The Walking Dead #193 is a brave ending to an epic comic book run, which will seal its place in the hall fo fame.
This review of The Walking Dead #193 contains minor spoilers.
The Walking Dead #193 is the last issue of the comic book series by the iconic team of Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn.
The book had previously shocked regular readers by killing off Rick Grimes in the previous issue, so maybe we should have seen this as a massive red flag, but there had been no other signs that the book was coming to such a conclusive end.
I am pretty sure that even retailers never knew what was happening, as previews seemed to promote issues #194 and #195, so there was no reason to suspect the end was nigh.
The Walking Dead #193 book is a thing of beauty, square-bound and double (maybe triple) sized; it is sprawling and satisfying, and also includes six pages of text from Kirkman, explaining precisely what is going on.
It is telling that Kirkman states that after the planned final issue was all tied down, he was filled with regret, although he tries to explain that the entire series has always relied on catching the readers off guard.
He goes on to explain that the ending of the book had been planned well in advance, and as things moved forward, Kirkman realised the finale was imminent, and all he could do was steer the ship the way he knew it had to go.
It is something of an oddity that Kirkman has told the story he wanted to tell, without any interference. This book, possibly more than any of his others, is his baby, and now that it has gone as far as he can take it, he has made the massive step of ending the story the way he wanted to. He says, “I’m upset too. I’m going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it and we have to move on… but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn’t live up to what I want it to be.”
In comic book history, it’s quite unusual for a creator to end a run. However, think of Gaiman and Sandman, Ennis and Preacher and Morrison on The Invisibles. All titles that were written to a final act determined by the writer, on his terms. Quite a feat, and proving again that the medium of comics may be the only one where this approach is still possible.
The Walking Dead #193 is a heartfelt, sometimes bittersweet goodbye, to the whole mythos.
There is a time jump that at first seems clumsy, but amazingly, this book has been given all the space it needs to engage the regular readers and shepherd them towards the end.
The size of the book makes it more like a graphic novel, and I hope everyone that had been reading this series grabbed one at the cover price, as I have noticed that the price on this gem keeps increasing.
It would perhaps be unfair, and lengthy, to go over all the points brought up in the issue, and if you are a fan, you should pick this issue up, even if it is just for the joyous final five pages.
The Walking Dead #193 is a brave ending to an epic comic book run, and though I am not convinced that this is the last we shall hear about The Walking Dead in comic book form, it is a fitting and well-executed conclusion and will place this run in the comic book hall of fame.
Louie Fecou reviews films, tv shows and comics for Ready Steady Cut, HC Movie Reviews and We Have A Hulk. He currently runs his own business in between watching films.