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4.6 out of 5 stars79
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2009
I'd heard good things bandied about with regards to this series, but hadn't read any of the issues - I noticed a copy in my local library so decided to give it a whirl.

What can I say, other than it was absolutely brilliant - captivating - I couldn't put it down.

The characterisation and plot is right up there with anything Gaimen, Miller, Moore, Morrison, Mignola or Niles have produced at their very best, whilst being in it's own right completely unique.

Yes it's basically a survivor story, and yes there are zombies, but what makes this such a fantastic read is the huge depth and individuality of each character - this fast paced chapter in the series races across the page like a movie, and the stark graphic allows the reader to fill the gaps with their own imagination.

If this review comes across as mawkish, then so be it, but based on this copy, I've snapped up a copy of the omnibus covering vols. 1-8 and will be picking up the remaining vols. so far.

Outstanding - can't recommend it highly enough.
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The 4th Volume contains the original comic issues 19-24 and continues directly from the conflict between the breakaway convicts and Rick from the 3rd Volume – it’s a volume where we say hello to Michone and one of Rick's group says goodbye to a limb….

Those familiar with Michone know that she is a kick-ass, sword-wielding, jaw-removing heroine – in the comic she also happens to be slightly less mysterious and a whole lot more vixen-like. In fact, the comics have had much more sexual content than the TV series chose to have. Nothing graphic, but enough activity to shape what happens to the group, and intimate shenanigans have serious consequences in this volume. In volume 3 we also saw Rick starting to unravel as he struggled to maintain control of the group and wrestle with his own ethical code. Those internal battles rage on into Volume 4 and are the cause of unrest amongst the group, it is the central plotline which runs through the book and concludes (for now) in the last few pages.

The melodrama continues and it’s great to see the relationships between characters evolve, some lines of dialogue seem a little forced – as if character development is expected and therefore character defining moments are created to squeeze into the story. Particularly between Glenn and Maggie when the narrative turns from natural conversation to outright demands for sex which appear awkwardly shoe-horned in. It’s because the standards set in The Walking Dead are so high that the few flaws it has stand out, they certainly don’t ruin the story in any way and on-balance we are treated to a very dark world which slowly gains more depth with every volume. The unpredictability of mankind’s behaviour is the scariest aspect of this horror, and that’s something the book makes direct reference to in this volume. Although zombies still remain more of a background feature, we also get some good zombie-slaying action and a zombie outbreak features quite prominently early on. The artwork for the zombies is amazing in this volume. There are fewer zombies but the attention to detail is greater - there's a great image of a walker with ribs sticking through what left of his torso. We observe him from behind and seeing the familiar human frame disfigured to such an extent highlights the horrors of the apocalypse.

In a nutshell: The post-apocalyptic soap opera becomes a tad ‘tabloid’, it sizzles with raunchy-scandal and brutal surgery, friendships become fist-fights and democracy breaks out! It’s all going on, but there’s plenty more to come too…
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The subtitle to The Walking Dead should be: A Post-Apocalyptic Soap Opera as the series veers away from depressing horror to hokey melodrama in this fourth volume, appropriately titled The Heart’s Desire, as if it were an episode of Melrose Place!

The cliffhanger of the last volume is dealt with in no time at all, as if that entire last volume’s conflicts didn’t matter at all, and a new character called Michonne appears, while another character dies, and a lot of relationship stuff happens.

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews how damn dark this series is, and it still is, but it’s become almost comical now, like Robert Kirkman’s parodying himself. When a character gets bitten and Rick decides to amputate his leg to save his life, the scene cuts to Carl and Sophia staring at the wall of zombies outside the gates and musing as to their mindsets, then the character is rushed by them screaming, and then we cut back to Carl and Sophia’s shocked reactions - and I couldn’t help but laugh! It’s so silly, it’s like something out of Chew!

Then nothing horrible happens for a few pages and I began to think, right, something awful’s going to happen - a character will die suddenly or will do something bad - and what happens? An attempted suicide! Again, I laughed at the predictably “sad” style of storytelling. Of course someone would slit their wrists - you can’t go too long in The Walking Dead without despair!

But most of the book is focused on the characters’ relationships. There’s some more pointless “love” scenes between Glenn and Maggie, Dale and… uh, the blonde lady (it’s hard to remember which two-dimensional figure is which), and Tyreese and Carol split up. It’s not an unreadable book but at this point I think the series needs a real story, some kind of driving force other than the ever present threat of zombies - so far it’s just characters getting worked up over their dull relationships while exploring the even drearier prison with obligatory zombies popping up out of the shadows every now and then.

I was going to give Kirkman a pass on the writing in this book but he ends this volume in the dumbest way possible: a two page spread of a close up on Rick’s face as he grimly asserts: “We ARE The Walking Dead!” which made me laugh again. Really? Hadn’t everyone already figured that out from the first volume? And the pseudo-intellectual discussion on the righteousness of killing certain people was a bit blunt metaphorically given that the characters are all wearing orange jumpsuits and sleep in cells. Real subtle, Mr Kirkman!

The downside of this volume is that nothing really much happens but the upside is that it’s a pretty funny book in a gallows-humour kinda way!
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Volume four in the series of trade paperbacks that collects issues of zombie horror comic the Walking Dead. Which covers the exploits of a small group of people fighting to stay alive as the world is overrun by the undead.

The story is well developed by now and the main characters have been through a fair amount, so this is not a great jumping on point. New readers should start with volume one.

This follows the usual format for this range in collecting six issues of the comics - in this case issues eighteen to twenty four - and presenting them as one long narrative.

Regular readers will be used to the art and the writing style - which is definitely for grown ups only - by now, so there's no need to comment on that.

This volume continues on from the cliffhanger ending to volume three, and sees the main characters with yet more tricky choices to make. Mostly not zombie related. Because whilst they may appear to be in a safe haven at present, the biggest enemy here is themselves. Character interaction - and the arrival of a mysterious new character - plus the stress of their situation causes a lot to happen. Some of which you will not be expecting.

A thought provoking look at the pressures such a situation would put on people, and a good example of what the introduction to volume one stated in that the series shows how a person can change over the course of time, this is another fine volume in an excellent series.
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on 13 May 2012
This has to be the best volume yet. Kirkman is really coming into his own as he discovers the potential of his story without end. Because there are no cut-off pressures he can really slow things down and take his time in developing and growing his epic tale. There is an argument that goes on for twenty pages, a luxury you wouldn't have in a traditional format.

The living are definitely the focus of this episode as we see the perils of leadership and the fragility of human relationships. After surviving the horrors of the living dead it seems mankind is hell bent on his own destruction through all sorts of methods. Everything has a temporary feeling to it as you know the solutions the group come up with will come back and bite them later on.

The art has had a similar resurgence, barging its way to the fore. Without space constrains you can have more lingering shots, more full and double page spreads and even entirely black panels. There are some distinctive and effective silhouettes that help to convey the size and isolation of the surroundings. Nothing here but Thumbs Up!
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on 27 April 2013
'We ARE The Walking Dead' - Rick Grimes

This graphic novel begins the process of the survivors within the prison questioning everything they stand for.

What is right? What is wrong?

Actions have been taken, some agree whilst overs disagree fundamentally with choices. Ricks leadership is questioned, his actions brought to light as well as the actions of others and the group comes to terms with the reality of the world that they now live in.

A world of borrowed time and the dead waiting to claim them among their own flesh eating ranks.

Michonne's debate is held within the pages of this graphic novel - it may well be worth getting yourself a copy of 'The Walking Dead: Michonne Special #1' from eBay to see a little bit of her back story and her life pre-zombie apocalypse - I found it very helpful!
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on 1 April 2013
Make no mistake - this is one of my best "buys" of recent months. I hadn't read any of TWD comics before but had heard many good things about them. I therefore decided to buy the first four volumes as a "taster". I loved the books and actually ended up buying the much larger Compendium books (volumes 1 & 2) which collate the all of the "Volume" books up to Volume 15 or thereabouts. So my suggestion is: if you are intent on buying this, go ahead - the quality of paper, binding and print is fantastic. That said, if you think you might get "hooked" on these comics, you may want to go for the two Compandium books, which are even better value for money.
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on 16 November 2015
I decided to read the comic books after being an avid fan of The Walking Dead tv series for years.
Volume 4 looks at the characters in probably the most detail so far in my opinion. A couple of major things happen but nothing gorily-action packed. The stand off at the end of Volume 3 is wrapped up pretty quickly and the character development really gets pushed to the forefront. As with most shows/ book, some characters are just more interesting than others. Here, I would say there are more interesting characters than boring which makes for some interesting dialogue throughout.
Overall, a well timed development of the central characters.
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on 23 January 2015
Liked these books, although the TV adaptation has refined them into something better.

Found this series a little tiring in a way, because all the characters die after a while, so you sometimes wonder what the point of following them is - at least on the TV series they occasionally have a few weeks of peace on a farm or starting a community in a prison.

But my main complaint is that I did not think of the idea first - I started writing a zombie novel only to discover these graphic novels had got there first, rendering my idea redundant!
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on 1 October 2009
Cant get enough of these books, ive now read up to Vol. 7 and each one has its own twists and turns that make you want to read more. Apart from having a good story line the actual artwork is awsome, especially the zombies that are quite detailed and enough to keep your imagination running.All in all great books at a great price, i cant wait to get the rest to complete my set ready for a brand new one released later in the year, cant wait!!
Buy them,you wont be dissapointed.
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