Friday, February 26, 2010

#13 The Walking Dead: Book Two

The Walking Dead: Book Two takes a slightly different path. It gets darker, if that’s even possible. Somehow it manages to though. How does it get darker?

First off the beginning of this one, naturally, picks up and the end of the last one. They are arriving at a prison. Now your first thought may be. Why in the fuck would they want to go to a prison? Easy. Think about how hard it is to break out of prison…now think about the opposite. How hard would it be to get into a prison? If you look at it from that simple standpoint you can then imagine how hard it would be for a dumb, slow moving zombie to get in. You can also look at it in the sense that there are beds, food, water, and electricity. Prisons are pretty much self-sufficient cities. The book takes it a step further by foreshadowing (with buses in the carpool and the possibility of using them for travel) and beginning to start again (planting crops in the prison yard). The problem in this book however doesn’t really stem from what’s going on outside (I.e. zombie decides to eat your face) as much as what is going on inside.

Several new characters are introduced, and like the first one, many of the new and old characters die. However, unlike the first book where they died at the teeth of zombies, they totally die at the hands of humans. In fact, 7 characters die in book two, only one of which at the hands of a zombie. You would think many of these new characters would be prisoners (because it takes place at a prison...duh) but we are only introduced to 4 new characters this way. By far the most interesting character of this book is an outsider named Michonne. The girl comes onto the scene carting two zombies without arms and lower jaws attached to her with chains, wielding a sword like she’s a fucking ninja. The two zombies? Her boyfriend and his best friend. Bitch is a badass. However, other then the initial introduction of her slicing and dicing we don’t really see much more of this “uber” side to her. However, she is both feared and respected for the simple fact that she was traveling alone. Another shining light in book two is Tyreese. He is by far becoming my favorite character. I’m getting a little tired of Rick and family. Which also plays out in the book in much the same way with other characters (in other words everyone is getting tired of Rick).

I didn’t like Book Two as much as I liked Book One. Even though the conflict is increasing, fucked up shit happens, zombies are killed by the hundreds it seems like, and the characters are becoming more real. I think it was because of the man vs. man conflict that I began to lose interest in it. Not so much because that bores me but because you are practically assaulted with it in this one. I don’t think there is a single time where you can’t flip four pages without someone yelling at someone else or someone blaming someone else. You would think, now that they can ban together and start over in an almost paradise like setting, that they would work together towards this common goal. That’s not the case though. I could have settled
for a…well he killed that guy because he had to. But to take that to: well he killed that guy because he had to…this guy knows about it…this other guy kills someone because he had to…and this guy knows about it…now lets fight and let everyone know about it. In other words everyone’s dirty little secret seems to come out in this one. Not to mention we find out that one lady doesn’t like to put a penis in her mouth and another, well, she’ll do it. Let’s just say I felt like I was watching a poorly scripted zombie soap opera. Which doesn’t make this TV version they are planning sound very appealing. If anything it is making me think the exact opposite. I can see how they would take the soap opera and stretch it out into something ungodly. Next thing you know in the series someone is going to have a pet family member ala Fido. But what the fuck do I know right? I mean, with all the sleeping around that is taking place in The Walking Dead it should be ripe for the Boob Tube.

Bottom line. It is nowhere near as good as Book One. In fact, were it possible, I would tell you to skip Book Two. Just know the basics and continue on. The artwork is still amazing though.

I also just remembered that one of the prisoners escapes after trying an uprising. We never see him die. I wonder if he brings the thunder back with him. Hrmmmmm.

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