Review: The Walking Dead Volume 8 (by Robert Kirkman)

[Some Spoilers Within]

Robert Kirkman ended The Walking Dead‘s seventh volume in what I could only say as one major cliffhanger. The seventh volume of this series definitely lived up to it’s title of “The Calm Before” as the series took a breather from all the stress which built and built in the past two collections. Now that calm has now been shattered with this eight volume aptly titled, “Made to Suffer”.

A title which puts Rick and his band of survivors through its paces. The Woodbury group definitely do their best to make Rick and his people suffer for what they see as transgressions against their walled town. While most of the invading group do so in the belief that they’re protecting Woodbury from a band of bloodthirsty killers there’s a few who follow the lead of Woodbury’s tyrannical and sociopathic Governor. A man who has spun out lies about Rick and his group to his people to get them in the proper mindset to take down the prison.

The volume does a brief flashback of how the Governor and his trust inner cirle were able to find the prison. It also explains how he was able to survive the ministrations of Michonne during the prison group’s escape from Woodbury. Michonne really put the screws on the Governor for the rape and torture he had inflicted on her. To say that Michonne went medieval on the Governor would be a major understatement.

This volume would end like most of the best zombie films and stories before it. Two groups determined to fight to the death to keep what theirs or take what they want. Casualties abound on both sides as Kirkman almost wipes the slate clean as he prepares to move the series into a new uncertain narrative path. Characters fans have come to love meet their end while others who have worn out their welcome in some way survive to live another day. The last few panels of “Made to Suffer” were shocking and heartbreaking.

I’ve read from fan feedback of how they hated Kirkman for he did, but at the same time became even bigger fans of the series for its unpredictability. Kirkman would pull no punches in how he makes the characters suffer throughout the six-issues of this volume. He definitely backs up his works when he said that this story-arc would leave no one safe from his killing pen. This volume would break some readers in that they may not want to continue reading the series after the punch to gut of the last issue in this volume. Others will be just as determined to stick it out to see how the remnants of the original group continue on with what and who they’ve lost.

One thing that I am sure of is that this eight collected volume of the series will not be the usual and same old, same old. After reading this book one may just end up hating and admiring Kirkman in equal amounts for what he has done.

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