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The Walking Dead: Compendium Two Paperback – October 16, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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For those that aren't familiar, this is a collection of issues 49-96 of the comic book series. It is the second compendium. The first one has the original 48 issues in it.
This compendium is just as well written as the first and does not disappoint. I love the story that has been developed in this book. It is now one year since the zombie outbreak occurred. Rick and his friends have just been run out of the prison where they had finally started to make a new life. Rick and Carl have been split from what remains of their group. This volume follows them on their journey to find their friends and try to get something that seems like a normal life again. Along the way, they will reconnect with some familiar faces as well as meet some new people. Towards the middle of the book, they find a place they think could actually offer them a normal life. As the story closes, they discover that the world might not be as lost as they thought.
For anyone that has watched The Walking Dead on TV, I would highly recommend this compendium. It is not the same as the show, but I think the story here is better. I also prefer some of the characters as they are portrayed in the book compared to how they are done in the show.
The Walking Dead: Compendium Two, which collects Issues #49-96, is an excellent companion piece for fans of the monumental TV adaptation, though these collected comics make the show look lightweight in terms of sheer brutality. Here, we see how Kirkman has driven Rick Grimes and his ragtag group further into the darkest recesses of humanity. Rick’s tortured son Carl struggles to mature in an unforgiving world wherein innocence is stolen and daily survival remains the unwritten code. In the wake of the deadly prison onslaught, new allies are gained in the form of ex-military type Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Eugene Porter (who claims to hold the key to curing the infection and thus restoring order to this bygone world). Survival is paramount as Rick and Co. face new threats, amongst which a small band of desperate humans who’ve decided to forego whatever canned goods still remain and hunt bigger, more convenient game: other humans. Even as the survivors find sanctuary in a lively oasis called the Alexandria Safe-Zone, the unremitting cycle of death continues.
While the artwork remains consistently impressive—though it’s still occasionally difficult to distinguish some of the characters at times—the tone dark and gritty, but the awful dialogue and paper-thin characterizations are even worse than that of the previous compendium. Kirkman uses the word “just” a lot—and I mean A LOT! The narrative takes some familiar turns though not without throwing an occasional fork in the road. Still, this compendium is not without its share of tedious plot rehashing. For instance, on two distinct occasions, the group encounters a new character with a proposition that seems too good to be true, and Rick’s response is to sucker-punch the character, subdue them, and squabble for numerous panels before eventually accepting the newcomer’s offer. There’s also a weak amnesia storyline that only serves to compel Rick and Carl to retread familiar introspective territory. Despite being a good, sprawling adventure, these abovementioned flaws prevent this hefty tome from being a mammoth achievement.