The Walking Dead: Call to Arms

September 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

armsThe Walking Dead: Call to Arms by Robert Kirkman, et al.

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well Kirkman has maintained this series. With over 150 issues in the comic, it can’t be easy to keep the story fresh, especially when the premise stays the same through it all. How many different ways can he show us that, in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, the real monsters are still the real people? We’ve had The Governor, Negan, the Scavengers, and now the Whisperers, and each has brought their own style to the title.

Call to Arms shows that maybe — just maybe — Kirkman is going back to the well. Negan has been imprisoned in Alexandria since his defeat, mostly because Rick didn’t want to go back to the old ways of just killing people who were a threat. On the one hand, it was an admirable characteristic; on the other hand, I had the feeling it was going to backfire. In Call to Arms, that’s what happens, and I can’t help but feel like we’ve already seen enough of Negan.

Negan is a good villain, with his own odd sense of loyalty and responsibility, but he’s run his course in the story. Bringing him back is just revisiting a story that’s already been told. It may be a new setting and new circumstances, but it’s still Negan being Negan, with all that entails. The rest of the story — Rick preparing the Alexandrians to go to war against the Whisperers — is interesting, but Kirkman muddles it by bringing Negan into the equation. The way the story is headed, this arc will culminate with Rick and Negan going head-to-head — again — instead of the Alexandrians going up against the Whisperers.

Also, if I’m being honest, I hate the way Negan speaks. His profanity grates on my nerves, as well as his stream-of-consciousness dialogue. When he was imprisoned, he didn’t sound like that, but now that he’s free, he’s in full-on Negan mode. It feels lazy, and sounds annoying.

I’ll stick with the series to see where Kirkman is taking this — maybe it will end quickly, with more of a “Jon Snow punching the shit out of Ramsey Bolton” catharsis — but I was extremely disappointed with this volume. If it keeps going down this path, it will make it harder and harder to stay with it.

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