This is my second reading of this compendium which includes Chapters 9-16 [issues #49-96] of The Walking Dead graphic series. This second compendium includes many of the scenes currently being aired on the television show of the same name though the two are not true to each other, in the best way. I enjoy both immensely.
This tome opens with Rick Grimes [cop turned post-apocalyptic leader] and his son Carl escaping the devastation at the prison after the Governor’s brutal attack, that wiped out half the accumulated characters. The two find Michonne and head to Hershel’s farm where they reconnect with Dale, Andrea, Glen, Maggie, Sophia and the twin boys. While at the farm they meet a determined trio: Abraham, Eugene and Rosita, who are on a mission to get to Washington DC to stop the zombie apocalypse. The groups join together and take to the road to avoid a new threat: roving zombie herds. The road is dangerous though, too. They meet a group of rapists and later cannibals showing the darker side of humanity.
A major turn happens when the group of survivors are approached by representatives for a peaceful, protected community: Alexandria. Despite fears that this could be another Woodbury, the group check it out and are able to put their wandering ways behind them. The focus of the series changes at this point to one of rebuilding civilization. Alexandria is the largest gathering they’ve seen with about 60 citizens. By the end, they have learned of trading networks of even larger settlements in the area. Hilltop, with its agrarian nature and 200 citizens acts as a trade capital merely 20 miles from Alexandria. What the settlements lack, however, is what the group has in spades: experience and knowledge of life in the wild beyond the settlements.
The continued exploration of the human condition and basics of civilization is astounding in this series. It is highly recommended. I have also reviewed The Walking Dead, Compendium 1.
[Check out my other reviews here.]