We’re over at least two years* or so into this zombie apocalypse, and this John guy, even with all the sacrifices he’s made, won’t pee into a cup, something many of my drunk friends have preferred to do anyway? Whatta prima donna. The last issue of The Walking Dead was immediately and all throughout exciting and action packed. At least two of my colleagues who had long since abandoned the series picked it up on my recommendation and agreed! So how do they follow that up?
Spoilers for The Walking Dead #121
When the prima donna pisser opens a door to go outside, he doesn’t just expose himself and the group to a gang of undead, he gets himself eaten and leads his group right into Negan’s arms. Eugene, the ammunition maker, is among this group, so now Negan has their weapons facility, their manufacturer, and has driven them away from Alexandria, the base that was in closest proximity to this vital asset. Having an ongoing supply of ammunition was our survivors’ real advantage, so seeing it fall into Negan’s hands = immediate tension.
From here we break to survey the scene. Rick may not think his group has time for it, but the story certainly needs it. Leaving Alexandria was a foregone conclusion for the reader, but Rick still has to actually make the decision. Denise is dying from zombie infection, Ezekiel has lost the will to fight, and Nicholas wants out too, but whether it’s out of the fight or just out of Alexandria is a bit ambiguous. Once it’s become obvious that Denise has passed, Heath recoils, and is unable to do what needs to be done. This defeat has been a truly demoralizing one. Rick quickly comes to the decision to leave, but aside from that, doesn’t have the next step planned. Even as he’s brushing off ideas saying “we don’t have the time,” he isn’t exactly saying what we DO have the time for. Andrea is doing her best to keep him focused, and I think it’s working. In the last panels for this side of the story, we see Rick purposely leaving behind the phone he carried with him to Alexandria, the one he used to talk to the sprit of Lori on. It’s another example of what he doesn’t have time for, but a strong one. Before heading to the Hilltop Rick looks back one last time, and it also makes you wonder what he is really saying goodbye to.
The end returns us to the tension from the beginning, leaving us to wonder what will happen to Eugene. Negan points out some gruesome possibilities in typical charming Negan fashion, and with that the issue ends.
My rating: 4.6 / 5 – When Carl calls Rick a wimp, it’s in man to man mocking nature, but I still couldn’t help but think of their recent drama in the television show. Rick plays it off, but the scene still leaves a weird taste in your head, almost mimicking Rick’s post concussion haze. This is also one of the best cliffhangers ever. Negan has won a victory in that regard that’s even more important than the razing of Alexandria. It didn’t give me a *headdesk* reaction of frustrating urgency, but it will keep me thinking until next issue, which in my mind, is the perfect kind of cliffhanger.
*About two years is the most generally accepted estimate of the passage of time. Trying to guess how much time has passed in The Walking Dead is like trying to figure out how many days Bill Murray’s character repeated in the movie Groundhog Day – even the creators only give you vague answers.