The inevitable expansion of "The Walking Dead" universe continues with this collected volume in the comic franchise. Having been a huge Dead fan since the first graphic novels, I have watched the enterprise turn into an outright phenomenon. I've reviewed it all from the graphic novels, to the collectibles, to AMC's television production, to the latest incarnation--the novelization by series creator Robert Kirkman and tidy horror writer Jay Bonansinga. "The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor." But nothing gives me more satisfaction than keeping up with the epic in its original format and here's the latest scoop on Volume 15 "We Find Ourselves.".
The last installment "No Way Out" marked a satisfying return to action, bloodlust and monster mayhem. While early sections of its story are spread among far too many characters (we need to thin the pack!), this is the chapter in which we really see Rick reclaim his leadership role making both good and bad decisions. The entire focus of the tale is taken over by a zombie horde that has discovered our little community. Things may not be as secure as our heroes had hoped and when safety is compromised--nothing will be the same again. Mutilated corpses and surprising new victims populate this episode which is an absolute game changer. But amidst all the carnage and loss, Rick has a remarkable epiphany near the end that makes one of the most powerful soliloquies the series has yet produced.
After the stunning finale of Volume 14, therefore, it made sense that we'd get a chapter of rebuilding and introspection. Unlike some, I never mind these moments of respite. To be a truly rounded epic, the series must encompass much more than mere survival. And yet, in this instance, this may be one of the least cohesive entries into the series so far. Spending much time in romantic entanglements (some work, others not-so-much) and discussions about community, the series seems poised for another major shift. This is very much about Rick and his continued search for meaning and order in the chaos that surrounds them. As he rebuilds the community, he wants to repair his own shattered psyche. There are a some nice moments, but if I'm being completely honest, some of the dialogue seemed a bit forced with way too much speechifying that lacked an organic feel. As one character threatens the hierarchy, another challenger may be emerging. We'll see where it goes. This is a quieter episode, and not a particular favorite of mine--not because it lacked zombies, but because it seemed more constructed and "written" than a natural extension of the characters we've grown to know so well. But I still relish any chance to catch up with Rick and the gang! About 3 1/2 stars. KGHarris, 1/12.