Previously in the Walking Dead: The Whisperer War ended in anticlimactic/ cliffhanger fashion as Beta escaped harm and capture. The Survivors thought they had ended the threat without knowing a wave of walkers was ready to crash down on them. Elsewhere, the jerks of the sanctuary were preparing to mount an offensive against Alexandria.
In issue 163, the new arc picks up directly after the previous issue as the sea of walkers approaches the limit of the town. True to the works of Max Brooks, the deafening sounds of groans, grunts, and wailing becomes the first signal that the undead are coming.
Always quick-thinking, Rick prepares a team of the best riders to head out and lead the walkers elsewhere. Soon after, though, the riders realize there is little chance of success. Rather than tens or hundreds, we are looking at thousands and thousands of walking dead coming right down main street. As they reach the front gate, the weight of the masses push, crush, and smash the first rows into and through the entrance like crazed fans at a N*SYNC concert in 1998.
The gate and Rick both collapse under the weight, and as it looks like Rick is meeting his demise, the trusty Negan swoops in to save the day and the beloved protagonist. As they escape, Negan is sure to note the rescue and pleads to wipe the slate clean following their previous … er … disagreements. Rick remains cautious.
As the issue ends, we get a look at John from the Sanctuary looking through binoculars at the carnage unfolding with an overly smug smiling spread across his face. One question: If you only have one functional eye, like our friend John seems to, do you really need binoculars? Couldn’t he get some monoculars, unioculars, or whatever they’re called? Maybe telescope or whatever pirate captains use before they say “land ho”? A spyglass? Get this man a spyglass!
All in all, The Walking Dead 163 had a solid amount of action for issue following the end of an arc, but it lacked any kind of indication about what the hell was going to happen next. The art continues to be stellar with engaging and enticing splashes that illustrate the full danger that is coming to town.
More importantly than the content of the issue, the price is worth mentioning. For the 25th anniversary of Image Comics, this issue had the unbelievable price tag of $0.25. That’s right – a quarter the issue. Maybe for 50 cents, they would publish it in color.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives The Walking Dead 163 7.8 spyglasses out of 10.