Glenn and some others clear away some walkers. Meanwhile, Andrea asks Rick if they are going after Negan’s men, for killing Abraham, but Rick is still processing everything. They embrace and Carl observes. Glenn passionately pleads with Maggie to move to the Hilltop, where he thinks it’s safer. Eugene, who narrowly dodged death at the hands of Negan’s men, tries to comfort Rosita, Abraham’s ex. Later the townspeople gather for a funeral. (Perhaps the first actual funeral for a character in this book? I don’t recall any other, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.) Rosita actually approaches Holly, the woman Abraham left her for and offers her condolences.

Rick assembles his “insiders” and says they need to return to the Hilltop to gain some insight into Negan and his methods. Michonne voices opposition, not feeling that it’s a good idea to leave their settlement undefended. Rick insists that it’s an overnight trip and this could be their only opportunity to gain this information before another attack. Glenn informs Rick that he’ll be taking Maggie and Sophia and that they will be remaining at the Hilltop. He also tells them that Maggie is pregnant and that he wants to keep them safe. The others don’t say anything but visibly take the news hard.

Later, Carl continues his detachment from the world pre-zombies, when he tells Rick to stop saying things like “Good night” and “Have a nice day” because “They don’t work anymore. Nothing’s good or nice.” He then insists on accompanying Rick on missions from now on. “Don’t make me hide in the van. I can shoot. I’m strong. I can help. I want to.” Rick agrees.

Rick and Andrea have some pillow talk and Rick tells her that he wants her to remain behind to defend the settlement.

Dr. Cloyd surprises her boyfriend Heath with coffee. “I wanted more time with you before you go,” she admits. She assures him that she isn’t worried, she just wanted more time.

Finally Rick and the gang get loaded up and leave for Hilltop, leaving Andrea in charge. Rick seems to sense something is amiss, but he tells Heath, “No, it’s… nothing.” Nothing wrong with leaving one woman alone against…?

I think we pretty much know how the next 100th issue is going to go. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick and the rest of the away team don’t even appear and the entire thing dealt with Negan’s men assaulting their home base. Should we start taking bets on who makes it and doesn’t?

I think the biggest nail-biter is Andrea. The core cast, Rick, Carl, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Andrea, and Michonne have been pretty secure for a while now. Abraham’s death was the first death of a central character in quite some time. Is the time right for another MAJOR death? Andrea alone against Negan’s ruthless army? So far, those guys haven’t been much of a threat, but en masse and with Rick and the rest away, they could prove to be an overwhelming force. And let us not forget the zombies.

Next issue is the main course, but this was a nice appetizer! Some character interludes and ominous foreshadowing. Can’t wait for next issue!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard