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The Walking Dead, Vol. 5: The Best Defense Paperback – April 15, 2009
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Our heroes are still holed up in their prison fortress, and they're trying to make it homier by restoring electrical power. Glenn and Maggie have discovered some riot gear, which leads to the idea of siphoning gas for the generator from abandoned cars in the prison lot. However, during that operation Rick and Tyreese spot a helicopter overhead. It starts spewing smoke and goes down a couple of miles away, so Rick decides to mount a rescue mission. But Rick, Glenn, and Michonne discover that another group has beaten them to the crash site. They track them to the nearby town of Woodbury, where a leader called "The Governor" has created a stronghold with around forty souls. As Rick discovers too late, zombies can be the least of one's problems.
The characters continue to evolve nicely in this series. As with other apocalyptic stories such as "The Stand" and "Earth Abides," traditional mores are gradually being modified or replaced. For example, Carol wants marry both Rick and Lori. Woodbury is a place similar to the human stronghold in "Land of the Dead," where the familiar has become horribly warped. Speaking of George Romero, there's even a homage to the original "Dawn of the Dead," the tone of which fits with how he tends to end his zombie movies.
As usual with the zombie genre, the humans are worse than the living dead. Indeed, the Governor is one of the more terrifying psychopaths to grace the pages of a comic series. He's not a mustache-twirling, cackling villain. Instead, he's ruthless, calculating, and intelligent - an astute student of human nature who is the perfect nemesis for Rick.Read more ›
This graphic novel collects issues 25 through 30. Kirkman starts the story back up again in what seemed like just a few days since the shocking revelation of the last collection. There's still tension amongst the survivors living inside the prison. Relationships between characters are explored but not to the point that the story heads down into soap opera level. These are individuals who have been pushed close to the breaking point and clutching at whatever hope and love available to them even if it means forming some very unorthodox relationships. But don't that give you the impression that The Best Defense once again becomes too heavily-invested in telling a story about the survivors feelings.
This collection starts up a new story-arc where the survivors have been given a new impetus to venture out of the safe confines of their prison home. I don't want to spoil it for those who still haven't had a chance to read this brand new story-arc, but let's just say that something falls out of the sky that forces Rick, Glenn and Michonne to try out new riot police armor and gear to venture out into the wild. What they find is shocking to say the least. Survivors other than themselves are found, but their similarities end at that word.Read more ›
We get our first taste of another survivor group that is not too far from where Rick and company are encamped. Unfortunately, this group is larger and is run by a sociopath that goes by the name of the Govenor. His people are pretty content in letting him run things by his own rules, which includes some pretty twisted forms of entertainment, as long as they are safe behind barricades, away from the living dead.
My main gripe with these volumes is how short they are, but alas, such is the challenge here-if you want the quality we have come to expect both in the writing and the graphics, it will take time to complete them. I was lucky enough to discover this series after the first four volumes had already been produced and read them all at once. Now I, like everyone else, have to patiently wait for Kirkman and crew to produce volume six and beyond.
This series certainly carries things beyond the initial shock and terror and settles into the question of surviving and actually living under such stressful circumstances. I feel that future volumes will continue to dive even deeper into the human interactions that make this series so compelling. We have another group of the living to come to grips with and that shall be what drives this series onward and upward for a long time to come.
Simply terrific storytelling. If you are lucky enough to just be discoverng this series, I cannot recommend it any more highly. I wait with great anticipation for future volumes to be produced.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a great read. I'm a big fan of the series. I will not rate each volume separately or go into the story but I do recommend the series. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MrDRM
The introduction of the governor was so crazy! I can't wait to see how this played out in the comics.Published 1 month ago by Christina Garrett
The governor is so much crazier in this than in the show. I like it, I like it a lot!Published 2 months ago by Simon