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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.

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