Review: The Walking Dead, Vol. 06: This Sorrowful Life

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 06: This Sorrowful Life by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn | Rating: ★★★★☆

Proving once again what a staple this is in anyone's horror/graphic novel collection, The Walking Dead continues with its sixth volume, a collection of gory tales of survival in a zombie apocalypse. You see the horrors first hand--the death, the savage nature we're drawn to, the burning passion of love and hate and most of all surviving until tomorrow. During my first reading of this series, I have to admit, I wasn't altogether fond of many of the strips in This Sorrowful Life but this time around I enjoyed it far more than I had. I still have some complaints (more of life back at the prison as the group grapples to survive, not knowing whether Rick, Michonne and Glenn are dead) but for the most part this was one of the most suspenseful installments yet.

The biggest threat isn't always zombies in The Walking Dead: it's humans, too, at their very worst. Enter, The Governor. Sadistic, troubling, chilling--any of these things can describe such a horrid character. He is one of those characters that scares the heck out of you and makes your stomach turn. Worst of all, he is holding some of the survivors captive and torturing them.

I'll be honest, there's so much that can trigger a reader in the series as a whole. We have seen it in the entire run and there's really not escaping the fact that this series cannot be consumed by every-one of us. The Governor is one of the big bads and we already know what he is capable of. From the way he holds Rick, Michonne and Glenn, to the violence against Michonne that is troubling, we see mankind at its most horrifying. He is one sick bastard and you can't help but to wait in anticipation to see him get what's coming to him.

I loved how this installment is almost a boiling point for Rick in particular; about how he discovers how far he would go to protect his family. Something about his admission is startling and raw, it is impossible to look away from. We've seen a lot of changes in not only Rick, but the group as a whole, and I think that the way it is displayed in This Sorrowful Life is fascinating and opens a bunch of other topics to be explored.

Overall, I thought this amped up a whole new level not only of survival but of the mental health of a few people: Rick, Michonne. It's always striking to see the complexities of humanity rising above an even bigger struggle than we could possibly know. There are a lot of questions at the end of this installment--and it proves, once more, that the stakes are always going to be high.

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