Artist: Charlie Adlard
This has been a series that I've been enjoying for quite a few years now, and although I wasn't reading it when it started it still doesn't feel like it's been out for ten years now. I am however very happy that they are doing something big to celebrate this, as having read every issue since I have become a massive fan, and although it's continued to be great lately, it needs to find the high level of quality that it had back when the Governor was around.
Rick and the collective groups make their final preparations before going to war.
This was a fantastic issue, and although it didn't stand out as a phenomenal anniversary issue, it was still amazing, being a brilliant start for this epic storyline. Robert Kirkman did a great job of setting up this war in this issue, and although I would have loved something shocking due to the fact that it's the anniversary issue, it was probably a good idea to slowly work it's way into the main battle. Kirkman also wrote some fantastic dialogue during this issue, once again showing the depth of the characters, and how far they've come over the series. On top of that Kirkman managed to add a lot of suspense and drama throughout this issue, with the issue showing a ton of promise for this storyline.
The artwork from Charlie Adlard was as amazing as usual, with the detail throughout being brilliant. Adlard also once again did a fantastic job of laying out his artwork, adding a lot of suspense and depth throughout. Adlard also did a great job of showing the characters expressions and emotions throughout this issue, as it added a lot of drama an tension throughout, with the Rick and Negan interaction near the end of the issue really being intense. Cliff Rathburn as usual did a fantastic job with the grey tones, as did Stefano Gaudiano at inking the issue, though it did feel ever so slightly different without Adlard doing the inking himself. I also loved the array of variants for this issue, and I wish I could have gotten them all.
This issue would start with an interaction between Rick and Andrea, during which Rick reveals to Andrea that he has doubts over the outcome of this war. Now I felt this was a brilliant way of opening the issue, as although I had my concerns about Rick and Andrea becoming a couple, they are very much alike, and she's the only person that Rick could say such a thing to. I also liked how it showed that Rick isn't any better than anyone else in the group, or at least that he sees things that way. On top of that the sequence also added a lot of tone and drama to the issue, showing the kind of character depth that makes the series so unique and interesting.
After this the group would make it's final preparations, with Rick talking with Eugene, and then the group as a whole. Although this is what slowed the issue down a bit, I felt that this was a necessary sequence, and overall enjoyed it. I especially liked seeing Rick rally the troops, giving them some morale, as with a lot not being used to fighting it's a big risk they're taking going up against Negan and his Saviors. There was also a small interaction between Andrea and Carl during this preparation that I really enjoyed, as there hasn't really been a connection between the two, even though Andrea and his father have been together for a while now.
This issue would also see the start of this war, as although there wasn't any fighting in this issue it would see Rick and the collective group reach the Saviors location. Now I won't go into any plot details besides what I've already said as this was the final sequence in the issue. I will however say that I really enjoyed this sequence, and it was easily the best part of the issue. It was very suspenseful, and had a lot of tension throughout, with the interaction between Rick and Negan being as intense as you'd expect. This sequence would also have some shocks involved as well, and has me very excited about the next issue.
This was a brilliant issue, as although it wasn't a phenomenal celebration for the series, it was still very fitting, setting this epic arc of to a fantastic start. It had some really intense and dramatic sequences throughout, with some wonderful interactions. It also shows a lot of promise for the future quality of this story, and on a whole has me extremely excited about the next issue. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue, and it's also a great jumping on point for new readers.