God, this title is hard to review with of all the twists and turns that I don’t want to spoil. That continues here, but I’ll do what I can. Last issue ended with a cliffhanger that revealed that Andrea had captured one of Negan’s men and hoped that they could use him to gain information. Rick is surprisingly conflicted… or perhaps not that surprisingly after Glenn’s brutal death. Rick is visibly shaken and doubts that his community will actually be able to withstand another assault by the guilt-free Negan. Another character has seemingly lost their will to fight.
When Rick expresses these insecurities to Andrea, she emphatically assures him that Alexandria survived not because of her, but because he had the fore-site to fortify it properly and set up defenses. He still comes to a pretty shocking, and frankly disappointing conclusion. It’s even more disappointing when one of his staunchest supporters agrees to go along with his decision. Eugene once again raises the subject of manufacturing ammunition, but Rick seems to squash the idea. In the end, Rick seems to alienate his allies for what he sees as their only alternative. At least one character, though is seen with a smug grin on his face. But there seems to be more here than meets the eye.
Overall, I felt really disappointed reading the bulk of this issue. Not in the quality, mind you, but in the direction the story seemed to be headed. The new direction was different, at least, but after all the build up over the last several issues, didn’t seem to be offering the reckoning the reader would like. I mean… these #@%$@#s killed Glenn! Then again, there is a reference made to The Governor and the prison, which everyone keeps harkening back to. It seems Kirkman is aware that readers still consider that the capstone of the series so far and wants to make sure we know that this is a new story and will not play out the same way.
The one character that seems to be emerging as a new pivitol figure is Jesus. He popped up a while back, when Rick and the gang were at their most grizzled. He seemed too good to be true, offering hope and supplies from his community of Hilltop. He remains at all times serene and pleasant. There’s got to be more to this guy, right? I think we’re beginning to see that. In any case, it’s clear that he will be playing a big role as this story progesses.
This issue didn’t quite read how I wanted it too, but maybe Kirkman knows that this is what the reader needs, but won’t realize that until the journey concludes.
THE WALKING DEAD #102
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard