I have a like/hate relationship with Robert Kirkman’s opus The Walking Dead both in comic book and television mediums. Early in the comic book I liked it a lot because it was far more about the characters internal and external relationships then it was about zombies. Although, I like zombies. I think Kirkman reached the apex of this when with the prison/Woodbury arc. In the comic verision the Governor was one of the best anatagonists I’ve ever experienced. He was a character I loved to hate, and his actions had long lasting consequences on not just Rick but the entire band of survivors in his group, both physically and psychologically. Unfortunately, when it came to the television series the casting and writing for the Governor felt neutered. The governor and the whole town of Woodbury felt too ridiculous on the television show when it felt believable in the comic. I think it comes down to the acting and the poor casting the show has at times.
That being said I think they did a fantastic job casting Micchone and have excelled at developing into something more then a female verision of Logan/Wolverine. I think the writing and character development excels when there are scenes with Carl and Michone interacting. It’s that relationship that keeps me interested in the show more then anything else. The other character I’m impressed with in terms of acting and casting is Carl. In the comic book Carl took the proverbial back seat, for the most part, but I’m really enjoying how the character is developing. Especially after the end of the prison arc. I think charcter is where Kirkman shines and fails miserably. The character Abraham in particular is a huge bomb both in the comic and television series. Kirkman also has a tendacy to write some horrendous dialogue, ie the exchange between Rick and the Gov outside the prison prior to the final conflict. And Abraham’s cliché spewed rant about his ‘mission’.
To be honest I stopped reading the comic maybe half a year after the prison arc. The main reason is because Kirkman seemed to loose his focus on the overall plot of the story. In a lot of ways I think he should’ve let the comic series end with the prison arc. Hopefully, he has learned from this lack luster writing in the comic and will keep the plot of the television show tight. With the addition of Terminus to the show gives me hope. I also hope that he continues to develop the relationship between Michone and Carl. I think that is the future of the series. I think Rick should eventualy take the back seat when it comes to being a ‘leader’. The Walking Dead has always been an ensemble series, in both forms of media, and I see no reason to keep Rick alive any longer then any other character. I’m hoping Kirkman has the guts to deverge from the comic from this point on not just in terms of characters but in plot. Otherwise I see this series falling apart quickly.