Brian Grant's Reviews > The Walking Dead, Vol. 05: The Best Defense

The Walking Dead, Vol. 05 by Robert Kirkman
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's review
Jan 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: comics-and-graphic-novels, from-library, horror
Read in January, 2012

The summary for "Rise of the Governor" states that, "In the Walking Dead universe, there is no greater villain than The Governor." Knowing this beforehand, I was looking forward to meeting the Governor in "The Best Defense." But I could not have been prepared. As his character is revealed, he transforms before our eyes from wasteland warlord to something unimaginably vile. And he is by far the most arresting and interesting element of the story so far.

I have definitely enjoyed The Walking Dead to this point, but nothing has happened that's particularly remarkable. All the standard (good) stuff is here: the end of the world is a drag; we struggle against the monsters; ultimately the true struggle is between other people or within ourselves. And the band of survivors have had their fare share of all of the above.

But the Governor is a different matter. It feels as though he's effortlessly taken the story line clean off the rails re-framing the events up to this point in relation to himself. I've cared about the characters and their struggles, but not as much as I do now. The group is arguably at their weakest - divide both emotionally and physically - and I genuinely fear for their survival.

I'm looking forward to ongoing character interplay between Rick and the Governor. When we first met Rick, he was a basically good, upstanding person. He's dedicated himself to the safety and survival of those in his care, however reluctantly. Even so, he's caught up in a quagmire of ambiguity struggling to maintain his humanity and dignity while "doing what it takes" to survive. The Governor's motivations are outwardly similar. Are there fundamental differences between the two leaders? Or is one just further down the same road than the other?

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