Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 5: The Best Defense – Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard.

twd5Holy mackerel. (I’m not sure I’ve ever used that term before, but it seems an appropriate time to start). The Walking Dead is getting unreal! The Best Defense is dark. Very dark.

It was almost a forewarning when Carl tells Lori not to worry about Rick, because he always comes back okay. I thought about that for a bit. Extended across however many books, that would get boring. When would something happen to him? Turns out, we need not wait long.

A helicopter crashes within driving distance from the prison and Glenn, Rick and Michonne go to investigate, complete with riot gear that had been found. Abandoned when they arrive, it is soon clear that someone else beat them to it, but who?

The trio set off to discover the other group surviving in chaos, and stumble across the Governor, in charge of his own little community. They sacrifice strangers to zombies for sport, and are ruthless in their treatment of outsiders. It, in contrast to the main group, is a dictatorship fronted by a madman. Insanity, it is assumable, may have been triggered by what happened to his daughter.

Taken captive and manipulated, the book really takes a darker road. Far darker than I personally thought the books were set to go. Hands are lost without a care, people decapitated and put on display, Glenn even finds himself emotionally manipulated by having to listen to the Governor repeatedly rape Michonne next door.

As said: dark.

And you think, fuck, where does it go from here? It’s been realistic so far, and it’s been generally safe. Hurdles come from walkers, but now it turns out that their notions of civilisation isn’t universal.

Things have changed, and it’s crazy. Interesting crazy, but fucked-up-the-world-has-changed crazy.

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