Previously in The Walking Dead: Negan lived in training montage from an 80s movie and killed Alpha lickety-split.
Let’s play the Pyramid. No, not that crap with Michael Strahan. I’m thinking old-school, 1980s with Dick Clark hosting. Away. We. Go.
A populated city. A dumb person. Osmium. Issue 157 of The Walking Dead.
I know, I know … things that are dense. Ding. Ding. Ding.
Some issues take just a few minutes to get through due to a lack of dialogue and a focus on the artwork. This is not one of those issues. This puppy had words – like, lots and lots of words. If the next 5 issues of the Whisperer War is like this, I’m going to invest in some bifocals.
Take a look at this two-page spread. Words, words, and more words. At the beginning of “Letter Hacks” Sean and Robert talk about this 16-panel style and how much content you can stuff into it. This issue was stuffed – in the best possible way.
To summarize, war is on. Negan lives (despite Dwight’s best judgment) and he wants his bat back. Rick rallies that troops and convinces the gang that he has it all figured out. People are taking their posts and preparing for every contingency. Eugene is spitting game to a dame in Ohio, and the readers immediately head to Google Maps to find the distance from the middle of Ohio to coastal Virginia outside of D.C. And then this happens …
I’m not sure, but what else were they expecting here? Did they think Beta was going to lead an army of Whisperers single-file into a firing squad? They work with the dead. It seems like this is what they should expect. In classic Kirkman juxtaposition, the above image is proceeded by the below image …
You know Rick, you can tell everyone that they are safe, but that doesn’t make it so. I so love these final pages, though. The two-page splash gives a silent, impersonal view of what’s to come from Father Gabriel’s perch. The 16-panel gives an ultra-personal look at the series’ main folks going about their business with only the good father knowing what is coming to Alexandria.
The reader really gets a sense from the 16 panels that these people are going to confront some difficult situations and some serious decisions. No way everyone is making it out alive. This issue was damn-near perfect and one of my favorite issues of this book ever. My only regret is that my local shop – New Dimension Comics – did not have the alternate cover (or Strawberry Shortcake #3 – for the kids, of course). Even still, I can’t wait for part 2.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives The Walking Dead issue 157 9.6 girls in Ohio out of 10.