: Back in Black nn 1/1/2008

  • Marvel Spider-Man: Election Day nn 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Spider-Man: The Other nn 1/1/2006

  • Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man 1 A - Power and Responsibility 4/1/2001

  • Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man 2 E - Learning Curve 9/1/2004

  • Marvel Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection 1 1/1/2006

  • Marvel What If?: Civil War nn 1/1/2008

  • Marvel Wolverine: Weapon X nn 1/1/2009

  • Marvel X-Men: Messiah Complex nn 1/1/2008

  • Marvel X-Men: Phoenix Rising 1 1/1/2011

  • Marvel X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda 1 9/1/1992

  • Top Shelf Blankets 1 7/1/2003

  • Vertigo Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love nn 1/1/2010

  • Vertigo Death: The High Cost of Living 1 1/1/1994

  • Vertigo Death: The Time of Your Life 1 1/1/1997

  • Vertigo Fables 1 A - Legends in Exile 1/1/2002

  • Vertigo Fables 2 A - Animal Farm 1/1/2003

  • Vertigo Fables 3 B - Storybook Love 1/1/2004

  • Vertigo Fables 4 A - March of the Wooden Soldiers 1/1/2004

  • Vertigo Fables 5 A - The Mean Seasons 1/1/2005

  • Vertigo Fables 6 A - Homelands 1/1/2005

  • Vertigo Fables 7 A - Arabian Nights (and Days) 1/1/2006

  • Vertigo Fables 8 A - Wolves 1/1/2006

  • Vertigo Fables 9 A - Sons of Empire 1/1/2007

  • Vertigo Fables 10 A - The Good Prince 1/1/2008

  • Vertigo Fables 11 A - War and Pieces 1/1/2008

  • Vertigo Fables 12 A - The Dark Ages 1/1/2009

  • Vertigo Fables 13 A - The Great Fables Crossover 1/1/2010

  • Vertigo Fables 14 A - Witches 1/1/2010

  • Vertigo Fables 15 A - Rose Red 1/1/2011

  • Vertigo Fables 16 A - Super Team 1/1/2011

  • Vertigo Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall 1 1/1/2006

  • Vertigo Hellblazer: India nn 1/1/2010

  • Vertigo Hellblazer: Stations of the Cross 1 8/1/2006

  • Vertigo Hellblazer: The Family Man nn 1/1/2008

  • Vertigo John Constantine Hellblazer: All His Engines 1 1/1/2006

  • Vertigo John Constantine Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy 1 1/1/2006

  • Vertigo John Constantine, Hellblazer: Reasons to be Cheerful nn 1/1/2007

  • Vertigo Lucifer 1 A - Devil in the Gateway 1/1/2001

  • Vertigo Lucifer 2 A - Children and Monsters 1/1/2001

  • Vertigo Lucifer 3 A - A Dalliance with the Damned 1/1/2001

  • Vertigo Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere 1 2/14/2007

  • Vertigo Preacher 1 A - Gone to Texas 1/1/1996

  • Vertigo Preacher 2 B - Until the End of the World 1/1/1997

  • Vertigo Preacher 3 G - Proud Americans 1/1/2004

  • Vertigo Preacher 4 E - Ancient History 1/1/1998

  • Vertigo Preacher 5 E - Dixie Fried 1/1/1998

  • Vertigo Preacher 6 E - War in the Sun 1/1/1999

  • Vertigo Preacher 7 F - Salvation 1/1/1999

  • Vertigo Preacher 8 E - All Hell's A-Coming 1/1/2000

  • Vertigo Preacher 9 E - Alamo 1/1/2001

  • Vertigo Sandman 1 M - Preludes & Nocturnes 1/1/1995

  • Vertigo Sandman 2 L - The Doll's House 1/1/1990

  • Vertigo Sandman 3 J - Dream Country 1/1/1995

  • Vertigo Sandman 4 K - Season of Mists 1/1/1992

  • Vertigo Sandman 5 H - A Game of You 1/1/1993

  • Vertigo Sandman 6 H - Fables and Reflections 1/1/1993

  • Vertigo Sandman 7 G - Brief Lives 1/1/1994

  • Vertigo Sandman 8 G - Worlds' End 1/1/1995

  • Vertigo Sandman 9 G - The Kindly Ones 1/1/1996

  • Vertigo Sandman 10 F - The Wake 1/1/1997

  • Vertigo Sandman: Endless Nights 1 1/1/2003

  • Yen Press Twilight: The Graphic Novel 1 3/1/2010

And here's everything else in my collection that I've either read and haven't posted a review of or have yet to read:

Publisher Title # Variant Publish Date

  • America's Best Comics League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1 1/1/2000

  • America's Best Comics League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2 12/1/2003

  • Boundless Comics Lady Death: Origins 1 11/1/2010

  • Chaos Lady Death: The Reckoning 1 7/1/1994

  • Dark Horse Fray 1 A - Future Slayer 11/1/2003

  • Dark Horse Ghost Stories 1 4/1/1995

  • Dark Horse Lone Wolf 2100 1 A - Shadows On Saplings 1/1/2003

  • Dark Horse Serenity 2 A - Better Days 10/1/2008

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... 1 A - Doomworld 6/1/2002

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Darth Maul nn 5/1/2001

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace nn 5/1/1999

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: General Grievous nn 12/1/2005

  • Dark Horse Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire nn 1/1/1997

  • DC Arkham Asylum 1 1/1/1989

  • DC Batman and Son 1 1/1/2007

  • DC Batman Cacophony 1 11/1/2009

  • DC Batman Versus Predator: The Collected Edition 1 4/1/1993

  • DC Batman: Battle for the Cowl 1 1/1/2009

  • DC Batman: Battle for the Cowl Companion 1 1/1/2009

  • DC Batman: Bloodstorm 1 11/1/1994

  • DC Batman: Hush 1 5/1/2003

  • DC Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Tenth Anniversary Edition 1 12/1/1996

  • DC Batman: The Long Halloween 1 1/1/1997

  • DC Batman: The Widening Gyre 1 1/1/2010

  • DC Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader 1 1/1/2009

  • DC Crisis on Infinite Earths 1 12/1/2000

  • DC Joker 1 1/1/2008

  • Devil's Due G.I. Joe 1 A - Reinstated! 1/1/2002

  • Devil's Due G.I. Joe: Dreadnoks Declassified nn 1/1/2007

  • Homage Comics Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Family Album 1 9/1/1996

  • Homage Comics Kurt Busiek's Astro City: Life in the Big City 1 8/1/1996

  • Icon Kick-Ass nn 1/1/2010

  • IDW Angel 1 A - Immortality for Dummies 7/1/2010

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 1 7/1/2008

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 2 9/1/2008

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 3 1/1/2009

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 4 7/1/2009

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 5 9/1/2009

  • IDW Angel: After the Fall 6 A - Last Angel in Hell 5/1/2010

  • IDW Angel: Not Fade Away nn 1/1/2009

  • IDW Angel: Smile Time nn 8/1/2009

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 8 1/1/2010

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 9 8/1/2010

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 10 12/1/2010

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 11 3/1/2011

  • IDW Classic G.I. Joe 12 7/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe 2 2/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe 3 7/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe 4 1/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe 5 8/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 2 7/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 1 10/1/2009

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 2 10/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Cobra 3 A - Serpent's Coil 3/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Origins 2 2/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Origins 3 8/1/2010

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Origins 4 1/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: Special Missions 3 1/1/2011

  • IDW G.I. Joe: The Best of Snake Eyes nn 7/1/2009

  • IDW Spike 1 A - Alone Together Now 4/1/2011

  • IDW Spike: Shadow Puppets nn 12/1/2007

  • Image Chasing Dogma 1 6/1/2001

  • Image Clerks 1 7/1/2001

  • Image Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? The Definitive Collection 1 1/1/2000

  • Image Walking Dead 7 A - The Calm Before 9/1/2007

  • Image Walking Dead 8 B - Made to Suffer 1/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 9 B - Here We Remain 1/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 10 B - What We Become 8/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 11 A - Fear the Hunters 1/1/2010

  • Image Walking Dead 12 A - Life Among Them 1/1/2010

  • Kitchen Sink Crow 1 4/1/1989

  • Marvel Daredevil 7 A - Hardcore 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Daredevil Visionaries: Kevin Smith 1 1/1/2000

  • Marvel Dark Avengers 1 A - Assemble 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Dark Reign: Accept Change nn 7/8/2009

  • Marvel G.I. Joe 3 8/1/2002

  • Marvel G.I. Joe: Order of Battle 1 1/1/1987

  • Marvel Marvel Mangaverse 3 A - Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider-Clan 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Marvel Mangaverse 4 A - X-Men: Ronin 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Spider-Man vs Venom 1 1/1/1990

  • Marvel Spider-Man: Carnage 1 6/1/1993

  • Marvel Spider-Man's Tangled Web 3 1/1/2002

  • Marvel Spider-Man's Tangled Web 4 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Spider-Woman nn A - Agent of S.W.O.R.D. 1/1/2010

  • Marvel Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra 1 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Ultimate Origins nn 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Ultimates 1 A - Super-Human 8/1/2002

  • Marvel Ultimatum (2009) 1 1/1/2009

  • Marvel Wolverine (2003) 1 A - The Brotherhood 1/1/2003

  • Marvel Wolverine (2003) 2 A - Coyote Crossing 1/1/2004

  • Marvel Wolverine: The Origin 1 1/1/2002

  • Marvel X-Force/Cable: Messiah War 1 1/1/2009

  • Marvel X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Prelude nn 5/1/2011

  • Marvel X-Men: Evolution 1 1/1/2002

  • Marvel X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga 1 1/1/1991

  • Marvel X-Men: X-cutioner's Song 1 1/1/1994

  • Marvel X-Treme X-Men 2 A - Invasion 1/1/2003

  • Pantheon Maus: A Survivor's Tale 1 B - My Father Bleeds History 1/1/1992

  • Pantheon Maus: A Survivor's Tale 2 A - And Here My Troubles Began 9/1/1992

  • Slave Labor Graphics (SLG) Publishing GloomCookie 1 1/1/2001

  • Slave Labor Graphics (SLG) Publishing Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut 1 8/1/1995

  • Top Cow Witchblade: Deluxe Collected Edition 1 1/1/1997

  • Vertigo Constantine: The Hellblazer Collection 1 2/1/2005

  • Vertigo Death: At Death's Door 1 1/1/2003

  • Vertigo Hellblazer: Hooked nn 1/1/2010

  • Vertigo John Constantine, Hellblazer: Joyride nn 1/1/2008

  • Vertigo John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Gift 1 1/1/2007

  • Vertigo Sandman: The Dream Hunters nn 10/1/1999

I think I may have missed some trades that I've actually posted reviews for. If you find any on either list that are miscategorized, please let me know so I can make the change. As you can see, I still have a lot of work ahead of me. Thank you for all your support.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Title: Infestation

ISBN: 9781613771068

Price: $34.99

Publisher/Year: IDW, 2011

Artist: David Messina, Nick Roche, Giovanni Timpano, Gary Erskine, Casey
Maloney, Kyle Hotz, Antonio Campo

Writer: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Mike Raicht, Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Erik
Burnham, Jason M. Burns

Collects: Infestation #1-2, Transformers: Infestation #1-2, G.I. Joe: Infestation #1-2, Star Trek: Infestation #1-2, Ghostbusters: Infestation #1-2

Rating: 2/5

While reading this trade, all I
could think is that IDW was trying to capitalize on what Marvel has with the
Marvel Zombie line of trades. I think they were hoping to draw pop culture
interest by using Transformers, G.I. Joe Star Trek and Ghostbusters where Marvel
simply used their classic characters. I don’t feel that they had the same draw
that Marvel did.

The art is okay for this trade,
even though I suspect that they didn’t utilize the already existing artists
from the specific titles. I’ll be honest that I don’t follow any of the regular
titles of than G.I. Joe. I think this fact should have been a key indicator of
the level of quality contained within. If they didn’t have enough faith to put
the professionals who drawn these characters on a frequent basis, then there’s
probably not much hope for the series.

Each section has a different spin
on how the infection is spread, with the connection being a vampire named Brit
from a group called CVO. That’s where it all begins, and that’s where it
ultimately “ends”… or does it. The ending leaves it very open to future

There’s not much that can be said
about this particular trade. You could live well enough with or without this
trade in your collection. I’m not convinced that it adds enough to give it a
glowing nod to go out and have you add it, but it also doesn’t detract.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life

Title: The Walking Dead Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life

ISBN: 9781582406848

Price: $14.99

Publisher/Year: Image, 2010

Artist: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Collects: The Walking Dead #31-36

Rating: 4/5

How many happy moments can you expect when Volume Six of The Walking Dead series is titles: This Sorrowful Life? The trio of Rick, Michonne, and Glenn are still being held in the small, fortified section of the town of Woodbury by a man who calls himself Governor. Things are not going well.

You can’t unbreak an egg, and Robert Kirkman has stomped on the whole damn dozen. The level of disturbing imagery eclipses the previous volume: The Best Defense. The zombie makes a few appearances as well after being relegated to the background for a while.

Plainly put very little that occurs in this arc of the story leaves you with any ‘warm fuzzies’. The Governor is twisted and sadistic. In short, a perfect villain. A few new supporting characters are dropped in , bt this is the episode that defines Michonne. I don’t do spoilers, but I will say that it is quite possible that her elevator doesn’t provide service to the top floor.

It’s been a while since I mentioned Cliff Rathburn and it is worth a line or two here to express just how fantastic he is a t rendering some very gruesome scenes. There are occasions where I have to struggle in discerning some of the female characters, but overall, his work adds a very visceral and cinematic quality. If I’m being completely honest, until Walking Dead the only graphic novels or comic books I’d read since the Sgt Rock days of my childhood was Sin City. This series has acted as a gateway for me, shedding light on such wonderful offerings as Marvel Zombies, Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake conversion, and the Dark Elf (Drizzt) stories by R. A. Salvatore.

By the end of This Sorrowful Life there is a sense of impending doom hanging over the story. If you were following the story closely by this point (which I was) you wonder if the next volume will be the dramatic, If not tragic, finale. Since there are at least five more volumes (volume sixteen was recently compiled and released) I’m not giving anything away.

This Sorrowful Life lives up to its title and cinches tight the emotional bonds between reader and character. If Kirkman has taught us anything, it’s that heartbreak has to be on the horizon.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire

Title: The Walking Dead Volume 4: The Heart’s Desire

ISBN: 9781582405308

Price: $14.99

Publisher/Year: Image, 2010

Artist: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Collects: The Walking Dead #19-24

Rating: 4/5

I’ve loved and obsessed over Kirkman’s The Walking Dead series and the previous three collected volumes have not disappointed at any level. This fourth volume collects issues 19 through 24 and is appropriately titled The Heart’s Desire. We pick up from the cliffhanger that ended the third volume (Safety Behind Bars) as Dexter gives Rick and his group a choice that bodes nothing but death either way he chooses: stay and be shot or leave and take their chances with the zombies outside the fences.

The book starts things off with a bang as Rick realizes that Dexter’s success in getting guns of his own has let loose a bigger set of problems as zombies from a locked wing of the prison was accidentally let out. What happens next as Rick’s group and Dexter’s group fight to stay alive shows a new side to Rick that surprised me a lot. It puts a new wrinkle on Rick’s rule of “you kill, you die” and will have long-reaching ramifications deeper in the story. It is also in this heart-pounding sequence that a new face is added to the mix in the form of a female survivor whose mode of survival, to say the very least, is interesting.

The rest of the book really deals less with the zombies but the emotional consequences of many of the characters’ actions from the very start of the series all the way to point of this volume. I can fully understand the disappoint many fans have with the direction the series took with all the drama and soap opera kind of twists and turns of the heart, but I think people fail to realize that Kirkman is writing about the human condition rather than just about zombies. Sure I got a bit impatient with all the emotional crisis and the meltdowns by almost everyone involved, but I can also understand why they’ve been acting the way they have. I think if Kirkman had written a bit more of zombies and death in this part of the series people wouldn’t be complaining much.

Kirkman himself has already admitted that zombies wasn’t what the story was all about, but just a part of it. With the group in relatively safety within the secured fences of the prison and some sort of artificial normalcy starting to come back to the group he needed a way to continue the conflicts that make for good drama. What else but let the pent-up emotional baggage everyone has been carrying since issue 1 to finally come to boil. Part of me didn’t fully enjoy this new arc in the series, but not enough to be disappointed with the end result. Hell, even with all the drama Kirkman still came up with one of the best fight scenes in the series a la Carpenter’s They Live and South Park’s “Cripple Fight” episode.

The Heart’s Desire was not as great as the previous three collected volumes in the series, but it still told a good story though with a bit more drama than most fans of the book were willing to take. I myself enjoyed the book enough that it wasn’t a waste and I was a bit surprised and shocked at the observation Rick finally made and shared with everyone at the end of the volume. I know that after all the emotional trials and tribulations everyone in the series went through in The Heart’s Desire and how the arc ended there’s nothing left but up for the series.

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