This issue marks some pretty massive changes as the series leaps forward two whole years following the events of ‘All Out War’.  Rick is still in charge of Alexandria and Andrea has settled in as his wife, with Carl even calling her “Mom” now.  Jesus, Heath, Rosita, Eugene and Aaron have adapted nicely and are herding walkers away from their settlement, but unfortunately this time they heard them directly toward another group of survivors.  Alexandria is flourishing with fields of crops and livestock (including a closeup of a pig’s ass, thanks Charlie Adlard).  Carl is visibly older and wants to venture off on his own, but Rick is resistant.  Carl has also found a rather unique confidant to vent his feeling with.  Rick refuses to let Eugene, the “brains” of the town go back out on any further missions as he has proven too valuable.

Interesting.  I’m not sure if the time jump was inspired by the TV show or not, but it had me wondering.  It sets up a new status quo, even though a lot of things are still in place from before.  Most noticeable is Carl’s age progression.  It’s mentioned that Maggie is still in charge of Hilltop, so it will be interesting to see how she’s grown as a leader in two years’ time.  Notably absent is Michonne, but her fledgling romance with Ezekiel may explain that.

Not much is revealed about the new group of survivors that Jesus and the rest encounter.  Are they as peaceful as they seem?  At any rate, a new group of characters is sure to mix things up a bit.

If you didn’t grab this book on Wednesday, word is you may be hard pressed to find it.  Following the “All Out War” storyline, it appears that scores of readers snapped up this book, with it selling out at the distributor level and forcing Image to release a second printing next month.  The book is twice the normal size, but the same price making it a perfect jumping on point for readers who haven’t already gotten on board with the series or maybe fans of the TV show who have been waiting for a chance to get acquainted with the book it’s based on.

It does make a good jumping on point, at any rate.  We see that the series has shifted away from its beginnings, where Rick and company were struggling to survive and find shelter and food.  Alexandria is thriving and we’re now starting to see the foundations for a new society taking root.  I will say, it all seems a bit too idyllic so I don’t expect this to last long.  Perhaps these new arrivals will bring about a shift.

In all, this is a great place to jump on board if you haven’t already.  The major characters, for the most part get ample spotlight time and even some of the characters that have been more in the background like Heath and Aaron get some face time.  The time jump gives this a fresh start, so you don’t necessarily need to know everything that led to this point, but for longtime readers we get a bit of a gap that could potentially be explored in the future.




Written by Robert Kirkman
Pencils and Cover by Charlie Adlard