This week it’s a one-two punch of indie books as we look at the latest issue of The Walking Dead, and head into the future with D4ve!
The Walking Dead #139 (Image Comics)
The Walking Dead has been in an interesting place for the past few issues. Since the time jump, we’ve been introduced to new characters, seen old favorites in new positions of power, and haven’t seen hide nor hair of Michonne. Rick Grimes, the leader of our band of survivors, was in the first two issues of the time jump, but has barely been seen since then. It almost seems like Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard are slowly changing the focus of the book to Carl Grimes. However, Walking Dead #139 finally turns the attention onto the elder Grimes, giving us greater insight into this new world for the Walking Dead, and finally shows us some other familiar faces as well.
I won’t get into specifics, but this issue we finally see Ezekiel and MIchonne again. Also without getting into specifics, I can tell you that once again, we’ve got another quiet issue on our hands. Aside from a quick check in with Carl and his experiences with the Whisperers, there’s not much on the action front. But that’s okay, because Robert Kirkman delivers some stellar character moments in this issue, and the revelations behind Michonne, Ezekiel, and Rick are revealed expertly. Of the three it’s Michonne that steals the show. Her conversation with Rick is the driving force of the issue, and one of the best moments in the series since the time jump.
Charlie Adlard is well known for his awesomely gory zombies. However, after this issue you may start associating him with gorgeous sweeping landscape drawings as well. Adlard has some truly stunning art in this issue, with many panels that made me actually say “whoa” out loud. While Walking Dead will always feature zombies, its good to know that Adlard puts just as much time into the non-decaying flesh parts of the series.
While I do agree that Walking Dead is slowing down a little bit, it’s still been interesting seeing where our characters have ended up since the two year time jump. Even 139 issues in, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard can still surprise me, and I look forward to cracking open the next issue. The Walking Dead continues to be a master class in long form storytelling, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
D4ve #2 (of 5) (IDW Comics)
D4ve #1 was, simply, one of the most bizarre comics I’ve ever read. It was also extremely hilarious. Ryan Ferrier and Ramon Valentin’s comic is about what happens after the robots wipe out humanity and prevent an alien invasion. So what do they do? They mimic our lives, right down to the menial office jobs. D4ve, a former hero of the Robot/Alien wars, is now stuck working a crappy job and daydreaming about his glory days blasting aliens in the face. Now, in issue 2 of the 5-part miniseries, his wishes of being a hero again are about to come true, as a new race of aliens begin their invasion.
Ryan Ferrier’s script is filled with a ton of hilarious gags and situations, and makes you root for D4ve, even though he’s kind of an a-hole. From zoning out during a corporate meeting to dealing with his recently ordered teenage robot son, D4ve is constantly being thrown a crappy hand, so when he finally gets the chance to fulfill his dreams, you can’t help but root for him. Ferrier’s unique take on this well-tread tale is awesome, and he gives D4ve some pretty hilarious one-liners as well.
Ramon Valentin’s art is superb. Like Ferrier’s script, Valentin’s art is able to hilariously convey the torture that D4ve goes through everyday. But it’s not just the mundane that Valentin gets, he’s also got a great handle on the comedic effect that art can have on a comic book. Many comedy books can fail if the art isn’t exactly right. Luckily Valentin and Ferrier sync up perfectly. The daydreams that D4ve has are wonderfully done, and D4ve’s realizations when he wakes up from them are hilarious.
If you’re looking for something a little different from your usual comics, then I highly recommend D4ve. It’s unique, weird, and friggin’ hilarious. Honestly, I’ll be shocked if this isn’t picked up for a movie or TV property, it’s that good. So far only two issues have been released, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find, but that might change as more people start hearing about this series. Seek it out.