Review – The Walking Dead #97 – Something to FEAR Part 1

Creator/Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Charlie Adlard
Inks: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sina Grace
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Color: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard
Published by: Image Comics | Skybound

The future is coming, at least in Rick’s eyes in The Walking Dead 96. After making a deal as new protectors of the Hilltop the group has a new task, taking on the community from Negan and putting a stop to their current shakedowns and abuse on the Hilltop for supplies. It’s a tall task for such a small group, Rick and company will have to make their way through a group built on violence and intimidation before they can really embrace the dream of starting to live again.

Issue 97 takes off with the group already moving into action, making dangerous trips into the wild to recover supplies for the community. Of course tension is always alive in the story and Carl presents his own twist to the problems going on for the folks on the Hilltop, fortunately for fans of Carl there aren’t any life altering experiences to be had in this issue. Rick showcases himself as a leader figure and starts growing from a survivalist to a dedicated strategist who moves to establish dominion and power to those who oppose or threaten the group. It’s a welcome shift given how wild the organization of the team had gotten, Rick stands tall even in the face of large numbers and doesn’t flinch even for a moment, the question of course remains to wonder how this will all pan out with Negan’s forces.

There are also side stories building within the issue, the split with the community members of the Hilltop continues behind closed doors as those eager to accept Rick into the bunch are picked at by those still at odds with the choice. Carl brings new developments to the story as well, while still recovering he’s able to note the lost memories are starting to return and the vivid descriptions shock the entire pack. As a final touch Glenn and Maggie hit their own news that has hints sprinkled in throughout the issue, Glenn has a lot to think about now and the survival of the community will become a critical focus for him. It’s a packed issue for story and there’s a healthy spread of story for everyone to enjoy no matter who your favorite is.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Alabaster: Wolves #2 of 5

Written By: Caitlìn R. Kiernan
Art and Letters By: Steve Lieber
Colors By: Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover By: Greg Ruth
Published By: Dark Horse

In this issue we find Dancy dealing with the aftermath of her knockdown, drag out werewolf fight. She’s not feeling too well thanks to the chunk the werewolf took out of her arm. Dancy is kind of losing it which may also be partially caused by the high fever and infection that’s a brewin’. She’s in and out of consciousness and to top it all off, that rude bird is back poking at her and stealing her chili. Dancy begins to realize that, without some help, she’s probably going to die so off she goes in search of a drugstore with the rude bird in tow. After finding the supplies she needs Dancy goes in search of a safe place where she can rest and hopefully heal but, in this world, that place doesn’t exist. Even though she’s not looking for it, she finds trouble and a battle ensues that really shows us how badass (even at half health) Dancy really is. But, will this fight be too much for her to take?

This comic is really something special. Everything from start to finish is amazing but I especially love the dialog. Dancy and the blackbirds back and forth dialog is so great and really entertaining. The art is also fabulous. I kept going back to check it out. The muted tones really do a great job setting the tone/mood of the comic. The story itself is really wonderful and really succeeds in keeping the reader engaged. If you haven’t yet, pick it up, you won’t be disappointed!

Release Date: May 9th, 2012

Links: Order | Digital | Preview

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Mind MGMT Secret Files: The Bear

Story and Art: Matt Kindt
Variant Cover Art: Gilbert Hernandez
Published By: Dark Horse

Mind MGMT is short, but everything is packed in so tightly and concisely that to describe it in a word would be “wow”. The story begins with two women, an older woman telling a younger woman about a sleeper/secret/mole agent named Bear. We are told of Bear’s life, his mission, some of who he works for, his skills and his fate. The story is packed so full of emotion and sentiment that it had me on the verge of tears. The art is perfect and Bear’s robot-like, emotionless face really gives the reader a glimpse into the killing machine that he is. There is an empathy you feel for him though, which is really what gives this comic some of its depth. This is the prequel to the first issue that comes out on May 23rd. The Bear is available to download now for FREE.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆