The Walking Dead, Volume 32: Rest In Peace - Review
Covers the events in The Walking Dead #187-193. The final volume of The Walking Dead.
Generally, I try to write spoiler-free reviews. This is a bit difficult for the final volume of The Walking Dead. Spoilers ahead.
The end of The Walking Dead seemed to come out of nowhere and shocked most people. Honestly, I wasn't surprised that the title wrapped up. After reading the last volume, I felt that the trajectory of the story and its momentum were slowing to a close. I was a bit surprised that it wrapped in one volume, however. I thought there were probably a couple more volumes left of story to draw out. I absolutely recommend reading the afterword by Robert Kirkman to gain valuable insight into how / why the series wrapped.
These last issues close the Commonwealth storyline and give a glimpse into the future. The tensions of the Commonwealth unravel in a predictable way that we have seen time and again with Rick and his crew. One interesting piece here is that the characters are actively aware of how everything is going to go down. Rick, at times, seems desperate to stop the momentum of events, not only to save the Commonwealth, but to prevent what he knows will happen: Rick Grimes being placed in charge of yet another, larger group of people. Yet in spite of his best efforts, the events unravel as expected, and Rick gives a speech declaring that they were no longer “The Walking Dead.” This was a sure fire exclamation mark that the end of the title was nigh. All of these events just seemed expected and thus the gravitas of the death of Rick Grimes just felt a bit, meh. Rick had to die, one way or another, to end the title. Regardless of how the story played out, the art always held up. Charlie Adlard consistently delivered the goods. If I had any issue with Adlard, and it's super nitpicky at best, it was that many of the smirks and smiles of the characters appear exactly the same.
All of that out of the way, where the end of The Walking Dead really excels is in its flash forward to an older Carl and the new world that exists. The future that Kirkman sets up is more interesting than anything that has happened in the last few volumes. President Maggie, essentially a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Michonne, Eugene helping create a new transcontinental railroad, and most importantly, Old Man Carl. The road to this new reality in the world of The Walking Dead is what really gets my imagination going. It seems like it will be a lost opportunity if there is not some sort of spin-off title to fill in the blanks on the building of the new world. If not a full title, then a series of one-shots or a standalone graphic novel would be great for filling in those gaps.
Regardless of how it is wrapped, finales are rarely as good or great as you want them to be. Kirkman and Adlard did succeed in leaps and bounds by creating a world that kept the audience engaged for 193 issues. Their run together is quite prolific at 184 issues. They deserve every accolade that can be given and earned. In some ways, Kirkland, Adlard, and we the audience, are allowed to finally be free. To paraphrase Rick Grimes, " ...We no longer live surrounded by the dead... We can be content... we can have peace. We can live again."
The Walking Dead, Volume 32: Rest In Peace
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