Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead 111

Non Spoiler Review:
As Rick, Andrea and Michonne train with the Kingdom, Jesus rounds up recruits at the Hilltop to join them. Back home, Spencer sees an opportunity in a surprise visitor.

Issue 111 continues the build up to the attack with plenty of planning and training. It wasn't the most gripping chapter we've seen, and felt more like padding for the larger story. Aside from the Negan scene it was mostly fluff. 

Spoilers Now!
Andrea and Rick wake up at the Kingdom. She remains suspicious but he (ironically enough) tells her she needs to relax a bit. Michonne is feeling more at ease, as well, but not so much that she won't sleep with her sword at hand.

Jesus leaves the Hilltop with some men to train, after having words with Gregory about his lack of leadership skills. He has allowed Gregory the luxury of plausible denial if things go south with Negan. Maggie notes what an idiot he is, and Brianna agrees, but no one else wants the job.

As training gets underway, Rick estimates they could have up to 70 people once Jesus arrives. He wants to start tackling Negan's outposts and scouting out how many men he might have.

As Jesus, Rick and Ezekiel discuss their new army, Dwight has revealed the locations of the outposts that they can begin to whittle away at. Unfortunately Negan never sleeps alone, so Ezekiel dismisses the possibility that Dwight could get close enough to kill him. Rick has to continue on to get supplies given Negan's imminent visit.

Negan shows up unexpectedly at Alexandria, and though informed that Rick is away scrounging for supplies for him, opts to stay and await his return. While relaxing, he's visited by Spencer, who asks to chat and informs him Rick can't be trusted. Things were much better when his father was in charge, and Spencer could be a good ally to Negan if he saw fit to replace Rick.

Negan takes him for a walk and guts him, telling him that Rick is a far braver man for facing him down while Spencer waited until he was a way before making his power play. He tells his men to get rid of the body.

The Verdict:
While 111 was a quick read, it was a nice surprise that Kirkman had Spencer taken off the board in a rather abrupt manner, but it provided a unique opportunity to show Negan's personal code (and in this strange instance, a very brief moment where he was somewhat likable). 

Ironic that Negan appears to respect Rick despite him conspiring behind the scenes, and removing a major obstacle to Rick's power. And it's certainly fortunate Spencer was kept out of the loop on matters. Will Rick be able to keep the plan together when he returns to town and finds Negan there?

Meanwhile, I remain suspicious that Ezekiel might be more dangerous than we're led to believe and is just waiting for the opportunity to remove Negan as his biggest rival. We'll see. 

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