Note: This review will contain spoilers for The Walking Dead issues 111 & 112.
By the last couple of pages of this issue, I was practically jumping up and down in excitement screaming “Woohoo, something’s finally happening in The Walking Dead! The set up is finally over! Yeah!”. Because, you know, when Rick and his group charged after Negan, I thought something important would actually happen, but, it didn’t.
Instead, we get the reveal that Negan actually has guns and that he always has back up. Ok, that’s important… I guess? Anyways, my point is that this book is pretty much just stalling for time until All Out War starts in issue #115. And, honestly, let’s face it: this conflict is starting to get old.
Not that The Walking Dead is bad. Actually, this issue may have been my favorite issue in a while. As enjoyable the set up has been, the slow pace was beginning to kind of dull. And then: ACTION! Yes! Fast pace again! It was, frankly, pretty exhilarating. And it was done pretty well. I mean, sure, Rick could have just blown him away earlier in the issue, but I get why he didn’t do it.
The fast pacing of this issue made it better than previous issues, but I honestly had to groan at the end. Because, really, more set up is the last thing that we need right now. Couldn’t All Out War have started sooner? The last panel is obviously just set up for that story line, which, really could’ve began sooner.
Also, even though this conflict is getting old, Negan is a fun villain. It’s hard to take him seriously at times, and he even points that out in this issue when he stops using profanity, even of for a single thought bubble.
This issue does a good job of doing something we haven’t really seen very much of: Rick being a good guy and showing he actually cares about people. Sure, maybe Spencer wasn’t a great person, but Rick recognizes that he didn’t deserve to do and confronts Negan about it. And that’s a quality that has sort of been lost recently, so it’s nice to see it come back.
On the whole, this was a great issue. The set up is getting annoying, but Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard are both so good at what they do that it’s enjoyable. This issue’s picking up of the place was a notable improvement as well, making this the best issue of the series in a while.