One of the best aspects of The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman is his ability to punch you in the gut with the final page of each issue. There are only a few books out today that compel you to read the next issue right away, and where the month-long wait till the next issue is agonizingly great.
The Walking Dead #175 is a landmark issue as Kirkman introduces a new status quo and smacks you in the face with new information about a fan-favorite character.
The small crew that traveled to Ohio has reached its destination, and the introduction of the new community felt like something out of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Running Man with the Storm Trooper armor and the gameshow persona of Lance Hornsby. If you add in Princess’ pink fur coat, we are definitely heading towards the 80s action era of cinema.
With his square jaw, clean suit, and causal demeanor Hornsby is unlike any character The Walking Dead Universe has seen to date. Hornsby has an almost robotic presence when he encounters Michoonne’s group for the first time; he remains calm, cool, and collected.
As with most of Kirkman’s writing on The Walking Dead, the pace is brisk, and the build-up is intense. What issue 175 does best though is make you think, “How will Rick fit into all of this?” He’s now 38, has a bum knee, and was parked on the sidelines during “The Whisperer War”; is Kirkman looking to phase Rick out with the introduction of the Commonwealth?
Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn’s art needed to be on point this issue, as the script was dialogue heavy, with an emphasis on headshots. The opening two pages of the book have the most intense artwork as you have the eyes of Michone’s group against the faceless Storm Troopers. Rus Wooten keeps the letters where they needed to be, and the conversation was easy to follow.
Overall, this is a brand new day for the franchise, and it will be interesting to see how the next five issues unfold.
Are you reading The Walking Dead, and are you excited about the new direction? Comment below.