If you haven’t read this issue I have to warn you there are spoilers here. I purposely wait this long to review these issues in the hopes that more people have read it and can talk about it.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe The Walking Dead is now the longest running zombie comic in the history of the industry. Here we are with Issue #88, just 12 issues away from the big #100 and things are still as interesting as ever!
Anyway, The Walking Dead #88 by Robert Kirkman, and if you don’t know what by now there’s nothing that can be done for you, and art by Charlie Adlard starts right where #87 left us: Carl woke up. He seems alright, as alright as a kid can be having had part of his head blown off. His memory is fragmented, however, as he asks for his mom, Lori, having apparently lost that memory.
The sad part is this leaves Rick with the situation of having to tell him, again, that his mother is dead. Now, I’ve read other reviews that have had issues with this and the reaction of Carl when he’s told what happened to his mother and the baby, Judy. What I take from this is his memory is badly fragmented as he does remember others from the past who have died. Also, this was a very traumatic event, on top of many other such events, in the short life of this boy. The fact that he hasn’t started suppressing memories before the accident is amazing. It seems to me that the trauma of all these losses and the gun shot have just taken their toll on him. He doesn’t even really react to being shot. He’s a boy who has lost a lot, and just might have given up. The future of Carl will be most interesting from here on.
In other parts of this story we have more of the growing mutiny as Nicolas tries talking to others about doing something to get rid of Rick and the others. I don’t know how long this story will do but it doesn’t look like it will end very well for someone.
Andrea and Spencer have a full falling out as Andrea simply wants nothing more to do with him. On the surface it seems like it has something to do with his willingness to abandon everyone when things got rough but, knowing Andrea, it’s something more… something deeper. I think, possibly, with Carl’s accident and Rick’s reaction to potentially losing all the family he has left, might have brought her feelings of losing Dale closer to the surface. She never really had a chance to mourn him.
Speaking of Rick, even with Carl waking up for a short time and being as well as he can be, he doesn’t seem willing to slow down. He refuses to sleep, instead he puts a group together to start looking for food to replenish their exhausted supply. He won’t slow down, it probably keeps him from thinking about his situation, but while searching for food he wanders off and Andrea finds him… he finally breaks down.
Everyone has been through a lot and, while some may not like these ‘slow’ issues, they are important. This is as realistic as a story of this sort can be. Real life doesn’t run full steam all the time. You have valleys with those hills. It just so happens in The Walking Dead, the lower the hills,the higher the mountains. Whenever we have these slow issues it just builds the next explosion and I’m interested in what’s coming next!
So, overall, this was a nice issue to continue the threads that can’t be focused on while fighting masses of zombies and also does a great job of setting up the next conflict. Kirkman hasn’t shown many signs of wear on this series. Some, but not much.