The Walking Dead begins a new arc and it’s time for Negan to collect his first tribute from Alexandria.
The Walking Dead #103
The captured hostage from the failed attack on Alexandria has been cut loose, but he’s not traveling alone. Following him is Jesus to find everything he can about Negan and his men. At Rick’s home, he’s surprised to see Andrea packing up and planning to leave him. He convinces her otherwise after letting her in on his plans to only put up a facade of fear for Negan. Speaking of the devil, Negan finally arrives at Alexandria to take his first payment. With a mouth like a sailor, he rolls through town saying and doing as he pleases. While he does let Rick and the town keep all their food supplies, his men do a pretty good job of raping the heavier medical supplies (leaving aspirin and penicillin, but taking all the morphine and Oxycontin). Rick is able to diffuse a hairy situation when Denise is holding Negan’s men at gun point, but it makes him look weak in front of the others. When Negan leaves, he reminds Rick exactly how much under his boot he has the town.
This is kind of a start of a new era of sorts for the book. Robert Kirkman has given Rick the opportunity to be a bad ass for 102 issues and now must make him look weak, beaten, and scared. Looking at it from a reader’s point of view, we all know it’s an act. We know he’s got the gears turning to finally be rid of this Negan jerk, but at what cost will it be? You can’t help but feel that this arc will either be a small part of a much larger story – as the first arc of having the prison ultimately led to a larger story of the Governor. Negan’s been teased for a bit and when we finally saw him, we weren’t sure if he was going to be everything we were led to believe. We didn’t know if he was going to be a some sort of ideal, a name of a group instead of a man, a boogeyman, or the devil himself. When we finally did meet him, turned out he was much worse than any of those things. He’s not going to go out quickly. That’s why I wonder what Rick will have to sacrifice to ultimately rid the world of this douche.
It would be easy if Negan was just some idiot who just so happens to have an army. It wouldn’t be all that scary if we were shown that. It would be another thing if he was simply crazy. Crazy people tend to slip up, just as overly confident and self-absorbed megalomaniacs are. Negan is quite possibly the real deal here. It’s a little too early to draw comparisons to the Governor, but if all I suspect comes to pass, Negan may just surpass the Governor as this series’ greatest villain.
Yes, I know, this is blasphemy. But think about it… The Governor was simply crazy. He seemed to be able to make his people happy, but none of them really needed him. They liked that he was willing to accept the blood on his hands. All they had to do was not cross him. If they simply fell in line, the Governor cared not what they believed or what they did, to a certain extent. Negan seems to be a horse of a completely different color. It’s not like Negan just asks people to not cross him. He’s psychopathic, but still incredibly intelligent and eerily level headed. He knows how to lead not through random violence, but through the promise of it. He’s able to read situations well enough to know that the only way he felt he could break Rick and make him do what he wanted was to horrifically bludgeon Glenn to death. It sent a message to say he wasn’t fucking around and he was deadly serious about his terms. Negan acted with precision and without flinching which doesn’t leave much room to find a weak spot. You could say his own grandiose attitude toward being top dog would a weakness, but I say it actually isn’t. He knows he shows no temper or no instance of uncontrolled behavior. There are no chinks in his armor. That makes him that much more scary.
I want to see so much more of this arc already. This issue was definitely more of a tease of this arc, but I want to know how much trouble Rick is in. I want to know who’s going to make a bone head play to fight back against Negan. I want to know what will become of Rick after this is over. Is he going to regain the trust of his people or will he be cast out for how he’s playing everything? I already can’t wait for #104!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|More of Negan to show exactly how dangerous he is. Every moment with him is downright frightening. Loved seeing what Jesus can do on his own.||Slightly quiet in pace and action. Plenty of good stuff, but it’s not the most exciting issue even if it was somewhat terrifying thanks to Negan.|