Stacks and Trades – The Walking Dead 79.

Reviewing The Walking Dead #79.

The opening page features an exchange between Rick and Andrea that highlights how far Andrea’s character has come.  People with dangerous professions are always asked if they get scared, and many say that if someone isn’t scared then they don’t belong there.  When you’re not scared, you’re comfortable, and that’s when you make mistakes.  Andrea is happy to have the fear back, and it allowed her to be the best shot in a gun fight.

Aaron rides into town on a horse, screaming that Eric has been shot.  There have been so many new characters in the Community arc I forget who Eric is.  Oh that’s right, Eric is Aaron’s partner.  Eric is taken to Dr. Cloyd who answers the door in her skivvies as she is in the middle of hooking up with Heath.  Something feels very off about this page and I’m not sure what.  Art is good, backgrounds are right, ink is excellent, but something just doesn’t flow right.  Anyone else feel this?

Aaron feels guilt over Eric getting stabbed.  They were watching a woman for days, thinking she could be brought into the Community.  The woman tried to steal one of their horses and stabbed Eric.  Could be worse, the woman could have been let in and started a fight with the local wifebeater.  Oh, that position has been filled.  Everyone gets the good news that Eric will be alright.  Eric and Aaron embrace.  Andrea and Heath talk about his relationship with Denise.  Andrea tells Rick that she’s ready to get up into the tower and that she’s safest up there.  This issue is very Andrea centric and I fear something bad is about to happen to her.  She is one of the most important characters in the comic and has been through almost as big a change as Rick.  As the deaths of Tyreese and Lori taught us, anything can happen in this book.  But maybe I should shut up and continue reading.

Michonne and Morgan have a much needed talk, and it looks like a new great couple has formed.  Dale and Andrea were great, Glenn and Maggie are interesting.  Maybe these two can become something special in the book.  Also, both of them let loved ones stay alive even when they became zombies.  See!  So much to talk about!

Carl and Rick have a talk and Carl is very much Rick’s son.  Carl is glad for the attack, because now maybe everyone will realize they’re not safe.  He’s correct, a boy that has been through zombies, the Governor’s assault, serial killers in prison, near rape and of course his own body count could not possibly believe the world to be safe for even a moment.

Andrea watches Abraham kill some zombies then he and Tobin flee to safety.  This scene only lasts one page though, which means its only starting.

Aaron and Maggie talk about the loss of her horse, Buttons.  Even with all that Maggie has been through, the fact that she still cares about animals speaks a lot of her.  Most people in the world of The Walking Dead are only concerned about themselves, a select few about others.  But rare must be the person who cares an ounce about animals.  Which reminds me, I haven’t seen any dogs or cats for a while in the book.  There must be legions of feral animals by now, a year after the outbreak (give or take).  Unless the zombies eat them all.

Rick talks with Jessie about Pete’s death.  There’s a couple things implied in this scene.  One, perhaps Jessie will be a new love interest for Rick.  Two, Carl isn’t there because he has his nose buried in some book.  This will probably be something the average 8 year old shouldn’t be reading.

Aaron walks right into Douglas’s house.  Strange for a man who has seen so much death and violence recently to leave his house unlocked.  Douglas notes that its snowing.  Most zombie lore states that the zombies freeze near solid during winter months and attacks decline.  As a swarm is apparently on its way to the Community maybe there will be a bit of a rest period for whoever survives this latest attack.

Abraham rallies the workers to kill the latest batch of zombies at the gates.  No guns can be used, as that is the sound that brought the zombies there.  Abraham and crew start their attack on the zombies.  Meanwhile, Douglas tells Aaron that there is no real safety in the Community (thus explaining the unlocked door) and maybe there will be some hope of survival with Rick in charge.  Douglas has given up on everything after the death of his wife.  This wouldn’t be so bad if the only one depending on Douglas was himself, but he has possibly endangered the entire town.    Abraham and the construction crew carve a path through the horde, but are in danger of being overwhelmed.  Aaron tells Douglas that he’s never leaving the Community again, for fear that they may bring in undesirable people.  The tension build up here is incredible.  With each word that either Douglas or Aaron speaks about the Community comes the fear that there will be no more Community very very soon.

There is a moment of rest.  Douglas admits to his life’s mistakes and confesses his fear of dying.  The Community gave him the security that most of us feel in the modern world.  Our walls keep out all of the things that cause death.  But much like the death of another can remind us how fragile life is in our world, it has reminded Douglas that the wall is not enough to keep out the chaos of his apocalyptic world.  A gun shot warns the zombie beaters that something is wrong.

Abraham and his half of the crew come around the corner at the same time Glenn’s crew does.  Each side meets a swarm of zombies at the Community’s gates.  Enough zombies to overrun them and then the Community itself.

So of course that’s where this issue ends.  A little down time and character building before the next disaster.  And what a disaster it will be.  The next issue has all splash page potential.  People are going to die.  The Community may become their new prison.  No one can get in (well at least not easily) but that also means no one can get out.

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