Previously in The Walking Dead: Rick has some bad luck with the ladies. One is killed accidently as Rick defends himself against her violent aggressions. The other, Andrea, returns from a heroic mission of sending walkers into the sea only to collapse at Rick’s feet, clearly fatigued from her bite/ scratch to the neck.
In issue #167 of The Walking Dead: ANDREA DIES. That’s right. A character that has been in the books for roughly 165 issues dies. Other writers were sure that Kirkman was trolling the readers by setting up a situation that appeared as certain doom for Andrea only to pull the rug out from under us later. Not this time. Perhaps the strongest, most capable survivor got bit, caught a fever, and died just like everyone else does.
Now, anybody that reads TWD shouldn’t be surprised by this. It is a widely known fact that no one is safe in the world of The Walking Dead, and that, eventually, Rick dies in the book. I know that not every character can get a monumental send off the way Glenn did in issue 100, but it strikes me as odd that Kirkman ended Andrea’s impressive arc in 167. Is there some greater significance to this number? Are we halfway through the entire series? Not sure.
This double issue was dedicated to the process of Andrea dying and the Survivors saying goodbye, which had a surprising impact on me as the reader. A page at the 1/3 point of the book depicts people standing in Andrea’s doorway offering their condolences as she lay dying. Each reaction was individualized and intriguing. My favorite (and probably yours) was Negan’s goodbye with the content and delivery only Negan could provide. It’s not like there were tears streaming down my face, but the scene evoked a real emotion from me.
Though it is hard to gauge time during this issue, the reader watches Rick grieve hard, but it is the future that sparks the most interest. Not only am I wondering how the leader’s behaviors will be affected by these events, but what about his mental health? As you may recall, when Lori and Judith met their demise at the jail, Rick lost his mind for a bit. He was carrying around a phone and talking to his dead wife with it. You know, pretty standard mourning – super psychotic mourning.
Rick’s grief is strong but potentially short-lived. By the end of the issue, he is ready to move on and make the next move. Will the move be a rational one, or one fueled my trauma and grief? Can our survivors be traumatized at this point?
Food for Thought
- Where is Negan? For the last handful of issues, Negan has not been out of Rick’s reach, but going back through the end of this issue, Negan is nowhere to be found. Is he escaping? Is he reconnecting with an angry group of Saviors that are left without a leader following Sherry’s death? Is he killing Dwight or being killed by Dwight? Wherever he is, I’m sure that it is something more interesting that just sitting around off panel.
- The Atlanta group. With Andrea gone, the Atlanta group from the earliest issues is down another member. So, who do we have? Rick, Carl and Sophia. Though Sophia was pictured in this issue with Maggie and baby Hershel, she didn’t speak. I think we have to expect a major move from Sophia pretty quickly. The connection between her and Carl was always there, and now that Lydia and Carl are proclaiming the special-ness of the other, this is the perfect time from a love triangle to emerge.
- So many directions. Here are the situations currently on the table: The Saviors being mad. The Whisperers roaming at large. Eugene’s communication with the Ohio group. Having so many open plot lines marks a major deviation from typical Walking Dead writing and storyteller. During previous issues and arcs, the Survivors were addressing one problem or opportunity at a time. At present, there are many pots being stirred, which could pay off huge in the coming issues or only serve as a distraction that frustrates the reader.
Consume.Reivew.Repeat. gives The Walking Dead #167 9.1 Negan eulogies out of 10.