The Walking Dead issue #85  Written by Robert Kirkman, Art & Cover by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn and Published by Image Comics

Review Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Issue #85 of The Walking Dead feels like that first breath of air when you reach the water’s surface after touching the bottom of the deep end of a pool.  Without an issue like this, it would be hard to read The Walking Dead in any form, be it monthly or trades.  This story works so well as humanity is able to show its tender and ugly sides even in the face of flesh-eating zombies.  We see love reach out in the case of Andrea and the unfaithfulness of Abraham.

With the roamers stopped (at least for now), the townspeople are left to pick up and dispose of the redead roamers.  Rick sits by Carl’s bedside and comes clean about what happened moments before his son was shot to the doctor.  It goes as well as it sounds.  Life continues for the group of survivors as they deal with personal strife and try to reconnect with one another.  In the way of events, not much transpires in this issue but it is ok since both the readers and the characters need that moment to breathe.  Rick, for the first time, seems hopeful about staying in this town, rebuilding it and trying to create some semblance of a normal life.  As for Abraham and Rosita’s relationship, it’s on the rocks and the fate of Carl is in question though a glimmer of hope presents itself in the form of a groan.  But remember, this is The Walking Dead after all and no one is safe.

There isn’t much to say in the way of Kirkman and Adlard that hasn’t been said.  This issue proves that they can do more than just show zombies tearing people apart, they can tug at the heartstrings and hit character moments at just the right time.  A real highlight of this issue is the quiet moment between Rick and Carl.  The creative team of artists and writers really capture a father’s love for his son and the feeling of powerlessness to help, only capable of hoping and praying your child can recover from an injury/illness (on a personal note, I’ve been there and can easily relate to Rick’s situation).  Rick’s Catholic-like confession to the doctor also shines in this episode and will undoubtedly have consequences in issues to come.

This series is hard to pass up like iced cold lemonade on a hot day.  It’s hard to understand how anyone could be reading this in trades when Kirkman and Adlard put out topnotch work each month.  Having to wait, however long it takes for the trade to come out, is way, way too long.

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