Well, there’s kind of a welcome catharsis in this issue.  But kind of not, but we knew that the “All Out War” storyline was coming up so… certain players have to survive until then.  But still, something happens and there is a scene, slightly brief, that felt really good after recent events.  But it’s not a complete climax.

In this story, we see the denizens of Alexandria react to Negan’s gutting of that worm Spencer from the last issue.  Rick is furious, but Negan flexes his muscles… and Lucille again.

Things seem to look up, as Rick devises an impromptu plan but they quickly fall apart and the scene is set for “All Out War.”

Whew, well, this was the most impressive issue of ‘The Walking Dead’ in ages!  We finally get some action and interestingly, very little of it involves zombies!  Negan is such an interesting villain… he’s revolting and vile, but there are glimpses of something more.  He seems to actually have a sense of honor, although it’s based on him making all the rules.  His overly profane dialogue is so one-note and filthy, it’s actually kind of funny.  NOT that I’m Team Negan or anything.  That bastard needs to die, painfully and slowly.  But for now, he’s no Governor.  He’s… different.

Though the climax of the issue wound up fizzling out, for a few pages I felt vindicated after a full year of dealing with one of the most gut-wrenching deaths in this book’s history.  It wasn’t a wholly satisfying turn of events, but at least, for the first time in months, it looks like justice is coming.

Charlie Adlard’s art is wonderfully suitable as usual.  There’s a large close up of an enraged Rick that is fantastic as is a double page spread toward the end of the book.

Was it the best issue of ‘The Walking Dead’ ever?  No.  But after this last dragging year, for the first time I feel that this series may be getting its groove back.  If “All Out War” can build on this momentum, it could redeem a lot and possibly even rank as one of the best story arcs in this entire series.


Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard