It’s near impossible to review The Walking Dead #193 without spoiling it. So, you’ve been warned.
This is it, the end of this series. An unexpected finale sprung upon us much like the walker-filled world was sprung upon Rick Grimes.
With Rick murdered, there was a question looming over the series future and the direction it might go. We have that answer, and it’s on in our imaginations.
Writer Robert Kirkman delivers a finale that sticks the message and point he’s been building to throughout these years. The Walking Dead isn’t about the scares, it’s about building a future, a new society, from the ashes of the old one.
The Walking Dead #193 skips ahead with Carl Grimes now married with a child and a society rebuilt. It’s more Western than modern but “the trials” are now over. There’s law and order and protection. With that though comes forgetting of what was. And that’s the focus of the issue.
Walkers are now a traveling road show to be used to scare individuals. They’re a carnival act, not the dangerous things they once were. And that’s what the issue revolves around. Should the past be celebrated, forgotten, or is there a mix of that.
Rick Grimes helped forge this world and the issue celebrates that while also questioning the end impact. The world has forgotten its struggles. Carl still remembers it and does so to protect his family and so his daughter has a future.
And that’s where Kirkman soars. His story is about heart. It’s about family. And as a fairly new father, the scenes presented between Carl and his daughter got me right in the heart. They’re touching and the absolutely perfect end note. Carl reminds his daughter things are better though there are still dangers in the world. It’s a message that reflects in our every day lives. It’s a reminder of what we should be imparting on the next generation. We experience that complacency with our own walkers right around the corner. The underlying message Kirkman presents is one that we can take away with us today. It challenges the reader to do better and be better. It also focuses in on the point of the whole series from the beginning.
The art by Charlie Adlard with gray tones from Cliff Rathburn is fantastic. Along with lettering by Rus Wooton, we’re presented with an emotional issue. It’s not one full of scares or death and destruction. It’s all about human nature and feelings. And with the time jump, the art becomes key. It tells as much about where society is as to where it was. There’s a limited amount of pages to deliver the full story so the art details become a messenger for the reader to figure everything out. The art goes out on a high note matching an optimistic tone.
Fans of The Walking Dead might be both sad and happy with how things have wrapped. We’re not totally without future stories. From television shows to books, there’s much more life into this world yet to come and experience. And we can go into that with the knowledge that there’s hope for a future that’s a little better. A series whose message is that through trials and tribulations we can all make a better future. For a world built off of a bleak premise, its gift is one of a brighter future we can all make together.
Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn Letters: Rus Wooton
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy