I took a big break between reading the first Compendium and this one. These things are huge and are equal to 48 regular sized comic books. That’s a lot of reading and my mind needed a break. Funny though, because after I finished this one, I couldn’t do anything other than jump right into the third volume, which I am reading now and will review when I’m done. So essentially, as good as the first Compendium was, this one was far and away superior.
The plot starts just after the Governor scenario and leads all the way up to the introduction of Negan, who doesn’t physically appear until the beginning of the third Compendium. This era of The Walking Dead is focused on meeting some new people, finding Alexandria and then turning it into a home, where Rick and the gang eventually run the show. It ends with the Saviors appearing and starting trouble for the group.
While this is somewhat of a transitional stretch between the series’ two biggest villains, it delves into the human element more and it sells the idea of the future and civilization rising up once again. The comic book does a much better job of creating a community and then a network of communities than the show has ever done. There is just more room to flesh out the details of what is going on in the world and how each character plays a part in it.
The artwork is consistent and fantastic, the story has improved and it is with this volume that I can truly grasp people’s love and admiration for this comic book series. In fact, it kind of puts a damper on the television show, as it just isn’t up to speed or nearly as bad ass as the comic book is. And sure, you can get away with a lot more in a comic book but the AMC show just doesn’t get this intense. Furthermore, Rick Grimes doesn’t feel like some deity of bad assery, he feels human in the comic books. Sure, he’s a Grade A Bad Ass Motherfucker but he shows his weaknesses and his insecurities and isn’t as one-dimensional of a character as he seems on the show sometimes.
This Compendium covers issues 49 through 96. It is hard to believe that a comic book series that is that deep into its story is still able to build and get better. And from what I’ve read of the third Compendium, thus far, it improves even more.