Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you haven’t read up to issue #57 yet, stop now and come back later once you’ve caught up!
As I have pointed out numerous times, The Walking Dead is my favorite comic book to date. It’s only competitor is Fear Agent. Time and again Robert Kirkman has pushed the limits of the survival horror genre, and of comic books in general.
The rape of Michone, the horrific retaliation bestowed upon the Governor, the unexpected death of many characters, including Rick’s wife and baby; Robert Kirkman has truly proven that this book is not about zombies, it’s about the survivors.
The most recent issue of the Walking Dead, issue #57, pushed another boundary: the attempted rape of Rick’s child.
In this issue the survivor’s arrive at an onramp to the interstate as they continue their journey towards Washington D.C.
Rick and Abraham decide to take the interstate towards Rick’s former home town in order to raid the police station for supplies. Of course Rick insists upon taking Carl along for the ride so that he can keep an eye on him. Upon nightfall Rick and Abraham decide to make camp.
It is soon thereafter that a group of rednecks attack Rick, Abraham and Carl in their sleep in attempt to rob them.
In a rather shocking series of panels Carl is dragged away from his father and has his pants ripped off. Thankfully Rick is able to come to Carl’s aid before things go further.
This was such a horrible turn in the story that in the letters section, Krikman actually felt the need to offer what could almost be translated as an apology to his readers.
Kirkman explains how this was a very difficult thing for him to write. He also explains that he and Charlie Adlard took no delight in this section of the comic.
Call it an apology, an explanation or simply an excuse, there’s no doubt in my mind that Kirkman’s email has been littered with angry letters of complaint.