The Walking Dead Review “Infected” S4E2

Fresh off the heels of the Season 4 premiere, the second episode, “Infected,” keeps the party going with plenty more gore and thrills, but I feel that the story is finally picking back up. Right off the bat, PETA is pissed. Some sick fuck in with a flashlight is feeding the walkers mice, face first. Now we know why they’re all congregating to one area of the fence. It’s a pretty nasty way to start the episode, but they cut to a scene of Tyreese flirting with Karen, even trying to woo her with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” This scene disturbs me for multiple reasons. Aside from the fact that we just saw a walker bite off a rat’s head like a gummy worm, and that the song’s title is not very PC for a post-apocalyptic make-out session, it’s Tyreese’s singing that made me feel uncomfortable. Chad Coleman may look like Curtis Mayfield, but he sure can’t sing like him. The former badass from The Wire is playing a badass TWD character, but he is so incredibly soft in this scene that it innately bothers me. On the contrary, it’s nice to see him being such a gentle man, because we know it won’t be long until Captain Hammer steps up.

No, no, no. Not Tyrese, TYREESE.
No, no, no. Not Tyrese, TYREESE.

As Patrick takes a stroll into Cell Block D, he makes a meal of some guy with a dastardly-looking mustache for what seems like hours. All the things you thought would happen at the end of the last episode do. There’s nobody to yell for help; it’s basically an all you can eat buffet for Patrick and his new recruits. Completely oblivious, Glenn and Maggie are sleeping in what looks to be Flame’s stable. Who knows what kinda kinky stuff they were up to the night before. As Rick and Carl, who has abandoned his Sheriff’s hat because it’s not a farmer’s hat (can you smell the BS in the air??), tend to the housewife duties of keeping after dirt and cucumbers. Shots break out in Cell Block D as the crew sprints into action, no scene more glorious than Steve Yeun’s flowing hair. Michonne, in a moment of weakness while sensing that the others are in danger, blindly runs back into action and is overwhelmed by walkers, spraining her ankle in the meantime. Until Carl “Fuckin” Grimes grabs a rifle and puts down a walker in time to save her. He used the gun for good and, by God, he likes the power back in his hands!

Who wore it better?
Who wore it better?

In the commotion, Daryl snatches a shotgun from one of the people nervously firing away and hands it to Rick. Subtle humor aside, the cell block scene is painful to watch, as many innocent people are slaughtered, but there are no characters of importance that die. Except for Mr. Samuels, leaving his two fucked-in-the-head daughters in the care of Carol. In some stupid logic that only Carol would have, she decides that the best way to toughen up these girls – Book Club obviously isn’t doing it – is to have the first person they practice on be the father. “You have to hurry up before he turns.” Jesus, Carol, have a heart. It may have been forever ago for us, but just about a year ago, she lost her own child and is trying to start fresh by preparing Mika and Lizzie for what Sophia was not. Also, enter Dr. Subramanian, or Dr Submarian as we will address him from now on. The West Georgia Correctional Facility Braintrust, with the help of Dr. Submarian, discover that an aggressive flu strain is causing people to over-pressure internally and bleed out of their orifices and die. Pretty messed up. As they decide how best to quarantine the problem, Karen and Tyreese frolic down the hallway, with Karen coughing along as she goes. Yeah, she’s a goner. As they separate Karen and another Woodburian, David, Carol and Daryl talk it out, with Carol asking Daryl if he’s okay. In typical Daryl Dixon fashion, he responds, “Yeah. Gotta be.” That is a leader, ladies and gentlemen.

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By the fence, Carol confronts Lizzie about being a total wuss by, ya know, not stabbing her dad in the head. In a fit of anger, Lizzie gets upset about Nick being dead. Ya know, nametag walker? Lizzie’s younger sister tells Carol, “She’s messed up; she’s not weak.”  This sentiment is particularly revealing for Carol; she too was once messed up, because of her relationship with her abusive husband and because of her missing daughter, Sophia, who turned out to be a Walker.  But now, Carol is strong, and she never really was weak.  Meanwhile, Daryl gives mad props to Rick, asking him to take back position as a leader. Just as the two reach in for a big hug (or not), Maggie brings to their attention that the entire prison fence is giving way to a herd of walkers. Rick, albeit reluctantly at first, gives in to his killer instinct and starts jabbing walkers in the face through the wall.

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Next, we have a moment that gives Beth a point in my books (Note: that puts her at a total of one point). She’s in the cell block with Michonne tending to Judith. Michonne is so angry with herself for letting herself get hurt and being “stupid.” Earlier, when Lizzie was called stupid, it was for caring for Nick. Does caring for somebody make you weak in this world, or is it just stupid? Michonne has always been the warrior, the asset – but she’s never been in the role to really care about others or feel part of a family. Beth says, in her finite wisdom, “when you care about people, hurt is part of the package.” It must have really hit hard at home with baby Judith, as she begins balling. This is where we notice Michonne’s first real weakness – crying babies! Judging from her reaction, there is definitely a more underlining issue there. Back at the fence, the walkers are breaking through, with so many pushing up against the fence that they begin making Walker Waffles out of the closer ones. Rick knows there is only one thing left to do. In a hilarious scene where Carl creating a makeshift cross for Patrick, only to discover that he was a “practicing Atheist,” Carol probes Carl to see if he’s told Rick about her Book Club. She doesn’t say it, but she might as well be head of the zombie apocalypse “Stop Snitchin” campaign; she tells Carl to lie not say anything to Rick.

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Beth begins to sing a lullaby to Judith, and Judith in turn thanks Beth by spitting up all over Beth. In a deeply sentimental moment, Michonne caresses baby Judith and begins sobbing into her. I don’t know who hurt her, but I wanna punch them in the face! Michonne has never been this vulnerable – in the show or in the books, and I feel a much deeper connection to her as a character. Is that why she’s been constantly going on runs? Is she trying to avoid being around Judith? It’s an issues that won’t go away and one that will hopefully see answers soon.

I knew it was gonna happen. The piggies just gots’ta go! Strike two against PETA. Rick lures the walkers down the road with a trail of piglets. It’s pretty much the saddest that’s ever happened in this show. As Rick cuts the last pig to lure in a batch of walkers, a splooge of blood hits him in the face, sending shame through him like a two dollar hooker after getting a moneyshot. Carl does the right thing and tells Rick what Carol is doing, but in a surprising move, Carl sticks up for literacy and tries to keep the Book Club alive. In an act of faith, Rick rewards Carl by giving him his gun back. He then rewards the entire female viewer population by giving them a good, long look at his abs – a bit gratuitous, but still hilarious to me.

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The episode ends with poor ‘ol Tyreese going to bring Karen some freshly picked flowers (wuh-chhh). Instead, he sees a trail of blood leading to two freshly burned bodies belonging to Karen (as evidenced by her Rock, Paper, Scissors bracelet) and presumably David. Before everybody starts freaking out, let’s consider the possibility that this was warranted. Patrick turned within half a day of feeling sick, and we don’t know that Karen and David weren’t headed down the same path. Second, who did it? Only a select few knew about those two, so my guess is either Herschel or Bob. The rest of them were on screen the whole time. Herschel because he cares more about the safety of the original group than of the Woodburians, and Bob because we’ve had two black men coexist in The Walking Dead for two whole episodes now; it’s time for one of them to go! Just kidding, Bob seems to be one of those guys who always tries to help the situation by making it worse.

Hush Comics gives The Walking Dead’s “Infected” an A. With Rick and Carl finally coming out of their shells, and Michonne opening up some deep scars, there’s plenty to look forward to. However, Carol’s insensitive advances towards Lizzie and Mika and Tyreese’s over-romantic advances to Karen kinda feel out of character, although they do serve a larger purpose. With the whole group snapping back to reality, it’s setting up something big and I can’t wait to find out what it is.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

The Walking Dead Reivew “30 Days Without an Accident” S4E1

Before we get started on this review, I just wanted to let everybody know that this will not be a Breaking Bad review. BrBa has changed the way we watch television and the way I shave my beard. But don’t let that take away from The Walking Dead. It’s the best show on TV right now and an object of our obsession, but it’s still not Breaking Bad. That being said, we still LOVE TWD. It’s full of great actors and a suspenseful script. We might be shortening our reviews, but we still want to bring you the best recaps and reviews that we can write!

Much like the beginning of Season 3, The Walking Dead Season 4 premiere picks up months after the previous season finale. While I found this an endearing trait last season, I feel like this season premiere left me wondering what the hell happened. It seems that rotting walkers are a natural aphrodisiac because everybody seems to be in love. As Daryl puts it, “it’s like a damn romance novel.” Even Rick and Michonne seem to have a little something going on, and it just feels wrong. Especially because it becomes clear who wears the pants in that relationship. However, this is mostly embodied in Carl’s attitude, which is decisively less murderous and has the disposition of a normal kid, something that we can only attribute to reading comics all night long (take that, Comics Code Authority).

You went full shane

Making a debut is Bob. Fans of the comics know Bob as the Woodbury town drunk who patched up the Governor. He’s a former army medic and a sad, sad alcoholic. We were especially pleased to see another alum from The Wire play a recurring role on the show. We also meet Zach, Beth’s new boyfriend (or ex, I suppose) and Patrick, who is played by Vincent Martella from Everybody Hates Chris. There are a ton of new characters in this season’s premiere, but these were the ones that stood out to us.

I'll bet you Wallace is in there...
I’ll bet you Wallace is in there…

The episode is split into three main settings, essentially, with Rick wandering out into the woods to retrieve a deer from a snare and other main characters heading to an outpost to grab some food, Carol and Rick stay in the prison. If it were only that simple… As the group enters the building, the camera pans out to the roof sprawling with walkers and an errant helicopter crash. Okay, how the hell did a convenience store building survive a helicopter crash? And how did all those people end up just dying there? It’s like FEMA dropped walkers on the rooftop instead of supplies, which doesn’t seem implausible. Anyway, as they enter the store, Bob finds his way to a huge shelf stocked with wine. Sidenote: can anybody in Georgia tell me whether or not your convenience stores have fully stocked shelves of alcohol? If so, your state may have a drinking problem. As Bob silently caresses the booze, then chooses to put down the bottle, the entire shelf says “fuck you” and collapses on itself and Bob, drawing all the walkers to the soft part of the roof and raining down onto the floor. Trying to save Bob, who is disgustingly trying to peel back the skull of a zombie with his hands as he is trapped underneath the shelf, Zach ends up getting bitten. It’s a real shame, because I thought he could be a really good character. This scene had a lot of carnage in it, with the decaying carcasses splatting on the ground. It was awesome.

Ya know, if you guys aren't too busy or anything... could I get a hand here?
Ya know, if you guys aren’t too busy or anything… could I get a hand here?

At the prison, Carl is playing Captain Buzzkill when he berates the other kids who are joking at the expense of one of the walkers, Nick, who has a nametag on his shirt. It shows that Carl is trying to be more like his dad, who scolds Carl for naming one of the pigs Violet, but that he is far off from the badassery we saw at the end of Season 3. The kids all go to story-time with Carol. A grown man, who is credited as Ryan Samuels overlooks as his two daughters attend. This is extremely frightening to me; comic book readers will recall that Herschel had two young daughters that were murdered and mutilated in the prison by one of the inmates. Is TV ready for that?? I’d like to think not, but we’ll see. After Samuels leave, we join Carol’s Book Club in a basic knife training seminar. Hanging out with Daryl has done a lot of good for Carol. Although, when Carl finally decides to join the party, Carol is afraid he will tell Rick. It shows that Carl is most likely outcasted by the other kids; even Patrick, who is supposed to be his friend, lies to him. Something tells me Carl is gonna end up growing too fast and returning to form when shit hits the fan again.

Meanwhile, Rick runs into this crazy lady named Clara, who he initially mistook as a walker. I’m sorry, but that’s usually the first sign that you shouldn’t trust a person. Clara shows her puppy dog eyes at Rick, asking for him to help bring the deer back to her starving husband. Rick reluctantly agrees to add Clara and her husband to the merry band of misfits in the prison, if they can answer three questions to his liking. It’s a pretty predictable result that ends up with Clara trying to kill Rick to keep her walker husband  fed. It’s a desperate attempt by a broken person who has nothing left to live for. It made me a little sad, but come on! This is almost two years into the zombie apocalypse; you gotta have tougher skin by that time. The questions end up being:

“How many walkers have you killed?”

“How many people have you killed?”

“Why?”

You can tell that he’s had a lot of time to think about these questions, and they are likely asked to every person they come across. Clara’s leaves Rick with haunting words. “You can’t come back from this.” She requests that Rick leave her to turn as a walker so that she can join her husband. Whether Rick honors her request or just doesn’t wanna deal with her shit anymore, I don’t know, but he leaves her to turn.

Oh, Zach's dead? That's cool. Will you be my new boyfriend?
Oh, Zach’s dead? That’s cool. Will you be my new boyfriend?

Everybody reconvenes at the prison after a long, crappy day. Michonne is still thinking about the Governor, Beth finds out about Zach and doesn’t really care, and Rick is still reeling from what Clara had told him. Rick talks with Herschel “Summer Santa” Greene, the anchor of the group, about it and Herschel tries to convince Rick that he and Carl have come back. It’s a nice segment that really makes you appreciate what Herschel means to the group. Oh, we also find out that Glen and Maggie aren’t pregnant. The episode ends with Patrick taking a cold shower, collapsing from some odd sickness, and bleeding out of his eyeballs and turning into a zombie. I guess everybody does hate Chris. Not that I’ve had this happen to me before, but my guess is that this is bad news for everybody asleep in the prison.

Hush Comics gives The Walking Dead’s “30 Days Without An Accident” a B-. At the end of the day, I’m super excited that The Walking Dead is back and this was a great episode to come back to. While some of the story feels disconnected due to the time off and some of the scenes here feel out-of place, the little awesome things that happen make up for it. The premise of zombie eyeball-bleeding disease also brings a lot of anticipation for what’s to come.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

September Comics and Collectibles Preview

At Hush Comics, we will be starting a new monthly piece reflecting on Diamond Comics Distributors’ monthly PREVIEWS issue. For those not in the know, PREVIEWS is a monthly magazine (almanac-sized each month) that shows you all the ways that you could lose your money through comics, collectibles and games. With the thousands of items to throw money at, we figure we’d make it a little simpler and suggest five comics and five collectibles that will definitely be on our shelves when they are released.

Comics & Books

1.) Fall of the Governor by  Jay Bonansinga and Robert Kirkman ($15 on Amazon) set to be released October 8, 2013. This is the third book in the Governor trilogy of The Walking Dead novels, and looks to tie-in to the comic book series, right around where the Governor meets his end (Spoiler!! He dies). With all the different storylines out there, it’s nice to see that something was created with the intent to supplement and not just making up content for kicks. In this novel, the entire story is told through the perspective of the Governor – a characteristic about the book I like most when considering that the story has always been told with the Grimes’ point of view. It will be interesting to see how others views them, especially The Governor. The first two books were some great literature, so I’m really excited for the final installment.

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2.) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #28 written by Tom Waltz and drawn by Mateus Santolouco is the finale issue to the big “City Fall” arc that’s ongoing right now. It’s a crazy story that can only be made better by the addition to beloved baddies, Rocksteady and Bebop, as this marks their first fight with the Turtles. The big question on this is what happens to Leonardo as Shredder makes a power move to control the city’s underworld. The issue hits stores November 20, 2013. Count me in!

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3.) Batman: Zero Year tie-ins. It seems like every DC Comics book is either a tie-in to Batman: Zero Year or Forever Evil this month. While the massive amounts of books trying to become relevant by adding the Batman to their title, there are a few that really stand out and make me want to read them for content over marketing. The three titles that come to mind are Birds of Prey #25Green Lantern Corps #25 and Nightwing #25Birds of Prey #25 centers around Black Canary and her crime-fighting origin (the Nunchakus really did it for me). Green Lantern Corps #25 takes a look at then-Marine John Stewart as he grapples with confidence issues (not to mention saving a kid in a Gotham Rogues’ jersey! Nightwing #25 dives deeper into Dick Grayson’s pre-Bruce Wayne background; really, I’m just a sucker for a good Nightwing story. My expectations aren’t too high, but when they flood the market with crossover events, there are bound to be at least a few good ones, and hopefully I’ve picked them out. All issues come out November 2013.

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4.) Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe is a math/stat nerd’s dream book. I’m a big fan of graphs and charts. It’s full of information about all the superheroes and comic book characters. I think it will be refreshing because readers will get to see representation of the entire comic book world, as opposed to just Marvel or DC. Being a huge math nerd myself, I will probably spend hours compiling my own lists. It’s a pretty original twist on comic books that hasn’t been seen before, and at a low price, it’s worth hours of fun. In stores now, or $15 on Amazon.

Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe.

5.) Harley Quinn #0 sounds like it could go either way. Written by Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Catwoman) and drawn by a bunch of different artists, including Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans), Darwyn Cooke (Justice League: New Frontier) and Tony Daniel. With no real momentum to go off of to start this series out, I’m curious as to where this is going to go. This series also marks the first solo series of Harley that isn’t using the 90’s Bruce Timm Batman Animates Series persona to base the character off of. This Harley will be more like the one found in the pages of Batman: Death in the Family and Suicide Squad. I’ve always been a huge Harley Quinn fan, so I will definitely check this out when it hits shelves on November 6th.

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Collectibles

1.) Batman: Hush Batman Kissing Catwoman Statue.

When I first heard that DC Collectibles was creating a foot-tall statue immortalizing the Jim Lee panel in Batman: Hush where Batman and Catwoman share a rooftop kiss, I immediately pre-ordered two. And if we could afford it, I would buy all 2500 limited edition statues because it’s just that damn cool. At $250 retail price, this is definitely for hardcore collectors only. However, the amount of detail put into the statue, from the cape flapping in the wind to the smoke rising in the dark, makes this one of the most well-done collectibles I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty excited to see this on the doorstep come February 2014.

Batman: Hush Kissing the Knight statue designed by Jim Lee

2.) Firefly Card Game

Whedon fans can continue their voyage on the Serenity in Toy Vault Inc.’s new Firefly: Out of the Black card game.  The game is descibed as a “co-op”  where players don’t compete against each other, but rather against the game itself.  Players take turns playing the roles of different Firefly characters to navigate through different events using their smarts.  If they make it through the mission without losing honor, they win.  If not, the game wins.  Sounds a lot like the world of Captain Mal already!  It sounds like an interesting concept.  For less than 30 bucks, it sounds like it is worth a play.

UPDATE: Apparently, this game was funded by Kickstarter, and the funds were canceled.  Toy Vault is planning a release for late October, but it is unknown if this will come to fruition.  We’ll have to watch Firefly repeats in order to live out our space cowboy fantasies until then.

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3.) Necessary Evil: Super-Villians of DC Comics, DVD and Blu-Ray

In a new documentary narrated by Christopher Lee (the 1958 Dracula, and Saruman in LOTR), interviews with some of the industries most renowned chronicle the backgrounds of DC’s villains.  Interviewees include Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) Kevin Conroy (the only voice of Batman that matters), Richard Donner (the 70’s Superman films, the X-Men film series), Geoff Johns (DC Comics writing god), and of course, Jim Lee (DC Comics art god).  The title pretty much says it all about the new film.  Due for release on Oct. 25th, it will surely be one to watch to hear about our favorite and not-so-favorite villains straight from the source.yvlmw8rz4mioo4p5lz2ve7eoa948knc1twjkxh97z8mal81srh1388zuilmomxter7ysvcaoz82q3vha-w370

4.) Pop Funko

The 1966 Batman Pop! Funko vinyls are here!  Doesn’t the Joker look like he could be your best pal?  And the eyebrows on Batman?  How cute!  Those are out on Oct. 3rd.  Also out soon are the Dia de los Muertos Nightmare Before Christmas vinyls. The Day of the Dead pattern and look has become very popular beyond the realms of the origin.  Jack and Sally look awesome!  It could almost call for a remake of the classic cartoon.  Jack and Sally are out now, but hurry, because they are going fast!

Batman 1966 Television Series DC Comics Pop! Heroes Vinyl Figures by Funko - Batman, Robin, The Joker & Catwoman NIGHTMARE-BEFORE-XMAS-FUNKO

5.) Wonder Woman Art of War Statue by Jim Lee

Based on the crisp art of Jim Lee, DC Collectibles is releasing the Wonder Woman: Art of War statue.  From the For Tomorrow Superman story arc, Princess Diana is sculpted by Clayburn Moore.  This statue shows the expertise of boy Lee and Moore’s artistry.  Wonder Woman’s face is feminine, which is rare, and she isn’t overly muscled, either.  The costume isn’t misogynistic and really shows that women can be pretty and tough.  Available for pre-order now and sure to be a fan favorite.

written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear