After the shocking time jump last issue, Robert Kirkman lulls us in to a sense of security with a tale that lets readers reconnect with their favorite characters.
This issue is the poster child for "slow burn" storytelling but the manner in which Kirkman tells the tale makes the reader feel comfortable with the fact it isn't about shock and awe. This is a great "breather" issue in which we get to learn more about Carl, Eugene, Rick, Andrea and the small new cast of characters introduced last issue. Kirkman delves deeper into the inner workings of how Rick's community works, from bread making to a more precise ammunition crafting process, and we get to see just how far Kirkman's world has changed.
The subtleties Kirkman weaves into his characters is what drives this issue. Carl's new hobby/career choice is something I would have never expected from the hard nosed, lethal weapon he was prior to the time jump but it is something that makes me enjoy his character so much more! Eugene's relationship, or lack there of, with Rosita is equally as shocking and forces Eugene from a character that I never thought I would care for into one I desperately need to know about. Even the diminutive rant from Neegan brought a well earned smile to my face when I thought I could only like him as an extremely over the top maniac. But that is what Kirkman does! He can shock you with big, overwhelming storylines that make you squirm in your seat but he can also write smaller character pieces that draw you to his characters in a way few books can.
So, if you are looking for "walkers" just turn to the middle of the book, but if you are looking for something that has a little more meat on it's bones, start at the beginning and enjoy until the very end!