Remember kids when we talk about The Walking Dead on this site we talk about everything.  Every twist and turn and death and all of it.  So if you don’t want to know, stop reading now.  Seriously, leave.  Begone with you.

Still here?  Alright, anything you read is your fault.

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HOLY CRAP!

I remember sitting outside a couple of years ago and reading The Walking Dead #100.  Massive death in that one.  Huge.  I read it outside on a summer day and I felt cold.  I froze in shock over the events.  44 issues later this had the same effect.

But lets lead up to that.

First is the ridiculously cool revelation that Alpha’s zombie horde is twice as large as originally thought.  The last page of 143 and the first page of this issue are actually one giant double splash page.  This is horribly bad for Rick and crew.  So so bad. It has to be in the thousands.  Sure, it would be a long walk and many zombies would be stopped before getting inside but this amount of zombies would be like a tsunami of flesh hitting the levees of our survivor’s homes.  No matter the barrier, it will not last long.

Speaking of barriers, there are two more in this issue that see an equal strain.  First is the barrier between humans and animals.  Alpha has no worries for violence or rape or emotion, for the animals don’t care about any of it as well.  Alpha believes humans are animals that forgot that fact wheres Rick sees these emotions and morals as the thing that separates us from being feral.  It is a battle of philosophies that can only have one winner, and a barrier that will easily collapse with one crack.

Finally the new barrier, that of spikes and severed heads.  It is a barrier between the survivors and the whisperers.  It is also a barrier between the past and the present.  Between peace and war.  Major characters are now dead.  Off panel, sure.  But with just as much impact.  Only a few heads have been seen, and the barrier was quite long.  Its very possible that there are more shocking deaths in the next issue.

Now Rick must choose.  He dealt with Negan until the right moment and it is possible he will deal with Alpha in the same way.  But as horrible as Negan was he still never did something like this.  Massive casualties to make a point.  A point that might still be ongoing.  The stars of the book are together, and alive.  For now.  But what is going on at the carnival?  Is there a home to go back to?  And how does anyone defeat the crush of a zombie horde and the skilled guerrilla warfare of the whisperers?

It is going to be a horrible next year for the Walking Dead.  The best part is hearing the reactions to people who complained that the book was boring.  These deaths, this shock, only matters because those characters have been grown for the last few years.  Now it is time to run.  Run towards or run away?  That’s for the next issue.

 

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