Another new character is introduced this issue, Brianna, who comes upon Maggie, mourning at Glenn’s grave.  Brianna comforts Maggie, sharing her own tales of loss and reveals that Glenn is the first person that’s actually received a burial in Hilltop.  Before that, they would burn the bodies of anyone who died.  Brianna sees Maggie’s arrival as a positive harbinger.  (But PLEASE!  When have these people ever encountered another group and not just ruined EVERYTHING for them?!)

Maggie also gets examined by a doctor.  (She’s pregnant remember?)  Then has an awkward encounter with Gregory, who is getting creepier.

Jesus further reveals Rick’s plan, but Gregory is resistant.  (By the way, I’ve reading “Jesus” as “Hay Zeus” but it turns out it’s “Geez Us”– it’s a nickname based on his beard and long hair.  That may have been explained but if it was, I missed it.)  Also wavering is Michonne, who appears to be wearying of the life of combat.  Shady Spencer has words with Rick and a new traitor is revealed and Rick’s plan may be squashed as a result.

This was a really good issue!  The way The Walking Dead is structured, you get some issues where everything hits the fan, but you also periodically get issues where nothing seems to happen.  This comes across somewhere in between, but closer to a “fan” issue.  A lot of new information is revealed.  Several plot threads are advanced.

And to be honest, this might be the best Maggie issue ever!  Her story lines… on the rare occasion that she even gets one, have been pretty dark and painted the character negatively.  But for the most part, she seemed to exist to be Glenn’s girlfriend and to take care of the dead weight that is Sophia.  With Glenn gone, she’s finally playing a real role in the book.  Heck, she even got her own supporting character in Brianna!

Brianna is likeable and I hope to see her again soon, but she falls slightly into a stereotypical role; the wise, supportive black friend.  But is that so bad?  African American characters have positively thrived in this book.  Michonne and Tyrese are probably two of the most popular black characters in comics.  If Brianna amounts to half of what those other two did, that would still be a lot.  (Morgan on the other hand, not so much.)  Like I said, she comes across well and I want to see more of her.

This is a running trend.  The cast was stagnant for so long and the cast from Alexandria has been really boring!  Now we have Jesus, Ezekiel… of course Negan and his followers.  But with the cast blossoming as it has… you know it’s going to be time to cull soon!  (Comment below with whose days you think– or wish– are numbered!)

While not exactly a capstone issue, it was very enjoyable.  It was… pleasant.  It added a lot of information, fleshed out Maggie (an under-developed character), touched bases with all the major players and advanced the story.  This really isn’t one to pass on.


Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard