REVIEW: The Walking Dead Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars
When I heard that The Walking Dead graphic novel series was in development for a series on AMC (home of my absolute favorite, Breaking Bad). I was elated. Then reality sank in. I was still stinging from what had been done to the Terry Gooodkind novel series, The Sword of Truth. My mind spun, prompting me to dig out the series, wondering where the problems might occur. No surprise, the volume that solidifies the series as truly great, the one that earns Robert Kirkman the title I alluded to in my review of volume 1, Days Gone By. King of the Zombie Genre, is the one with some of the most disturbing sequences (so far). Simply put, bad things happen here. Provided the series is a success, this is where I will watch with concern on how AMC handles the story.
Safety Behind Bars gives us the modern day equivalent to the infamous mall setting: a prison. If you’ve never seen one of your state’s correctional facilities up close, first – yay for you! These facilities have a huge upside when considering a place to seek security from the zombie threat. Of course, there is a downside: the current
In safety Behind Bars Rick Grimes and his band of survivors are on the verge of starvation. A prison is their oasis, but you just have to know there will be problems, you won’t be wrong.
This volume does an excellent job of enhancing the personalities of the supporting cast that surrounds our central protagonist, Rick Grimes. Tyreese earns co-star billing and Lori Grimes, Rick’s wife asserts herself as well, finally giving the story an actual leading lady.
There are some very disturbing twists and turns in Safety Behind Bars. Also, Kirkman takes time here to establish some of his own mythology. All I will say is that, just because you aren’t bitten…that doesn’t mean you’re safe from turning. This volume is not light on the body count and I am overwhelmingly impressed by how fearless Kirkman is in whittling away at his cast. You start to wonder if he has something against poor Hershel.
The survivors face their first splash of cold water in this arc of the story. How do you deal with a serious crime when there is no more law? When the rules have been erased, who makes the new ones? Also, there are foreshadowing’s of future problems. Safety Behind Bars is an excellent catalyst for several future story arcs.
Sticking with the formula, the story ends with a cliffhanger. I stand behind my earlier proclamations in regards to Robert Kirkman as the new King. This is the story that officially announces his arrival.
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