“I’m only taking this as far as I absolutely have to,” says Rick Grimes, the leader and main protagonist in the Walking Dead, when questioned about the way he is treating a prisoner. This line, however, does so much more than set the tone for the current story.
The line is the core theme of Rick’s character as well as the entire story of Walking Dead. For those (few) who don’t know, The Walking Dead is a comic book (and a very successful television show of the same name) about a group of survivors doing what needs to be done to survive in a world in which the dead walk the earth, feeding on the flesh of the living. The story, though, is more about the people, good and bad, than it is the zombies.
The Walking Dead: Volume 8 hardcover (collecting issues #85 through 96) brings the group face-to-face with a new character, Jesus, who belongs to another group of survivors. The book makes you want to trust him even though, like the characters, I have learned to trust no one. The visitor leads them on a search for his people that ends in the core group needing to make a decision as to whether or not they will make some sort of pact with the new group. Rick and the gang are torn because of the other situations they are faced with such as budding relationships, almost losing Carl, and running low on supplies.
The story is well written, as are most of the Walking Dead stories. There are some great character moments here that make the reader realize that there really are no “good guys” in the Walking Dead. If you have never read the Walking Dead, I would not suggest starting with book 8 (1 is often the best place to start), but I do suggest these hardcovers. They are a nice size to carry around and read, and at only $30 for twelve issues in a beautifully bound in a hardcover book, it is the most economic way to get them all. I give this one 4 out of 5 severed fingers!