Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Review: "The Walking Dead: Compendium Two"

It took me a while to get through “The Walking Dead: Compendium Two” ($59.99, Image Comics) because I put it on pause for a while, debating whether I wanted to go beyond what I’d seen on the television version.

As I mentioned in my review of the first volume, reading through this is something of a different experience for me. Usually, I’m very familiar with the literary basis before I watch the film adaptation, but my introduction to The Walking Dead came via the AMC show.

Adding to that is the fact that I haven’t had cable in a number of years, so I’m running a season behind everyone else on the TV show. So I stopped at the pivotal moment in Alexandria that ended the last season. Ultimately, I decided to push on, and I’m glad I did because some of my friends who are current with the TV show would have spoiled a big plot point for me if I hadn’t.

As I work through the comics, I continue to be both intrigued and frustrated by the differences between the TV show and the source material. After the first volume, I really felt that Tyreese got a raw deal in the show. After the second volume, I have to say that what they did to Tyreese was nothing compared to what’s happened to Andrea.

Not only is she still alive when the group reaches Alexandria, but she’s a serious badass, too. Much of her role in the comics has been split up between Sasha and Carol on AMC. In the books, though, she’s really a pivotal character. It’s kind of a shame that she wasn’t all that likeable in the show and that she went out so early.

Aside from that, I can still enjoy both versions of the story. The comic continues to make the show look lightweight in terms of sheer brutality. It’s a much more stark, raw and violent version, though toward the end of this volume, I thought a little bit of the drama died down a little. Having not seen the TV version of these events yet, I can’t make a comparison.

Now I’m left with an even tougher decision. There’s a nice set up at the end of “Compendium Two” for the storyline with the villain that everyone seems to be buzzing about – Negan. It intrigued me, and I’m eager to see what all the hype is about, and if he lives up to it. At the same time, I’m a good two years from seeing it play out on the screen. Decisions, decisions.

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