04th Jul2017

‘The Walking Dead #168’ & ‘X-O Manowar #4’ Review(s)

by Dan Clark

The Walking Dead #168


Written by Robert Kirkman | Art by Charlie Adlard | Published by Image Comics

The Walking Dead is one of the few comics existing today where death still matters. Unlike the television show it does not play games with killing characters for cheap attention points, nor does it bring characters back to life in a glorified stunt. When characters do die rarely does the book linger on the death. Choosing to move forward as that is a part of life. These past few issues, however, a certain major death has lingered in every panel. as much as these past few issues have. Considering a once thought untouchable character in Andrea actually died it makes sense to let the death linger for some time.

Negan steals the show this issue as he shows why he is a resource Rick may not be able to give up no matter how much he would like. He works as a counterweight for the more dour Rick who is still deeply wounded over the death of Andrea, which is demonstrated in an emotional sequence in the final pages of this issue. Robert Kirkman has given Charlie Adlard a lot of room to demonstrate his power as a storyteller. There are many somber beats where it is all on Adlard to capture the atmosphere which he does with ease.

It appeared that  Kirkman was laying the groundwork for the next big event inside of The Whisper War. This takes an immediate turn due to the actions of Negan, and that along with his development since ‘All Out War’ concluded is making Negan turn the corner as a character. I did not think we would be dealing with Negan this far into the series when he first debuted. Luckily we are as he is currently the best character in the comic.

**** 4/5

X-O Manowar #4


Written by Matt Kindt | Art by Doug Braithwaite | Published by Valiant Comics

X-0 Manowar #4 marks the beginning of a new arc for this series and so far it seems the quality of this series will remain. Now Aric is making the progression from loyal soldier to leader of men. All of that progress has occurred without Aric dawning his trusty armor. What is revealed in this issue leads to Aric questioning his loyalty and leading him to take major action that will surely have gigantic repercussions.

Matt Kindt has used these first two arcs to get at who Aric is as a person. He could easily be this boring character with his moral methods and near invincible ability. What Kindt has shown is how that methodology can be used against him, and how his reluctance to use the armor is eventual moot issue. Here Aric is forced to confront that issue head on as death and destruction reign down around him. It can be easy to overlook how much character this story has due to the insane amount of action that is included throughout. These gigantic set pieces are great to look at but the heart of this story is still a character piece.

Nothing against the art of Doug Braithwaite as what he does works for this story. However, it was sad to see Tomas Giorello go for this arc. Maybe it is a byproduct of being infatuated with the new kid on the block but Giorello’s art was something special. He made this book feel like a major event worthy of the highest attention, which is a trait that Braithwaite along with most artist does not have.

**** 4/5


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