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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Volume 7 contains editions 37-42 of the original weekly comic. After the intense pace of the last volume, the title of this book “The Calm Before" suggests a more gentle time for the group as they continue to sort out the prison, clearing the mess caused by the unwanted zombie-visitors and learning an important lesson in the process: always shut the gate. The cover shows a touching image of Lori’s considerable bump while Rick’s fingers interlock with hers as they rest their hands on her tummy. It should be a happy moment, but what kind of world will their baby experience? And then there’s the issue of who the father is. Meanwhile, Alice is preparing the prison infirmary... We’ve had plenty of deaths in The Walking Dead, perhaps it’s time for some births and marriages.

The most obvious aspect to this volume (barring some events which I won’t spoil) is the semblance of normality. We see a group of people playing sports, supermarket shopping and even a spot of flat pack furniture assembly. As Hershel tends to his tomatoes and winter clothes are recycled into summer clothes, the prison is almost like a hippy commune (with guns) rather than an oasis in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. This is a dialogue heavy volume and those who criticised some of Kirkman’s simplistic dialogue from the early volumes can relax now, the characters are bedded in and no longer need establishing, so gone are the clumsy exchanges which served to define personalities even if they didn’t fit in with the scene.

After their previous excursions it’s nice to see the group pulling together, Rick and Lori having family time, banter and moments of humour. This is what gives The Walking Dead an edge over many other similar stories, time can be taken to focus on the characters rather than circumstances and Volume 7 concerns itself with exactly that. But with a title like “The Calm Before” – you’re always expecting the storm, and caring for the survivors makes the wait even more intense.

In a nutshell: Killing zombies is mainly as part of target practice when tin cans become too easy to hit. There may be less action this volume, but life provides enough drama at times. It’s a solid volume – completely different to the last 2, this could well be the calm before one epic storm, this volume makes me hope they’ve prepared enough for it.
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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 7 is quite different from the TV series. The general story is the same but the specific parts and adventures of the characters is very different. That's why I gave this the 5/5. The character development is well written and the plot takes brilliant twists and turns. Perhaps most enjoyable though, was how the theme of survival is handled. It is more fleshed out than in the series and peoples reactions to the zombie apocalypse is covered well.
I'd recommend this volume as it differs quite a bit from the TV show. That being said, I would add you'd be best placed if you had read Vol 1-6.
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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 4 January 2013
It was within this book that I really fell in love with the characters of the comic book series 'The Walking Dead', many had come and many had gone, but by this point I feel like they had really come into a world of their own as you see them function day to day, expecting an attack at any point from the governor!

You see people trying to get on with life, trying to make 'normality' work in a world where 'normality' is a frayed flag flown at half mast! Life in a zombie-apocalypse world is tough, and as tensions rise and things build as you see cracks appearing in the life's and characters of them all!

As this books is titled, 'The Calm Before', you can assume it builds and readies the reader for book 8, a series shacking book!

Another option is to go for the first and second 'Compendium' of 'The Walking Dead' for a cheaper long term investment, though it is a lot more chunky and these single books are easier to hold and you get to see more art work! (Saying that the first Compendium has books 1-8 in it, so it would not be cheaper if you already own books 1-6, it would make more seance to buy this along with book 8 and then the second Compendium!)

Either way, it is a price worth spending for a story you will want to read time and time again!
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on 5 May 2014
The group prepares for an inevitable attack from Woodbury, training up everyone who can hold a gun while a small unit sets off to find the National Guard Station to stock up on guns, ammo and gas. Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn tie the knot and Lori finally gives birth but still more death and tragedy befalls the small group.

I thought after the craziness of Woodbury and the Governor that this volume would be much less interesting as it’s more or less a return to the status quo but it’s still chock-full of great stuff. Dare I say it - Robert Kirkman does some decent character-work in this book!

Carol, the mother of Sophia who also tried to commit suicide earlier in the series, has been slowly unravelling these last few books and Kirkman does fine work in showing her fatalistic state of mind - her speech towards the end gives the reader a glimpse into her life in the group and her perspective on how she views them. It’s a very real moment that made Carol seem like an actual person.

Kirkman also keeps things exciting for the reader by having the group looking for the National Guard Station encounter some of the Governor’s men while, back at the prison, Lori goes into labour at night with the generator about to run out of gas, and Billy and Dale have to venture out in the zombie-infested parking lot to siphon more fuel.

It is amazing that before they sent out the most able among them to gather ammunition from the National Guard Station that they didn’t ensure they had enough fuel for the generator. They didn’t know how long they’d be gone and they knew one of their group was about to give birth, but still they don’t bother to top up the fuel containers from nearly empty to full? What a bunch of idiots!

And the death and mutilation remains funny, to me at least, because it’s so over-the-top. When zombies aren’t popping out of the shadows like diseased jack-in-the-boxes, characters are happily dying, smiles on their faces!

Still, The Calm Before is a highly enjoyable volume that’ll keep readers deeply invested in the series - especially with THAT finale! The Calm Before, indeed.
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on 15 March 2013
Slower than previous issues, leading up to the inevitable but what a cliff hanger, bought next one already & would recommend you do the same to make this offering more substantial. That being said, still great walking dead to standard used to. Some significant plot & character development. As the front suggest, Lori's pregnancy is a significant factor but couple of surprises too. Enjoy
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on 21 October 2013
Excilent better then the tv show !!!
im now up to date with the last issue waiting for the next with baited breth
The cliff hanger endings of each issue will drive u to whant the next at each issue i cant recomend this enough!!!
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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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on 22 October 2007
once again robert kirkman delivers with his zombie opus that is the walking dead graphic novels. i have been following the story since the first volume was released and i have been hooked since. after the sixth volume i found myself wanting more as in my opinion it didnt offer the thrills or the sense of danger that the others had but this one has it all, the drama of the survivors at the prison as lori goes into labour. each of the characters respectively risking life and limb once again and the conclusion that will leave you gagging for more! this is a must read and at 6 pounds its nothing but a purely essential purchase!

Gareth.
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on 13 April 2014
Story great as ever and as a bonus, the artwork seems to have got much better.
After the artist change earlier in the series, the quality of generally dipped, but vol 7 definitely took a step in the right direction.
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