In issue 93, the “gang” encountered Jesus, a survivor who offers them access to a network of other survivors, 200 strong, who trade goods and communicate with one another, to which Rick eagerly agreed to… and then he went all Rick on him and kicked Jesus’ ass and took him captive. And in the typical Rick fashion, he justified his actions in order to protect the greater group from a possible outside threat. He then mobilized his people in preparation for a possible raid from the other survivors. While out zombie killing with Abraham and Michonne however, Rick has a change of heart. “After everything, I feel like we’d have a hard time finding anyone more dangerous than we are.” Well, he kind of has a change of heart. “If they’re good people, we’ll work with them. If not, we’ll take everything they have and leave them for dead.” That’s our Rick!
In Part Two of “A Larger World,” Carl visits Jesus and they talk. Carl decides he liked him, as Rick enters, terrified. “If he was a bad guy, I would have shot him,” the hardened Carl states. Rick cautiously agrees to meet at the “hilltop” but warns Jesus he will kill him on the spot if things seem fishy. Rick tries to make Andrea stay behind, but she insists on accompanying him, Glenn, Abraham and Michonne. It’s a long drive, though and night soon arrives, so they camp out at a Texaco station, where they discover a startling stowaway! And then they are besieged by zombies! Jesus, his hands still bound, goes leaping and kicking at the walkers, doing some impressive damage.
(SPOILERS from here on!)
The next day, it’s rainy and the group encounters a blocked highway. Still restrained, Jesus insists on helping them push a car off the road and falls in the mud. Later he says he has to use the bathroom and Rick offers to take his pants down, but Jesus reveals that his hands have been free the whole time and he can take his own pants off. “I was testing you– and you passed. I trusted you,” he explains. How the tables have turned! Jesus then reveals that he didn’t really have to pee; they had actually arrived at “The Hilltop.”
Issue #100 is right around the corner and you know some major carnage is in order! Will we lose some of the long-running supporting cast? I know we will, but after so long with some of these characters, losing some of them is going to be gut-wrenching! I shudder to think about it! Will “A Larger World” rank up there with The Governor and the prison? I wouldn’t rule anything out on this book!
This tale is unfolding in the usual ‘Walking Dead’ style and the idea of Rick not trusting a stranger and killing or threatening to kill in order to protect his group is actually something that is presently unfolding on the spin-off TV show, so I noticed that parallel. Kirkman does that thing he does so well here, of making Jesus completely ambivalent. Everything on the surface makes the reader want to like him and trust him, but there’s just that little something there that makes him menacing! Things never go smoothly in this title, so something dreadful is coming up, but masterfully, the reader has no clue what it is!
Charlie Adlard’s art is a fixture on this book and he continues to deliver. It’s solid, moody, slightly crude but hits every point it needs to.
This issue has everything we’ve come to know and expect from ‘The Walking Dead’; tension, paranoia, character development and zombies!
THE WALKING DEAD #94
Written by Robert Hickman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard