Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: The Walking Dead 104

Non Spoiler Review:
As Rick deals with dissent due to Negan's visit, a far more dangerous situation has arisen as the marauders have picked up a stowaway. Meanwhile, Jesus has tracked their released prisoner back to Negan's sanctuary.

Issue 104 was a surprise with an unexpected twist right off the bat that changes everything for Rick (that's not an exaggeration)! Finally we get to see Negan's stronghold, and it doesn't disappoint. 

After a very brief respite, things have gotten very heated and interesting again.

Spoilers Now!
Negan departs with a few parting words speaking to his generosity. Rick is eager to close the gates after them, but Denise demands to know what he said to Rick. He in turn tells her he's no longer in charge anymore, and if she has a problem with that she can hit the road, as can anyone else who questions their new overlords.

He sets them about taking stock of what they need before Negan returns for his next tribute. He returns home, calling up to Carl that they need to talk.

Dwight has made his way to an outpost in the hopes of taking a car the rest of the way to Negan's base. But the men there say they've already noticed he's been followed, and have taken steps to apprehend Jesus. Jesus is taken prisoner, and Dwight realizes Rick had planned to scout out Negan's forces to retaliate. They get back on the road and arrive at Negan's home base—a factory that has been barricaded with impaled walkers. Dwight realizes too late that Jesus has slipped out of the back of the jeep. He and his men agree not to mention it.

Negan's entourage returns home, but he has a hidden passenger—Carl with a machine gun, hiding under the mattresses. They all rendezvous and he greets Dwight with some disdain. As the men unload the supplies, they find Carl, and he fires off some rounds, killing at least two. Negan is furious, but tries to talk to Carl. Carl only wants Negan for killing his friend, and fires off another barrage, but loses control of the weapon. Dwight gives him a kick, but Negan calls him off, telling him that's no way to treat their new guest.

The Verdict:
That was an unexpected development. Not only do we get a peek at Negan's formidable home and operations, but Carl is now his prisoner. I'm really not looking forward to the dark depths Kirkman could take this storyline, but it certainly shakes up the status quo.

Rick doesn't even find out this tidbit, yet he's stuck dealing with his community questioning his leadership—a leadership he's publicly given up. For his part, Carl has undergone another significant development—he's killed at least two people and injured a whole bunch in just this issue. The only ray of hope here is Jesus, who remains incommunicado and perhaps in a position to save Carl. 

From what we've seen, it will take a huge effort to unseat Negan—Rick's forces and the Hilltop's at the very least. Carl does note they don't have a lot of guns, so that might bode well in their favor when the inevitable battle comes.

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