Normally I would save The Walking Dead until the very end of my week’s stack of comics (the slot always reserved for the title I’m most looking forward to reading). But this week it was the first thing I read, because the issue itself isn’t the only bit of TWD news this week.
It looks like The Walking Dead may finally be coming to television on AMC. My first thought: Awesome! The zombie theme works so well in an episodic format that I’m amazed it took someone this long to do it. My second thought: basic cable?! Can The Walking Dead really be done justice in such a restrictive environment?
Sure, cable’s come quite pretty far in terms of pushing envelope. Nip/Tuck, Mad Men and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia aren’t exactly family friendly, but they still can’t go as far as The Sopranos, Queer as Folk or The Wire do. Gore’s never really been a spotlight of TWD, but it’s important to show that the world these characters are living in is a very dangerous place. Can AMC show someone’s jugular being ripped out by a zombie or Michonne carving through everyone with her sword? More importantly, they won’t be able to use the harsh language that is necessary in TWD. It’s Always Sunny drops the occasional S-bomb, but you just can’t get away with the word “fuck” on a channel with less than three digits. I guess you can tone down the series for cable, but then it’s not the series we all love. The Walking Dead isn’t a basic cable kind of comic.
But I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. Lots and lots of shows get development deals and then never actually make it to air. And if Robert Kirkman is involved, he’s not going to let his baby become utter crap. I guess the biggest question then becomes whether the series is an adaptation of the comic or (preferably) an entirely new storyline. Only time will tell.
As for The Walking Dead #64, which came out this week, I don’t really have a lot to say. It’s part three of a five-part storyline, so we’re past the first big twist but not yet to the bulk of the action. I didn’t really get excited about the issue until the very last panel, which showed Rick, Abraham and Michonne looking all badass while Rick says “They’re fucking with the wrong people.” Looks like the hunters may become the hunted very, very soon. Of course, the cast will probably sustain a few casualties in the process. Abraham’s girlfriend (whatever the hell her name is) seems like the most obvious victim, because she’s the one keeping the mental stability of Abe in check.
Readers of TWD were once again treated to a free B&W reprint of a recent Image #1 release on the flipside of the issue. I was already reading Chew when last issue hit, but I’d never read Viking before. And I probably won’t be doing so anytime in the near future. The heroes of the story senselessly murder some folks at the beginning of the story, then there’s an eel-hunting vignette followed by what may have been a woman being raped by a bear (I’m not quite certain). And theres’ the problem: The storytelling and the art is confusing. A bunch of the characters look really similar and they aren’t sufficiently identified by name even though this is the first time any of them have existed. Maybe things would make more sense in full color and the normal larger format, but I doubt it.