Book Review: The Walking Dead, Book Four by Robert Kirkman (Series, #4) (Graphic Novel)
After escaping the horrors of Woodbury with two new additions to the group in tow, Rick, Michonne, and Glenn high-tail it back to the prison where they warn the other survivors and start prepping to defend their turf. Meanwhile daily life goes on, including a birth, more missing limbs, and a wedding.
This entry in the series is mind-blowingly awesome. Kirkman demonstrates that he not only is full of surprises, but also pulls no punches. Our group of survivors have their world torn completely apart. And it’s delicious.
First, we have the return of The Governor, and not as a zombie as I’m sure I wasn’t the only one suspecting. He is back missing an arm, an eye, and (I think it’s safe to assume) a dick. This all just makes him even more ferocious and terrifying than before, although that comes as no surprise considering that he is now the man with no penis. But yes, the full-page shot of him arriving at the prison in top of a tank? Fucking. Awesome.
There’s also a lot more zombie action this time around, although I do wonder why it is in pretty much every post-apocalyptic zombie books, no one calls them what they are? The prison folks say roamers, and the Woodbury folks say biters. Um, hello? They are zombies. Be realistic, people. Distancing yourself from your fears won’t help any. In any case, those of us who are huge fans of zombies are pleasantly greeted with many more and varied drawings of them, as well as attacks on people. Zombie gnawing on a dude’s leg? Yes, please.
On a more serious note, the theme of this entry is war. It’s war on a small scale, but it is still war. This is actually quite cool, because it allows Kirkman to show the dangers of war and truthiness on an easier to understand, up-close-and-personal level. The Governor is smart. He manipulates his people (except those closest to him) into believing that those at the prison are the type of evil that he, in fact, is. They thus go in hell-bent on murdering innocent people, who then have to shoot back to defend themselves. The most powerful moment of this, of course, is when a woman from Woodbury realizes she has killed a baby and essentially loses her mind from the instantaneous guilt. It’s a powerful lesson (or reminder) to readers presented in a unique package. The distancing of the situation from reality by the presence of zombies only allows the clarity of the concept of an unjust war to really sink in.
This is absolutely the best entry in the series so far. I cannot wait to find out what happens to the demolished survivors next. Fans of the earlier books should pick this one up asap.
5 out of 5 stars
Source: Public Library