Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: The Walking Dead 115

Non Spoiler Review:
All Out War kicks off with issue 115 as Rick, Ezekiel and Jesus embark on their confrontation with Negan. As everyone says their (hopefully) temporary good-byes, Rick has feelings of self-doubt.

A great start to what promises to be an epic storyline. The pacing was fast and didn't drag, as it could have given how many months this is going to play out. I don't doubt it's going to be an enjoyable ride and could really unfold in a host of ways, not all of them beneficial for our protagonists.

Spoilers Now:
As the day arrives, Rick says good-bye to Andrea and Carl, who are left in charge of the town's security. Rick is filled with inner turmoil about his decisions despite Andrea's pep talk. Meanwhile, Michonne slept with Ezekiel, and as they get up his aide Richard informs him their men have arrived.

Eugene has resolved his moral conflict over making bullets and production is well underway. After meeting with him Rick addresses the townspeople to explain they will soon be called upon to ensure they keep their way of life in ways they've not been asked to before.

The army sets off and arrives at Negan's compound where Rick calls him out. Negan is outraged at their audacity. While both want to avoid a damaging conflict, Rick lays out his terms—no harm will come to the people inside as long as Negan and his men turn themselves over to be killed. As Rick sees things are going as they planned, Negan announces he has a better idea, and produces Gregory, who tells Rick and Jesus that the Hilltop stands with Negan, and any of their men who fight against them will have their families thrown out to fend for themselves.

The Verdict:
All Out War is year long storyline, so I had no expectation we'd find any quick fixes to the Negan problem. This is the first time the survivors have been called upon to act as an army and it remains to be seen if Rick, Jesus and Ezekiel can keep their people in line under stressful conditions.

For the moment it's unclear how Negan plans to back up Gregory's threat to kick out the families of those who support the attack. One would think that would cause a rebellion back at the Hilltop if that were the case, unless he has much more support behind him than we've seen. Hopefully Maggie becomes a force in that arena.

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