Previously in the Walking Dead: We came to the penultimate edition of the Whisperer War where Dwight’s crew seemed to make short work out of the whisperers by blending in, taking out the skin suits, and diverting the dead. Negan was whining about Lucille, and the Hilltop got burned to the ground while Carl narrowly avoided his demise (again).
In the Walking Dead 162 …
The issue opens on a grieving Negan digging a grave for Lucille, sharing his hopes for her afterlife, and then divulging a bombshell of information that many have suspected for some time: Lucille is not only a bat. Lucille is the name of someone very special to the life of Negan, likely from the days before the outbreak. I have not been following the “Here’s Negan” content from Skybound, so I can’t say if that info has already emerged in his backstory, but it was a juicy nugget in this issue.
Meanwhile, Maggie connects with some of the soldiers from the Kingdom that arrived too late to battle the whisperers. They plan their next moves and get ready to depart. Dealing with the aftermath, Carl and Lydia share a moment on a grassy knoll as they compare the atrocities they previously committed. The great thing about this moment is how Carl reaffirms his stance for good. There have been multiple times where it seemed he could go off the tracks and over to the dark side. With Lydia by his side, he is sticking to the light. Hopefully no tragedies push him to other side.
We jump to Alexandria to see a great juxtaposition between Carl/ Lydia and Rick/ Andrea as the elder Grimes strolls along discussing the intricacies of life and death in his new world while questioning his ability to perform.
Alexandria is greeted with gift-bearers – Eugene nearly kills himself to deliver a huge supply of ammo, and Dwight gives the gift of victory to the Survivors. Only something doesn’t feel right to Rick. Hundreds of dead were not what the good guys were up against; it was thousands of dead. Like a stadium-full of dead. Dwight’s men didn’t get them all. Did they …
As the issue concludes, we are looking at Beta declaring the end of the Whisperer War and the beginning of another war with the dead.
As this arc ends, I’m encouraged by Beta staying alive and in the world. Rather than move from bad to bad, killing one before introducing the next, Kirkman is expanding on a world were multiple complications can crop up and then recede like Beta’s hairline (at least his skin mask hairline). Which reminds me, we still know nothing about Beta, but I’m sure we will see more soon.
The only risk of keeping Beta alive is that TWD could fall into typical comic cliches of the bad guy coming for a few issues, causing problems, and then getting away. We don’t need a League of Zombie Bad Guys. As long as this can be avoided, all looks good for the Walking Dead’s future. After all, the Saviors are lurking.
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives the Walking Dead 162 8.9 ‘screaming herds coming your ways’ out of 10.