The much hyped ‘All Out War’ finally breaks out, this issue as Negan and his men shower grenades upon Alexandria destroying entire homes at a time.  Last issue, Negan ambushed Rick’s group with a zombie-fied Holly, who bit Denise Cloyd, but Denise is a tough one.  She doesn’t die and when her boyfriend Heath is injured, she refuses to allow Rick to amputate her arm because she needs both hands to save him.  The rest of the group scramble and struggle to figure out their next actions.  Jesus, man of action that he is, instinctively fights back.  Dwight, one the other side of the wall, chooses this moment to turn on Negan and kills his own men.  A MAJOR character is wounded and possibly killed, but things aren’t over.

I hate that I keep doing this, but I simply can’t keep myself from comparing this story to The Prison/Governor story.  There are just too many parallels.  But there are big differences as well, but unfortunately The Prison comes out on top.

Writer Robert Kirkman wasn’t sure how his black and white zombie book would fare in the marketplace, so his first few years worth of stories flow at a breakneck pace, with so many twists and turns that you just wanted to keep reading.  (I binge-read the first dozen or so graphic novels in like three days!)  And he established his tight cast of characters quickly, so that their sudden deaths were legitimately shocking and emotionally resonant with the reader.

On the other hand, we’re closing in on two years since Negan was introduced and killed Glenn and this storyline is still dragging along.  The cast has ballooned and the newer additions… heck, even some of the characters that have been there from nearly the beginning are poorly developed so, y’know, who cares if they get killed?  The idea of Denise Cloyd dying, which she probably will now, doesn’t make me sad to see her go, it just makes me think, “Oh now they won’t have a doctor.  That’ll be bad for the rest.”  Heath has gotten a lot of screen time, but has no real personality.  The idea of having a butt-kicking gay couple in the zombie apocalypse sounds rife with potential to explore this story from a fresh angle, but Eric and Aaron appeared sporadically, didn’t do anything significant and I can’t even remember which one of them died.  Actually I couldn’t remember their NAMES, until the characters started using them in their dialogue.

This siege was nowhere near the shocking bloodbath that The Prison climaxed with.  For one thing, it’s not over.  The only people who “died” this issue were zombie Holly and nobodies on Negan’s side.  There are a few teases, but… I’ll just leave it at that.  Though Kirkman’s dialogue is great, this book really needs a reboot.  Get revenge on Negan (painfully), thin out the herd and throw these characters back on the road where they have to fend for their lives constantly.



Written by Robert Kirkman
Art and Cover by Charlie Adlard