Okay, I'll be honest. I've become bored with The Walking Dead. Sure, the television show has changed up the status quo to keep it fresh and on a divergent line from the comic - but the comic itself, after 23 trade paperbacks (which of which collects 6 issues), has begun to grow stale. It seems to be the same story rehashed with different villains and different settings. Rick and his group find a new place to stay, running into new people. There is a fight for dominance, Rick's group always wins, and then there is a short time of peace. Then a villainous group appears and threatens the peace, there is more fight, people are killed, and Rick and his group move on to the next place. Then repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
So, I had pretty much decided with this volume to end my reading of The Walking Dead. I figured after 12 years, it has pretty much run its course, and I could end it satisfied.
Until I read the ending to this volume...
Holy toledo! I did not see that coming at all. Yes, I knew this new villainous group ("The Whisperers" they call themselves) were depraved, walking around wearing the skin of "dead" walkers, refusing to call each other by name, and basically living solely on animal instinct. But I didn't think they were any different that any villain that has come before - The Governer, Negan, and so many others. The end of this issue, though, was pretty violent and actually made me feel for the people Rick works to protect.
And Robert Kirkman did a superb job of inflicting the greatest impact without ever actually showing the violence. Instead, we see the aftermath and the family and friends who were left behind, at this point not knowing what has happened to their loved ones, friends, partners who are missing. And let's face it - anything that can make Michonne cry is bound to be some powerful stuff.
So where does that leave me? Well, even the best-laid plans are bound to change from time to time. Meaning - yes, I will be buying volume 25, because I have to see how Rick and his team will retaliate against the Whisperers.
RATING: 7 out of 10 decapitated heads on a spike for surprising the heck out of me with the ending of this book!