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!!!
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.
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.
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.