Rick and his crew regroup after their attack on Negan’s outpost. Aaron is devastated after the death of Eric last issue and wants revenge. Ezekiel isn’t taking the death of Shiva and his men well, either and wants to shirk his duties as leader, which Michonne doesn’t respond well to.
Upon returning, Rick is informed by Carl of Ezekiel’s group’s failure, sending up red flags as Rick realizes that Negan’s people would then return to their leader and base, tipping him off. Heath meanwhile comforts Aaron.
Rick attempts to organize his forces, but Negan and company arrive with Holly as a captive and things quickly go south.
It’s a slower issue, reacting to the battles in the last issue. This allows for some really nice character moments. Michonne gets to do more than she has in quite a long time and we get to see Ezekiel abandon his Kingly bravado. The really deep moment comes, oddly with Aaron and Heath, two characters who have amounted to jack squat thus far in the series and they’ve actually been around for years. Kirkman just hasn’t developed them one iota.
That’s a problem, unfortunately. It’s hard for me to feel the pain of someone who’s lost someone they love, when I don’t know the first thing about him. It’s impossible for me to really feel anything about the loss of a character that I also didn’t know the first thing about him. Even Heath, who is slightly more visible, hasn’t really exhibited much in terms of perspective or personality. Rosita pops up in a panel and I realized even she isn’t well developed and she’s been around for YEARS! I guess I should just let it go, since a lot of these characters are going to die soon anyway. One character dies this issue and it’s someone who has a sort of larger role, but once again, I just shrugged. It’s a larger role, but it’s not Rick, Carl or Andrea so why bother developing them so that when they die it means something to the reader?
Over all, this is a solid issue that serves the overall story well, but like I said, the general flaws with this series as a whole lessen the impact. It LOOKS as if next issue is going to be the equivalent of The Governor attacking the prison, so expect a bloodbath and a climax (FINALLY!!!) to the Negan storyline. I hope.
THE WALKING DEAD #119
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard