Review: The Walking Dead Vol. 9, Here We Remain by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 9: Here We Remain by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn | Rating: ★★★★☆

I think we can all agree that The Walking Dead is one of the most iconic comics in the modern horror genre both because of the show's obscene popularity and the comics startling beginnings. Volume 9, Here We Remain, reminds us why the series has spawned such a large fanbase that only continues to grow. Here We Remain is both terrifying and heartbreaking in its base of emotions. Which is both an incredibly moving trait and overwhelming.

We saw the end of an era in the previous installment that was what laid the groundwork for this one. Here We Remain is a testament to the fact that The Walking Dead is more than just another horror-themed zombie story, there is this startling amount of humanity and soul even as we see these characters forced to move forward in the face of loss and terror. Here We Remain signals another change to the story as Rick and Carl struggle with the deep cut of loss and begin their next chapter. The sense of doom lingering in the background like the shadow it has always been.

The thing about Here We Remain is that, now that we've lost so many more, it reminds us of the dire situation these characters are in. And how utterly unprepared they are.

There are so many moments in this installment that make me shudder with some sort of emotion that I often find myself feeling in the series. The Walking Dead has always managed to make me feel any given emotion--from a chill down the spine, to a satisfying sensation of fear and all the way back to something that tugs on our heartstrings.

Once more, we're face-to-face with the emotional standing of each character. Carl has so many good scenes in this one and you're reminded of the fact that he is really a kid who has been forced to grow up in startling and unique circumstances. In many ways, we have seen changes in him since the first volume but Here We Remain takes things up a notch by showing him taking care of Rick; mourning the loss of his mother and sister, eventually reuniting with Sophia.

Carl, for much of the installment, is at a crossroads. He is forced to protect himself and his father, taking up the post of an adult whilst remaining undeniably childlike. It's interesting to see. And I dare you not to get emotional over the scene of him taking care of Rick.

As for Rick, as his condition improves, we see the mental toll that has been taken on him even further.

There's this sense of guilt in him that makes his journey particularly compelling. Rick has always been one of the best characters the series has had to offer, but Here We Remain is especially potent when it comes to what makes him... Rick. Every scene of his with the phone will break your heart. After that plot comes to an end, and we understand his mental state a little more, it's great to see him reunited with Michonne--they're truly connected in their grief and coping mechanisms.

Lastly, I enjoyed the three of them reuniting with Glenn and co., not just because I adored (and grew to mourn) the sense of family that they all had with one another. I was glad to see some familiar faces and utterly devastated when Rick had to explain the fate of the rest of them. And the final pages? So much suspense! I loved the introduction of Abraham and Rosita.

Overall, Here We Remain is an emotional ride from start to finish that has everything The Walking Dead is known for: thrills and chills.

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