Written by Robert Kirkman | Art by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Stefano Gaudiano | Cover by Charlie Adlard, Dave Stewart | Published by Image Comics
This review of The Walking Dead #163 is coming a week later than I would have hoped to get it out but I was holidaying in New York with my wife when the book released so you are getting it now. Boy, was it worth the wait!
First off let me just praise Image and creator Robert Kirkman for releasing this issue at 25 cents (at least in the US) as a way of celebrating Image Comics 25th birthday. I am betting when the numbers come in you have amassed a whole new audience. Secondly holy shit, where do you go after the story arc that was the Whisperer War? How do you follow up the mystery surrounding Carl’s fate?.
Well you jump right back into the mayhem and start our new “Conquered” arc holding nothing back and come out the gates at such a pace that I would say all those new readers I mentioned will be along for this ride no questions asked.
With our group of survivors still reeling from the aftermath of the war with the Whisperers they have little time to collect their thoughts when a massive herd of walkers are discovered closing in on the walls of Alexandria, the size of which they have never seen. I can honestly say this was one of my favorite issues in recent time, it doesn’t hurt that its the first of two issues this month and we got it for super cheap. We got some bad-ass Michonne and Jesus back and forth action as they ride out to try and divert the herd, however upon seeing how huge this herd is they decide to give us some ‘hack and slash’ action, complimented with some superbly drawn panels.
There is of course a casualty in this issue (pour some drink) and we get some more evidence that Negan may be sincere in his attempts to join up with our survivors – whilst giving us some great Negan lines – only time will tell. You could have forgiven Kirkman for bringing us a filler issue especially when we will be getting #164 on February 15th, but he didn’t do that. There is some really tight storytelling and character development going on in this issue. One such case being Eugene who seems to be overcoming his self doubt and putting himself forward, which is always nice.
A quick note on my favorite part of the issue, which is the 3 page spread of the walkers pushing their way through the gates. No words, just art… Beautiful. The Walking Dead is always at its best when they let Adlard’s art speak for itself.
I’m all in again with this new arc, they are setting a great pace here and I look forward to seeing where this goes. Negan is still a bit of a wildcard for me but then again, when isn’t he? If you did jump on at the low low price, my friend you chose the perfect time to do so and I cant wait to take this ride with you.
Up next we have The Walking Dead #164: A Fallen House dropping on the 15th which sounds like a trying time for our Alexandrians. If you are more of a trades kinda person Vol. 27 The Whisperer War drops on March 1st.