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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
‘The Walking Dead, Vol. 20’ by Robert Kirkman is latest release of popular zombie comic series which describe the dystopian world ruled by undead that beside its illustrated version infected the entire planet with excellent TV-series. This compilation consists of TWD issues from 115 to 120, which were all imaginatively and ominously illustrated by masterful drawings made by Charlie Adlard.

As I wrote in the review for the previous installment, no matter how often can be heard objections that TWD pace dropped a bit, this is still a story that we all eagerly follow expecting to see how it finishes or perhaps hoping that there is a chance to take the world back to the state as it was before the zombie outbreak. Some of the TV seasons and comic issues seem like fillers, like the authors ran out of inspiration or are simply reaping the fruits of labor repeating the same proven formula, but then suddenly something happens which shows how Kirkman had an idea from the beginning, and that all things are put together in an interesting mosaic while parts of the puzzle are slowly given to us.

Although it is hard to believe that there is someone who has just now heard of this franchise, or did not knew that TV-series is based on comics, the recommendations for its reading certainly stands as the comics are providing an additional aspect of imagination that the TV-series lacks keeping readers thrilled while taking part in the adventures of the survivors which are in greater danger from the other remaining people, but the zombies.

In its twentieth installment war between the factions is the main theme – the Saviors on one side, while Kingdom, Hilltop and Alexandra Safe-Zone are united on the second, the tide of war is changing and it is uncertain to predict anything…

What makes me particularly happy about this sequel is that unlike some of the earlier installments the elements of additional character development, emotions and good interaction among the protagonists are again present - all the things that marked the start of the series, but later gradually fell in the background. In this installment there will also be some deaths that I will not discover not to spoil the thrill, but it certainly would be surprising to readers who may have forgotten some similar situations in the past when on few pages many important characters disappeared without author’s mercy.

Overall, TWD 20 is another sequel for which many will say that it’s a filler and hardened fans will swear it’s brilliant, but nevertheless we all will read it because it delivers new exciting adventures of human survivors in a dark vision of future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 10, 2014
WD Volume 20 is the first half of the storyline titled All Out War. As the title suggests, Volume 20 tells of Rick and his community along with those from the Kingdom and the Hilltop fighting a war against Negan and the Saviors. Volume 20 begins with Rick and his allies confronting Negan at his stronghold. The volume contains a fair amount of action but not as much as I would have guessed given the title of the storyline. One section in the middle feels like filler material. Still, it is an enjoyable read with the beginning and end of the volume being the best. There are a couple twists and turns toward the end which create conflict and provide a nice setup for the final half of All Out War.

As always, Kirkman keeps readers on their toes. Being war, not everyone makes it to the end of the volume. Just when things look up for Rick and his allies, everything begins to crumble. The volume is sure to please WD fans. I like the storyline and can't wait to see how Kirkman finishes it but feel it's about time for WD to move past Negan and begin the next chapter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When superhero comics do purely fight stories, they tend to be pretty terrible (like Marvel’s AVX or DC’s Trinity War), but when The Walking Dead does it? Home run!

Maybe it’s because Robert Kirkman’s built up the characters over so long that we now care about them, or maybe it’s because the characters aren’t decades-old superheroes who will never die. Maybe it’s a more tense situation as Kirkman’s shown that he has no issues with taking out major characters to shake up a story.

Or maybe it’s because the story is more realistic – if a character gets shot, they go down, they don’t keep going because they don’t have superpowers. I think it’s because we all know Rick’s going to kill Negan and we’re waiting for that moment to come. At any rate, The Walking Dead’s latest and greatest storyline featuring a very small scale war between Rick’s group and Negan’s is completely engrossing.

Kirkman wastes no time in sending Rick out to formally declare war by striking first against Negan’s factory, and from then on the rest of the book follows how Rick’s forces fare against Negan’s outposts, the two characters pitting their tactics against one another in a desperate fight to the death. Lots of characters die followed with lots of twists and turns – I don’t want to give away details but I thought Kirkman’s plotting was absolutely first rate. I especially liked how Rick uses the zombies as tools in his plans!

The “Part 1” of the title might annoy some readers who were looking to see this conflict resolved in one volume, like when the Governor attacked the prison earlier in the series, but Negan has proved to be a more resilient and complex character than the Governor who won’t go down so easily. Plus this conflict is a much larger and more ambitious story than any other attempted so far and Kirkman crams in so many awesome set pieces that there’s no way this could be a done-in-one story.

Even though Kirkman skims over certain plot obstacles for those surprise moments when characters seemingly pop out of nowhere, there’s still so much happening in this book that you need at least one more volume to do the arc justice. And really, when you hit a rich narrative vein like this, why would you want it over sooner rather than later? Especially when things get turned up to 11 in the final act when Negan reveals a secret weapon that completely changes the balance of the war in his favour…

Jesus continues to be awesome in his action hero role, I love that Maggie’s playing a bigger role, Rick continues to flourish as a leader, now assuming the role of military commander, and Negan continues to baffle with his behaviour – he doesn’t condone rape but he doesn’t blink when it comes to murdering his own people? What a bizarre morality he has! I can’t nail down his character nor guess what he’s about to do next which is a big part of his appeal.

All Out War Part 1 is a fantastic read – it’s all killer, no filler and longtime readers of the series will love it. It’s blisteringly paced and you’ll fly through this in one sitting, wishing you had the next volume to hand immediately after (and if you’re reading this in the future, grab all parts of All Out War and read it as one!). Totally thrilling stuff, the series is at its best the more Rick and co. are up against it and never before have they been in more trouble than with evil Fonzie at their gates - 20 volumes in and the series has never been more exciting!
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2014
There's nothing new here. Nothing. Kirkman's clearly run out of ideas. In Volume 20, he more or less rehashes old storylines, changing a few details here and there (instead of defending a gated community, this time, Rick attacks one) to create a very transparent facade of originality. Volume 20 is a lot of running around and fighting. Don't get me wrong, I dig action. This however, is action of the mindless variety, and it's pretty much all we're given. I dig character development and world-building too, but there's precious little of that here. There are very few compelling characters left to care about, and that hasn't changed since the character killing spree in Volume 18. Carl in danger? Again? It doesn't generate suspense like it used to. A character whose name I can't remember is killed? Sorry, I guess. Even the villain is weak- Negan is no governor. It all smacks of really lazy writing. I don't blame Kirkman for being preoccupied with the enormously successful TV adaptation. I'd even understand if he was getting a little bored with the books. But I do kind of resent being presented this throw-away bad action movie of a Walking Dead comic. The comic used to be superior to the show, but that's changed. The show, at least, is trying to flesh out compelling characters and presenting interesting new dilemmas. With the comic, I'm sad to say, Krikman appears to be phoning it in. I guess if people keep buying 'em, he'll keep pumping 'em out. I, for one, am done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2014
I've been reading the Walking Dead for sometime now, having read all the issues up to this one. I found this one to be nothing more than "more of the same".

It is starting to get old. Move the story along, guys!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
While The Walking Dead continues to impress, this particular volume, while keeping with the tone of the rest of the volumes, doesn't necessarily bring anything new or surprising to the table. War has started with Negan, who is a different sort of twisted compared to the Governor, but not so much different that he feels anywhere near as compelling or reviled, despite the fact that he is, in some ways, even more diabolical. There just isn't as much to make this issue emotionally compelling from my perspective, though I suspect that part two of All Out War may have more of a long term impact.
I suppose part of it is the fact that Rick and his close nit friends and family have already been pretty much torn to shreds by all the things they have faced in the past. Despite this being the 'biggest' battle they have faced thus far, it seems more routine given everything that has befallen Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Andrea in the past. Hopefully, part two will provide something new and exciting to latch on to going forward.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2014
Keep the madness coming. This one is the best so far for sure. I can't wait for part two to release.
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on December 12, 2014
THE WALKING DEAD Vol. 20: All Out War part one (issues 115-120 of the monthly series) and that is MORE LIKE IT!

Rick and the people of Alexandria, along with The Kingdom and The Hilltop communities, have thrown the gauntlet and let Negan and his Saviors know they’re no longer going to take being bullied. This, of course, means war.

Rick has known this was coming a little longer than Negan has, though, and he’s been preparing. To make sure Negan’s men don’t hurt any more of Rick’s people than necessary, Rick mounts an assault on Negan at his home, an assault that ends with the gates being knocked down, the windows blown out, and hundreds upon hundreds of the dead swarming into the building, trapping Negan and the Saviors inside.

Before help can be summoned, Rick and a small band of fighters attack one of Negan’s outposts, slaughtering everyone there and diminishing the number of people who can come against them even more.

It’s a brilliant plan on Rick’s part and everything goes off pretty much as he had planned. Until Negan shows up outside the gates of Alexandria with a box of grenades.

All Out War part one is a story I’ve been dying to get to, and it was totally worth the wait. The action here is intense and almost constant, but Kirkman still finds room for character development and advancing the overall plot. I know the last two volumes haven’t been my favorites--and the things I found wrong with those volumes still bug me in this one--but the amount of action here more than makes up for those few details.

This one is a fast read, and enjoyable from start to finish, bringing part of a very satisfying climax to a story that’s been building for--in monthly comic book terms--nearly two years (probably more like a month or two, at most, in the lives of the characters). And what a climax it’s turning out to be. I can’t even wait to get to part two, even though I know once I’m finished with it, I’m that much closer to being completely caught up on the series and I’ll be relegated to only reading a new Walking Dead story once a month. After these last few weeks, that’s gonna be a rough one, I can tell you. And with stories as great as this one, that’s just going to make that wait feel even longer.

Great series so far, and All Out War part one is an incredible addition to the mythos.

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 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:
THE WALKING DEAD 19: March to War:
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on July 24, 2014
Rick makes the first move in fighting Neegan's forces. Rick's group attacks Neegan's factory headquarters, but they don't invade it--they send the zombies inside to pin Neegan's forces down. Neegan has a handful of outposts outside the factory where small groups of his men are stationed. Without the support of their main force, Rick hopes to knock out a few of the outposts and whittle down Neegan's power base. Since it's the Walking Dead, naturally things don't go according to plan. The tactics used by Rick and Neegan are interesting enough to make this book worth reading.

What makes the book more interesting is the themes of leadership and honesty. Neegan tries to pass himself off as an honest leader of his people who will do what's in the best interest of everybody but he always slips back into being a bloodthirsty maniac who's willing to violate his own principles. Ezekiel, leader of the Kingdom (which is on Rick's side), has been a bit of a actor, playing at the role of a medieval lord. When the chips are down, he is not an effective leader and he knows it, so at least he's more self-aware than Neegan. Rick is at the other end of the spectrum. He's as honest as he can be though he's willing to deceive his own people to get an advantage over Neegan. Rick's people have been pretty forgiving of that. They recognize that he's working for their good as well as his own, so he earns their loyalty. But is loyalty enough to win the day?

This book is only the first part of the story, so naturally a big cliff-hanger is at the end. Hopefully I can get Volume 21 from the library soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2014
This TP was good as they get when all hell has broken loose on earth vis-à-vis a zombie apocalypse. If you're all caught up in the comics aside from this, you HAVE to buy it... it is THAT great.
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