The Walking Dead is currently building up to another epic standoff in its comic form. In issue #108, Ezekiel finally appeared. King of the Kingdom with a tiger named Shiva, he conspired with Rick to get rid of Negan and the Saviors. In issues #109 and #110, the battle brews slowly but surely.
Issue #109 sees Jesus passing the word of the potential assault on to Maggie. He is hoping to take a large group from the settlement for training. Jesus informs Kal of the plan, as well. Fast forward to issue #110 — Kal is horribly uneasy with Jesus’s plan, just as suspected when he disappeared at the end of #109. He fears for everyone’s lives and simply cannot trust Jesus fully. He signals a meeting with the Saviors and Jesus has to cover. The offering is going to be light this time is his bluff — and Connor wants nothing of it. He is furious for the waste of time. Punching Jesus in the gut, he stomps off with his boys, demanding they make the offering “not light”. Kal finally repents after this, knowing that there is no other choice other than to get rid of them once and for all — for they have taken too much.
Rick has told Carl he needs him by his side, and the same with Michonne. The fact that Rick lied to the group about being at peace with the Saviors is brought up, and Michonne accuses him of not trusting them with the truth — and especially not trusting her. She warns him to not make promises he can’t keep — something that will more than likely be brought up soon. Even still, the group heads to the Kingdom.
Immediately Michonne is hesitant of Ezekiel. His bravado has her irritated. He sees this and reaches for her, to which she reacts strongly — which is to be understood from her past. However, Shiva does not appreciate it, roaring at her as Michonne draws her sword. Even still, Ezekiel is cordial and respectful as he draws his own sword, stating there is no need for such behavior. He makes a joke stating he simply wanted to see if his weapon was bigger — “It was not.” He smiles.
After more planning of the big attack, and whether or not the group can fully trust Dwight, they have a feast. Michonne will not eat. She wanders to the garden and Ezekiel follows. The two realize they are of equal intelligence and bond over Ezekiel’s backstory. He rules because he was placed there to rule. Those around him wish to think he was strong and wrestled Shiva into complacency; however, the truth is he was simply a zookeeper that gained her respect. Much like Michonne trying to appear as a badass warrior, Ezekiel simply is playing a part. They start anew — reintroducing themselves on an almost subconscious level of knowing their truths — as issue #110 draws to a close.
The last two issues flowed together flawlessly, and still, the tension is building surrounding the potential conquering of the Saviors and Negan. While Rick may not be thinking fully and holding back, the emergence of this new hero, Ezekiel, makes it seem like the mission can be pulled off. In the last few pages as Michonne and Ezekiel began talking, I had a huge smile on my face. It’s been many issues since a relationship — be it platonic or not — has begun that could totally build further momentum to keep The Walking Dead a great read.