Published on: October 8th, 2019
Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn, Dave Stewart
Image Comics, 1159 Pages
I hated having to wait so long to read this, as it’s been a few years since the last compendium. However, I’ve found that I prefer reading The Walking Dead this way, as it works great for the binge reading model. Plus, it helps me to retain all the smaller details, as I get older and that gets harder. Especially, when I’m reading a dozen or more comics per week.
This is the final compendium, as the comic book series surprisingly came to an end a few months back. The end was unexpected and it was kind of sad. Frankly, I had hoped that this series would’ve gone on to surpass 300 issues ala Dave Sims’ Cerebus and Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. But alas, The Walking Dead, at least in this form, es finito.
This picks up in the middle of the Whisperers storyline, so it actually starts at the same point that the AMC TV show is at. Granted, the comic is very different but the show still takes its major cues from it. And frankly, I’m not a big fan of the Whisperers, so I’m looking forward to what happens after, as once this book gets beyond that storyline, it gets really damn good. In fact, the New World Order story is probably the best this series has ever been.
It actually amazes me that this somehow got better, this far into the series’ run. Robert Kirkman is a special talent and I think that this collection is his magnum opus, thus far into his already impressive career.
Unlike most things that run on for this long, The Walking Dead provides longtime readers with a damn good conclusion. The ending here was spectacular and it made this long journey worth it. It ends in a way that is satisfying while truly bringing the epic story some proper closure.
Now I’d assume that there will be some spinoffs or other miniseries after Kirkman takes a good break. He did write an afterword in the final issue that made sure to point out that Negan was still alive. While that might not mean anything, I hope it does, as the character was left in a way that makes you want to see him fully redeem himself in some way. Plus, he’s a complex and dynamic character that probably deserves a swan song.
I hope that this isn’t dead in the comic book medium but even if Kirkman never dusts this series off to give us some other side stories, it still ended in a way that feels complete and gratifying.
Pairs well with: The other Walking Dead collections.