The aftermath of last month’s gut wrenching hundredth issue of Walking Dead has come. Again, I warn SPOILERS. If you’ve not read #100 yet, I recommend you do not go any further.
The Walking Dead #101
In the wake of the brutal murder of Glenn, the group explodes into an array of emotions. Maggie repeatedly punches Rick until Carl holds a gun to her to stop. Sophia, protecting her surrogate mother bites Carl’s hand forcing him to drop the gun. After the pain and anger subsides, Rick and the gang hit the road to take Glenn’s body to the Hilltop with Maggie and Sophia. Once there, Rick takes out his frustration against Gregory for not giving him more information about Negan. Finally, Jesus convinces Rick that if they knew more about their shared antagonist, Gregory would not have hidden it. Rick and Carl bid farewell to Maggie and Sophia, and, with Jesus, return to Alexandria where they find a failed attempt by some of the Saviors to sack their home. More importantly, Andrea was able to secure a captive for Rick to interrogate.
This issue returns the series back to its normal ways. There’s not an overly emotional climax or anything resembling the kick to the teeth that #100 was. In some ways, even though this is in the middle of the “Something to Fear” arc, this does feel a bit like the first issue of a new story. Robert Kirkman peppers this issue with a couple things that I couldn’t help but to over analyze.
First, you can’t help but think that Negan’s more outlying people aren’t well coordinated and likely don’t have the resolve he does. It appears that their attack on Alexandria was a massive failure. Even with Andrea calling the shots and sniping the invaders, Alexandria should have been taken by at least a little bit of surprise and would have likely been outgunned from the start. Alexandria isn’t exactly a town full of people who know how to do all the things that Rick’s people have always had to do. Not only that, but Negan’s Saviors should be battle tested just from being a roving gang. Instead the invasion failed so utterly that we didn’t even see it happen. Andrea gives us all we need to know in one word balloon – “Rick, we got this…” So, if they were able to repel fifty or so people looking to ransack Alexandria by killing/wounding a dozen and having the rest run away, that shows that Negan’s force of will only extends so far. Those on the outer rim of his influence work with him to not get a baseball bat beating, but also care much more about protecting their own asses than anything else. Plus, take a good look at the guy they captured at the end. Nevermind that he’s got a Two Face thing happening with his face. Focus on the stream of tears coming out of that messed up eye. His expression doesn’t necessarily tell you he’s so hurt or angry that he’s been driven to tears. I’m going to predict that this guy may end up not being a “bad” guy. Those tears may be more out of fright or worry than anything else. I could be wrong about this, but with Charlie Adlard being such a great last page artist, he’s always used that last panel to give us a bit of a hint as to what is coming next.
The second thing I chose to analyze came from Sophia and Carl. Let’s start with Carl as an individual. I saw in him, for the first time in a while, a softness. He might have been hardened by having a chunk of his brain blown out not that long ago, but there’s a sweetness to his goodbye to Sophia. There’s also a fight in Sophia that we’ve not seen before. While I don’t see this happening anytime in the near future, but I couldn’t help but see this interaction between these two kids as being an out for Kirkman to someday shift the story to them after Rick dies or the well begins to run dry with Rick’s angle.
Neither of the things I found myself thinking the most about in this issue may come into fruition. I may be way off base. I do know that one of the best things about this series is waiting to find out if those thoughts or ideas are right or not.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid character work. Some good art from Adlard showcasing expressive panels from the characters’ faces.||Not too much. This isn’t quite like last month’s landmark issue. It does feel like the bottom fell out from beneath the pacing a little bit.|