Over a 100 issues in the series, Kirkman continues to keep things interesting and readers on their toes. The title of this volume is very fitting, March To War. I will not give much away as the joy of reading Walking Dead for me is anticipating what comes next.
The first half of the volume primarily focuses on Rick and his people along with those from the Hilltop and the Kingdom coming together as they plan and prepare for war against Negan and the Saviors. A much needed back story for Ezekiel is provided during this part. Kirkman assures things never stay calm for long though. The second half of the book is an exciting page burner climaxing with a confrontation between Negan and Rick. Predictable in parts but still a joy to read. Considering how Volume 19 ends, the next volume promises to be all out war.
It wasn't the best volume but still a pleasurable way to spend an hour. Walking Dead continues to be one of the best comic series. I recommend this volume for any Walking Dead comic fan and can't wait to see what comes next in Volume 20.
on December 25, 2013
The art is fantastic as always. The story is getting bad, though. Volume 18 was silly enough with the psychotic, potty-mouthed surfer-talking lunatic dropping f-bombs every other word (which really gets annoying when reading). Now we have a guy worshiped as a king who apparently rules his "kingdom" with a wild animal as a pet by his side. I'm not sure why, but I thought of Cherry 2000 with the continually-extending absurdity of the post-apocalypse world one-upping itself over and over. In short, so long "graphic novel", hello "comic". Big turnoff to me. If you're reading this, you've invested a lot of time following Rick and company over the years. That means you're pretty much committed to continue reading into the future, but you should know the story jumps the shark in this volume.
This volume drags on with a build-up to "the war". There are some interesting parts that I honestly enjoyed, but the overall story is so over-the-top silly, it's hard to stay in it. New characters are introduced in the matter of a couple panels and that's it. There's no attempt to build any interest in them nor tell their back-story; I couldn't care less whether they live or die. They're just plot devices for the remaining handful of characters that have survived the series to this point.
on November 20, 2013
gathering a little more steam than volume 18, this trade volume of the Walking Dead ramps up the power struggle between Rick and Negan. It's full of intense moments and closer looks at characters that were glossed over before. In my opinion the War storyline is probably the best in the book's run so far.
on November 21, 2013
I fairly savaged the last two trade volumes of Walking Dead. I'd almost given up hope for the series. Volume 19 gets things back on track with a quality blend of genuine character development, heart-in-your-throat action, and satisfying, yet not quite predictable, minor plot twists. After the let-down, near-dread I was left feeling after volumes 17 and 18, number 19 has me looking forward to the next episode again.
The situation between Negan and Rick's group has been increasing in intensity, and in this volume things continue to build to what we expect to be the final confrontation. In that sense, this volume in parts feels like a bit of a filler, but even though the first half is a little dull, things pick up nicely in the second half.
If you have been reading the series, getting this one is a no-brainer. It will probably not make the short list in the competition for best volume, but it has enough meat in there to make it worth your while to read it.
on January 5, 2014
I love the comic series and the new hit TV show. I have been following the comics for years now and they are amazing! If you love zombies and interpersonal relationships this is the graphic comic for you! It has many twists and turns, great character development and a major plot ending that will have you gasping for more!
on December 12, 2014
THE WALKING DEAD Vol. 19: March to War is just that. Rick and company have enlisted the aid of two other communities--the Hilltop, and the Kingdom (home of King Ezekial and his pet tiger…)--to stand up and fight back against the bully Negan and his Saviors.
The volume, collecting issues 109-114 of the monthly series, is Rick and his friends forming their battle plan, and then completely tossing that out the window when Negan shows up a couple of days early and Rick sees an opportunity to take out the competition in one quick move. What he hadn’t counted on was Negan’s own ability to think ahead and station snipers of his own.
Turns out Rick didn’t have the upper hand after all. In fact, if not for a rather … convenient deux ex machina, I think Rick and company were about done for.
I liked this volume more than I did the previous one, but with the TV show having already been a major phenomenal success at this point, I feel writer/creator Kirkman was stretching himself a bit thin here. The villainous Negan is still comically overwritten and entirely unbelievable as THE biggest villain they’ve ever faced.
He’s completely evil, that’s for sure, but, again, the insistent use on the F word every other word--sometimes he uses variations of it three times IN A ROW--is not helping his character development and in fact, to me, it feels like it’s draining the book of what credibility it had built up over 100 previous issues of being a legitimate form of literature.
I’m a huge advocate for comics as literature. If you look at some of the work the best writers in the industry are doing, Alan Moore’s work on WATCHMEN and MIRACLEMAN, Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Grant Morrison’s ARKHAM ASYLUM, Neil Gaiman’s work on SANDMAN, this stuff is literature. While I’m not saying THE WALKING DEAD is quite in the same class, it wasn’t far off the mark in those earlier books. But these later chapters… I don’t know.
I don’t think it’s too late to come back from the edge its balanced very precariously on lately, but this Negan character is just so badly managed, this is the kind of stuff that makes non-comic people turn up their noses at the form. And you know what, in this case they may be right.
That being said, I do like some of the other characters that are starting to step up to the plate. Jesus is quickly winning my admiration and respect while Carl is truly developing into hell of a badass. Andrea and Michonne are also revealing another layer to their personalities and it makes the reading of their scenes incredibly enjoyable.
I hope Kirkman’s execution of the upcoming chapters (the 2-volume All Out War is next) is better handled than this and that some of the characters stop behaving as if they were written by horny high school kids with no concept of how people actually talk and behave. Either way, I’m going to read it anyway because I’ve come this far and, well, maybe if and when they defeat Negan and that character is off the table, things can go back to being more realistic than they have been lately. I can hope.
Previously on THE WALKING DEAD:
THE WALKING DEAD 1: Days Gone Bye:
THE WALKING DEAD 2: Miles Behind Us:
THE WALKING DEAD 3: Safety Behind Bars:
THE WALKING DEAD 4: The Heart’s Desire:
THE WALKING DEAD 5: The Best Defense:
THE WALKING DEAD 6: This Sorrowful Life:
THE WALKING DEAD 7: The Calm Before:
THE WALKING DEAD 8: Made to Suffer:
THE WALKING DEAD 9: Here We Remain:
THE WALKING DEAD 10: What We Become:
THE WALKING DEAD 11: Fear the Hunters:
THE WALKING DEAD 12: Life Among Them:
THE WALKING DEAD 13: Too Far Gone:
THE WALKING DEAD 14: No Way Out:
THE WALKING DEAD 15: We Find Ourselves:
THE WALKING DEAD 16: A Larger World:
THE WALKING DEAD 17: Something to Fear:
THE WALKING DEAD 18: What Comes After:
After 19 volumes of The Walking Dead, I’ve gotten a feel for how this series works – or at least I thought I did. Usually after a couple of exciting books full of action, Robert Kirkman takes a volume to cool things off and have the characters talk about what just happened. That’s what volume 19 started out like and I thought, bah, another boring build-up book – and then the second half EXPLODED!
Rick and Jesus are assembling a force to take down Negan, recruiting fighters from Hilltop and the Kingdom without Negan knowing about the tsunami that’s brewing right under his nose. But then he inadvertently kicks things off when he goes to Rick’s place to collect tribute while Rick’s away in the Kingdom making plans. Now this war is on!
It’s tricky reviewing a series this far deep into the story. Chances are if you’re still interested in this series, you’re going to read volume 19 whether the reviews say it’s good or not, in which case you’ve already read this and know what happened, so whatever I say won’t be a spoiler. On the other hand, maybe you’re reading this review and you’ve not read this far yet and want to know if it’s still a good series, in which case I don’t want to give away plot points, especially in this volume as they’re pretty damn surprising! At any rate, I’ll err on the side of caution and keep spoilers out of this review.
The thing you should know is when you put Rick and Negan together, sparks fly (and not the romantic kind)! The tension between these two is cray-cray and Kirkman knows readers are waiting for the moment when Rick kills Negan (it couldn’t be the other way round - could it?) and tantalisingly plays with that expectation here to thrilling effect. With this opening salvo, who lives and who dies?
And I have to say, if the Christian Jesus were half as badass as the Jesus in this book is, I’d have converted years ago! He appears and disappears from rooms without a whisper, he’s deadly without guns or knives, he moves like a ninja – he’s basically Batman without the outfit! I know Kirkman’s got a tendency to take out characters on a whim and, besides Glenn, there hasn’t been a character death – out of the dozens – in the 19 volumes that’s really stuck out, but I’d be really upset if Jesus got the axe! But you know if he did and he became zombie Jesus, someone would make the “I thought he was supposed to rise after 3 days, not 30 minutes!” line.
Also some of Kirkman’s trademark awkward dialogue makes an appearance here. Andrea repeatedly says to herself “we don’t die” referring to her and Rick, which doesn’t sound so much like dialogue as Andrea reading Kirkman’s notes after he forgot to write her lines.
Volume 19 starts slow but begins sprinting at the halfway mark and doesn’t stop until the end – it’s an absolutely blistering read! This human war – amidst the zombie apocalypse of all things – has begun and it looks like it’s gonna be the best thing to have happened to the series yet!
"The Walking Dead, Vol. 19" by Robert Kirkman is a newly released compilation of beloved zombie comic series that consists of TWD issues from 109 until 114, beautifully illustrated by Charlie Adlard.
No matter how often lately can be heard objections that its pace dropped a bit, "The Walking Dead" is still phenomenon that keeps readers/viewers on the edge of their seat while either watching the TV shows or reading these graphic novels with a great premise of hopeless future.
Therefore if you still didn't try reading the original comics on whose foundation popular TV show was made, the recommendations for its reading certainly stand as the comic format is providing one additional imagination aspect that the TV series isn't able to present.
Because it's already the nineteenth installment it would certainly be good to start reading from the beginning. Even though the premise of the ravaged world where zombies roam, and the remaining people represent a greater threat to each other than the one that is coming of the zombies, is pretty simple to get into it.
Not wanting to spoil too much enjoyment of reading by talking about what will happen on the pages of this sequel, I can only say that the situation between Rick and Negan's group is increasing in intensity, and that soon their final showdown will follow that will likely direct the future events toward something more or less unexpected...
And again noting that the general pace may slowed down a bit, as can be said especially for this sequel that somehow feels as a bit of a filler, this is still a comic masterpiece that can be recommended to any fan of SF and dystopia, horror, and especially loyal fans of The Walking Dead series.
on July 24, 2014
The comic book saga of Rick and company continues. They've moved into a new compound in the suburbs of Washington, DC, but are being blackmailed by a gang of thugs led by Negan, a sadistic tough guy. In the last issue he beat Glenn's head to bits but he spared Carl's life when Carl shot up a lot of his men. So Negan is a bit unpredictable. He does have a lot of followers who help him, too many for Rick and company to handle on their own.
Except that Rick has found two other groups in the area who are also paying tribute to Negan and they both want to stop paying. The three groups plan to take him out of the picture through an all-out war. Can they get their act together before Negan finds out and stops them?
I was a little worried at the end of the last issue that Rick's people are turning into little more than thugs themselves. They've realized that the one thing they are really good at is fighting. So far, they've been fighting on the right side of things but how long can that last? This issue reaffirms Rick's uprightness if not his shrewdness. He's smart and resourceful but doesn't quite have enough information or imagination to come out on top every time. Kirkman manages a level of likeableness and flaws that keeps readers coming back.
This issue isn't as deep with the rest of the characters. Much of the story is given over to moving people and resources into place for the upcoming battles. I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.