The Walking Dead, Volume 31 : The Rotten Core - Review
Covers the events in The Walking Dead #181-186. Further adventures in the Commonwealth
When an ongoing series is as long as The Walking Dead is, there are always lulls in the narrative. This particular volume is one of those lulls. This isn’t anything new for The Walking Dead.
Often, there are multi-volume breathers which all serve as a slow burn to a big payoff. Robert Kirkman is usually very good at delivering those payoffs. While it has been obvious from the beginning that there is going to be a showdown between The Commonwealth and Rick and Company, the journey there is what is important. Currently, I am not sure if the journey to that payoff is going so well.
In the tensions that build up, we see Rick doing what Rick always does: attempt to be a decent human being. This obviously puts him at odds with who I’ll call “Nu-Governor.” While the power struggle that is being built is very obvious, the side storylines with Michonne and Dwight are a bit more interesting—but not by much. Michonne deals with being reunited with her daughter and settling back into a life very much like her own before the apocalypse. She has to decide if this new life is worth the moral compromises required to keep it. Meanwhile, Dwight isn’t enchanted with the luster of the Commonwealth and see the ugliness laying not so far below the surface. This leads Dwight to try to sway Rick to take actions that he may not want to take.
There are themes touched upon here that are thinly veiled allegories to issues happening in our current political climate. While these issues *are* important to talk about, in order for them to have the right gravitas, an appropriate amount of time has to be spent on them. Here is where there is some room for improvement. This is an oddly fast-paced volume for The Walking Dead. Some of the events that unfold happen *too* quickly. If this volume played to the normal series strengths of being longer, slower, and more drawn out, Kirkman’s writing would perhaps land a stronger punch.
As always with The Walking Dead, you have to be prepared for the major shifts that can happen with a single page turn, from major character deaths to unexpected happenings. If you have been reading The Walking Dead for this long, this volume won’t deter you, as you are already in for the long ride. It will just be the building block to the next big thing.
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