Jesus, the stranger that claims to be part of a 200-person strong pack of survivors, takes Rick and company to his stronghold.  Rick is still paranoid extremely cautious, but Carl argues in favor of Jesus and his people.  Michonne takes out a walker as they approach.  Jesus reveals that his people ran out of ammo, so the two guys standing guard at the gate, Eduardo and Kal, are armed only with spears, which they seem anxious to hurl into the approaching group’s bodies, but Jesus talks them down and guides Rick’s group in.

It’s an amazing sight, loaded chicken coups, crops being grown both outdoors and in a huge green house and trailer homes lined up, with kids and adults alike wandering, you might even say, frolicking, seemingly without a care in the world.  At the center of it all is a local landmark, Barrington House.  The turret at the top allows them to see around them for miles.  The house also serves as housing for those who feel safer in numbers, versus those that prefer the solace of a trailer home.  Jesus introduces them to Gregory, “He keeps the trains running on time around here.  He’s the guy making sure everything is on the up and up.”  He wants to chat with Rick.  Gregory boasts about how great his little community is.  Rick tells him that he was a police officer.


Their confab is interrupted when someone named Wesley barges in and tells him that someone named Ethan is back.  We learn that Ethan went out with a group which also included David, Andy, and Crystal.  Ethan states that they are all dead except Crystal.  Gregory asks if Negan is responsible.  Ethan reveals that Crystal is being held in exchange for… him stabbing Gregory, which he does.  Wesley and another guy grab Ethan and someone else calls for Carson, who is apparently a doctor.  Rick instinctively jumps on Ethan and the two men wrestle, Ethan still brandishing his blade.  He yells, “Stay back!  Anyone who tries to stop me is killing Crystal!”  We’re not told who this Crystal is, or why she is so important.  Neither is Rick, who slashes Ethan’s throat!  Carl and the rest of their group rush outside.  The other survivors all gather around but no one says anything to which Rick asks, “What?”

This once again displays how hardened Rick and the others have become.  Killing means nothing to them anymore, not even to Carl.  Yet here they, once again, have invaded a seemingly idyllic society, which seems to be thriving, yet you kind of already know Rick and company will screw that all up for them.  Seriously, those guys are a plague!  They always ruin everything for everybody!  Hershel’s farm, the prison, and most recently Alexandria.  I’m already super depressed for Jesus and his lot, because Rick and his pals are surely going to DESTROY EVERYTHING THEY HAVE!!!

I’m still on board with this series, but this feels very familiar.  I used to read this book in trades only, and this issue is part of why I prefer that format.  For one thing, I want to know what happens next and for another, the story didn’t move forward enough and there wasn’t enough explanation.  I know it’s all coming, but who is this Crystal and why is she so important?  Important enough to kill Gregory over?  And who is this Negan and what is his beef with this group?  Could he be a new threat on par with The Governor?  So, yes, this series still intrigues me, but the monthly installments aren’t filling enough.

Verdict: Borrow (or wait for the trade)

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard