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4.8 out of 5 stars39
4.8 out of 5 stars
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The Walking Dead is up to volume 12 (#67-72 of the comic) & while most writers would be struggling for new ideas by now, Robert Kirkman proves he's still able to pull the rug out from under his readers' feet, as yet again, this series unexpectedly changes direction. Rick & his band of survivors are running low on food as they travel through zombie-infested America towards Washington, in the vain hope that society has not entirely collapsed. They've spent 14 months being tortured, hunted by cannibals & seeing loved ones end up as the living dead & zombie snacks, so the last thing they are expecting to come across is a normal, suburban town full of normal, suburban people!

Walled off from the outside world, kids play & women gossip & bake while the walking dead shamble around outside. Their leader certainly seems a lot more friendly than the Governor (although that's not saying much!) but how can they trust him after everything they've been through? And how will they fit in with 'normal' people after everything they've seen & done - particularly in volume 11?!

I may be an adult but when my copy arrived from Amazon today, I immediately read it from cover to cover like a kid at Christmas. That's because The Walking Dead still surprises & intrigues, still has great characters, great ideas, excellent art & zombies by the shedload. And in this case, it has a last page that left me desperate to get hold of volume 13! If only they could publish them faster...
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on 14 August 2010
I mentioned in reviews for the past couple of volumes how I wasn't as impressed with the series and worried it had lost its footing but with this volume it looks like the series is back on track. The volume starts with abruptly ending a subplot that I really didn't enjoy and then has them encounter a roaming guy who invotes them back to a safe haven. Given previous events in the series it's understandable how the gang are wary and suspicious of this new community and it's interesting to see how they try and fit into this new environment. As a reader I too was skeptical of the new characters and spent most of the volume looking for reasons to dislike them but on the whole they appear fairly genuine. If anything this story-arc may be going more in the direction of the main cast turning out to be the "villains" in this arc.
The reintroduction to a "normal" life makes for some excellent character scenes where many of the cast are seen in a new light. I'm not sure how long this arc will last or what the outcome will be but it's just nice to have the series back on form and hopefully the last couple of volumes were merely a blip.
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As the group head towards Washington D.C., the truth about Eugene the scientist comes out, and they meet another group of seemingly friendly survivors who're living in a walled-off community just outside the capitol - a peaceful and safe oasis in the midst of all the chaos! But as Rick and co. finally find a semblance of their old lives in the stationary houses, hot showers, clean clothes, regular meals, and no zombies, is everything as cosy as it seems? And can they adapt to a comfortable existence after going through what they have?

First of all - Robert Kirkman, you goofed me good! I really thought the Eugene storyline was for real and it was a red herring. Good one, that made me laugh! That said, volume 12 is the first Walking Dead book I found very easy to put down once I started. It's not a terrible book but so very little happens, I found it difficult to remain excited, and usually I fly through these volumes!

Kirkman takes the group into the safe walled community and they settle in. They clean up, they sleep, they get fed - that's pretty much it. They've found their new home! Or have they...? Because what makes this volume work, despite the lack of anything much happening, is the way the reader has been conditioned to think some terrible tragedy is around the corner. Rick and co. have been through so much thus far, you keep expecting the community to turn out to be psychotic torturers beneath their pleasant veneer, or they're harbouring zombie sex slaves or something awful like that.

So all the while you're reading this, the reader is as paranoid as Rick and the others are, which is thanks to Kirkman expertly manipulating and subverting the expectations of the book quite brilliantly. It also shows - yet again! - how changed Rick and co. are, compared to the normal people of the settlement. They can't adjust to the normality of their former lives because their mind-sets have been warped for so long - but it almost seems like they don't want to change. The normal lives of these people seem... boring and flat in comparison to their lives on the road.

I also really liked that Kirkman showed the settlement's survivors as having had their own adventures while we've been following Rick and co. You get the impression that they've gone through their share of grief and references to a "Davidson" character are uttered in the same way Rick and co. might talk about the Governor.

Rick and the others may have been the focus of this story but this other group highlights that their story has been repeated hundreds, if not thousands, maybe millions, of times around the country/the world. It's another indication of the wider world of the Walking Dead that Kirkman's slowly revealing.

The finale is another clever spin on perspective. While Douglas, the leader of the settlement, can appear a bit sleazy, hitting on Andrea, and there's suspicion over the idyllic community when Rick notices a boy with a black eye, this new place is seemingly wonderful and filled with good people. In contrast, Rick and the others' actions towards the end make them look like the villains and suddenly we as readers are reading a completely different story to the one we thought we were - and it's quite brilliant! I appreciate that Kirkman's developing as a writer and exploring all the angles to every situation, even creating new ways of telling essentially the same story over and over again.

I may not have been as enthralled with this volume as others in the series, but Volume 12 does showcase Kirkman's artistry in storytelling much more so than others and I have to applaud that. And I am interested in what secrets this community must have and hope that things don't remain too idyllic for the gang for too long - a respite is fine, but the essence of drama is conflict, so let's have at it, chaps!
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Twelfth volume in the series that collects issues of the Walking Dead, a popular comic about a group of people struggling to survive after the world is overrun by Zombies.

This is not a good jumping on point. New readers should start with volume one.

This volume follows the usual format for this series of putting six issues together - in this case issues sixty seven to seventy two - and running them into one long narrative [although you can usually spot where each part ends and the next begins].

In a series which has excelled throughout at keeping the story moving and presenting new situations for the characters to deal with, and giving them tricky moral choices to make, this does it yet again.

Because fate gives them a chance to get back a lot of things they've lost.

But can they trust the opportunities that are being presented to them?

At the same time this new situation highlights how the characters have changed as a result of their experiences and how they've become very different people to what they were before.

It's delightfully ambigious because there are hints at things yet to be revealed, and it ends on a terrific cliffhanger. Added to which, you can't be sure if the choices being made at this point are going to turn out to be the right ones or not. So it will leave you desperate to find what happens next.

Once again, a great volume in a superb series.
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on 27 May 2013
The Farm, a prison and Woodbury - what will be next?

This graphic novel sees the group coming to terms with a lack of food within this post zombie apocalypse they now find themselves in, roamers and lurkers are everywhere, herds of Zombies scurry the lands, being outside and unprotected by walls is a difficult place to be.

The new characters are becoming well know once again as everyone has finally been routed deep down into the fabric of the group by this point. They have a common aim and a family bond, but all these things will be tested and tried as they carry on with their journey to share the 'cure' that one of them knows with the rest world... but is there truly ever going to be a 'cure' that can undo all that has been done?

It is time to find out...
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on 22 June 2013
What I liked about this book is firstly the change of direction, after episodes of despair and despondency there is a little light at the end of the tunnel. Although having said that the experiences of Rick's group do seem to have changed them, so much so that the tables have definitely turned and they seem he'll bent to spoil a good thing. Just getting too used to a bad thing I suppose.... Something dark is surely on the horizon.
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on 22 March 2014
It's strange reading the comic books after watching the tv series. Often the same things occur but to a different character. I can see where ideas for story lines came from. The comic books are much faster paced, the storyline moves through different situations very quickly. The characters are no where near as complex as the tv version. I love comic books, but I'm not sure if they would appeal to the wider tv audience.
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on 12 October 2010
Ive got all the volumes 1-12 now and read through them all from start to finish each time I get a new volume!

If you're into zombies you cant not read this series.

The best news is that this is being turned into a tv series! The first episodes airs in america on halloween. Cant wait for it in the UK!!
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on 30 November 2010
After reading comics for about 15 years I stopped for a while. Eventually getting back a bit through the walking dead.

The Walking dead is hands down the best comic story I've ever read and this volume just continues what is in my opinion the most solid run on a comic book ever.

A must have.
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on 4 April 2013
Have bought all the volumes for my son who is a massive Walking Dead fan. We do all watch the TV programme together, but he loves these graphical novels, they are very well drawn and the story is a little different from the TV program so if you enjoy the program I think these are a great read. :)
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