Review – The Walking Dead #98 – Something to FEAR Part 2

Creator / Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Inks: Charlie Adlard
Gray tones & Cover Color: Cliff Rathburn
Editor: Sina Grace
Cover: Charlie Adlard

The stage is set and the fight is on, Rick and the group are making their stance against Negan leaving a trail of bodies anytime they collide against them. Eugene and Abraham are off hoping to secure a facility to produce more bullets for the group but it’s not all as it seems, with so much tension going on there is danger around every corner for this group.

Issue 98 takes us into the heat around this secret mission from the duo, off to prove they’re onto a new development we see Eugene and Abraham venture out. Unfortunately Negan hasn’t taken the recent decimation of one of their patrols that well and they’re out not only for payback but for the Hilltop and its occupants as well for retribution. As with anything in this series, casualties are always high and with them right at the gates to the Hilltop there’s an extra threat to the security of the compound for the people. Rick’s party is faced with not only Negan’s forces gearing up for a hostile clash but with low ammunition and the undead gathering around the gates for even greater problems. Add onto this a hostage situation and the passing of one of the Hilltop members by the violent actions of the Negan forces.

Rick took up the mantle of leader when they came to the Hilltop, promising a future for all of those who have endured with him so far. After reading through the latest issue it’s hard to say what future they might have, walking among the dead until they’re put out of their misery or fighting Negan’s forces to the death as they struggle to hold on. It’s certainly not a happy outlook right now but it never really is in the world of The Walking Dead.

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

Review – The Walking Dead: A New Day Episode 1 – Xbox 360

Walking Dead fans get excited. The first installment of Telltale Games, The Walking Dead 5 part game series is here and it’s good! In case you’ve missed all the news, it’s now available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3 for the pittance of $5 per episode.

Background

I played The Walking Dead: A New Day on the Xbox 360 and the game took about 2 to 2 ½ hours to complete. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murder who, because of the recent zombie outbreak, finds himself injured and trying to survive in a world that no longer makes any sense. Lee soon meets a little girl named Clementine, who has been alone for days and is bad ass enough to have survived on her own. They quickly bond and the adventure begins.

Along your travels you meet a bunch of different characters that are new to The Walking Dead cannon in addition to a couple familiar faces. Slowly, you begin to learn some of your character’s back story and get a feel for the other characters in the game.

Graphics

The game itself has both a mix of the T.V. show and the comic book and strikes a really awesome balance between the two. Since some of the people you run into along the way are characters we already know (and love) there is a familiarity with what is going on and the cel-shaded graphics makes the game look like you are right in the middle of the comic book. I love the graphics, there were times throughout the game that I couldn’t get over how close to the comic it really looked which added to the overall experience of the game. The game, like the show and comic book is very character development heavy, which is why I think that they are both as great and compelling as they are. The game does an excellent job really fleshing out the characters and making you either really like them or really hate them. There is one character in particular, Larry, that you meet along the way who really infuriated me. I kept hoping there would be a time somewhere in the game where I would be able to kick his ass.

Gameplay

While there’s not a ton of zombie action (a complaint I hear about all the time in regard to the T.V. show), I think it’s exactly the way it should be. The Walking Dead is about the characters, their coping strategies and if and how they survive through extreme circumstances. These aspects are perfectly captured in the game. The game is dialog and choice heavy, a kind of Choose Your Own Adventure game that is very interactive both in your decisions and with your in-game environment. This format is nice and gives you a good bang for your buck because you can play the game multiple different ways by simply choosing different answers.

Throughout The Walking Dead game you interact with people (and your environment) and are given multiple choices in your conversations. The choices are on a time limit (some seemed longer than others) and the choices you make affect your game play in the future. The characters you interact with remember the things you tell them, so if you lie, you better remember that in future conversations. The choice aspect of the game often times made me feel very tense and anxious, but in a good frantic kind of way. It made me feel like I really needed to think about the answers I was going to give and the choices I was going to make, except I didn’t have much time to think creating situations where I had to make snap decisions.

There were definitely some challenging parts to the game. There are a couple of tasks that you must complete to progress and they proved a little frustrating. After I figured out how to complete them it was a “smack yourself in the head” kind of moment, because they were not actually as difficult as I made them out to be. For the achievement hunters, you get all 8 achievements on the first run through just by completing the story. My only gripe, and it’s a minor one, is that there were a couple of times in the game that the camera angle/control got a little wonky, it didn’t actually affect my game play in any way but it was a little annoying.

Conclusion

It is well worth the $5 and at that price there is no excuse for Walking Dead fans to not get this game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the next episode!

Gameplay:★★★★★★★★½☆ 
Story:★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Visuals:★★★★★★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★★★★★★☆ 

Skybound unveils The Walking Dead issue 100 cover

Skybound and USA Today teamed up to talk about the cover for the milestone 100th issue of The Walking Dead today, while it will not be coming to shelves right now the wrap-around cover is still something to admire and start pre-ordering for. The interview has some gems talking about the art though, if you’re a TV show watcher or behind on your issues in the series and don’t want spoilers I suggest you escape now while you still can.

From the interview:

“You can’t see it, but (hero cop) Rick is actually holding a birthday cake in his hand. Or, I guess, his only hand,” creator Robert Kirkman says of the cover to Walking Dead issue 100, out July 11 from Skybound/Image Comics.

Issue 100 falls right in the “dead center” of what he calls the “craziest” story arc so far in the comic series, a bloody affair that finds Rick and his group of survivors thriving in a (seemingly) safe community, much like they did at the prison — a place of refuge that was hinted at during the second season finale of the Walking Dead TV series.

The cover will have bodies littered across it, showing prominent figures from the comic series as the landscape, it’s not inspiring but in the wake of all they’ve faced it would be hard to expect Rick to ever be able to see the upside to all of this. The article mentions even The Governor makes a reappearance in the corpses and Lori as well.

The Walking Dead hits #100 soon and according to Kirkman there’s no sign of this story losing steam anytime soon.

The Walking Dead For Kids #1 cover art appears… if only

Skybound had some fun yesterday with Comic fans, while we missed on reporting it I’m still going to post it today so you can check out the awesomeness. The company announced they planned to run a kids version of the popular story with no actual content changes just some family friendly art choices instead. While many called the company out on the April fools gag, it’s still pretty epic.

From Skybound:

“THE WALKING DEAD: FOR KIDS is going to be word-for-word, panel-for-panel like the regular Walking Dead books, with all the violence, all the sex… but for kids!”

Giarrusso added: “It’ll be adorable.”

Cover Art

Robert Kirkman Announces SKYBOUND

A new generation has formed in the comic industry, forging their name in the digital realm and over small press, these artists strive to become the next generation in comics. SKYBOUND is a new division of Image Comics focusing on these creators and giving them a broader platform.

Kirkman will stand at the helm of the company picking the creators to participate in the group, overseeing the promotion and expansion of the talented creators in the pool. All artists will get full backing from the company in their medium and in expanded mediums including TV and Film across the globe. Image will act as publisher and distributor to SKYBOUND giving access to comic stores and channels nationwide.

The first SKYBOUND original will be Witch Doctor, those interested can catch it this week at Comic-Con 2010. The story focusing on a “sick world” where mythical creatures interfere with the natural order. Discovered from the internet, this is an example of exactly what the team is looking for in new properties. Skybound originals should start hitting shelves around 2011 so keep an eye out. We’ll have our attention drawn to see how it pans out.