Now that the whirlwind of the holidays is over, let’s catch up on The Walking Dead. That’s right — we have two issues to discuss. We last left the group retreating from Negan’s compound. Holly had smashed through the gate with a truck, letting a horde of zombies in to take over the grounds.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
Negan starts off issue #117 with an eloquent statement about how to get to a man’s heart. Yes, he is convinced that Holly is Andrea and decides that if he takes her on, then he has Rick on his knees. Of course, Holly reassures him that she is not Andrea, and she is definitely not anyone Rick will crumble over. Negan is definitely not happy about this. But he is far more concerned about the millions of walkers that are now roaming.
Rick, despite Holly’s thoughts otherwise, is upset that he didn’t drive the truck through the gates. Of course, nothing can be changed about this. Meanwhile, Michonne and Ezekiel are fighting zombies with the aid of Shiva — who we learn can bite the walkers without getting sick. Rick tells Michonne that he needs her to take a group back to the community and Ezekiel assures her he will be fine with Shiva by his side. And, as always, we are back to planning as Rick gives another speech how the war is still going and that it shall soon be over.
Negan, overwhelmed by the horde, has his men retreat and goes on another rant — his anger always overwhelming him, which is actually beneficial as it will be needed in the next moment. Yes, Holly, is locked up and being attended to by David, who doesn’t just want to bring her water. And this is where Negan, the jerk he is, shows at least somewhat of a decent side to himself. Almost a mirror to the Governor’s shortlived transformation we saw on the show in the fall. Yes, he takes care of David, reiterating to Holly that he and his Saviors are not monsters.
Issue #118 begins with Maggie taking on an inspirational Rick status as she gives the group her own speech. Why are they all so content in being bullied and kept alive by their own means, though they believe that Negan is the one doing them a favor when he’s just stealing from them? She tells them they are not stupid. They can rise above this if they all just stick together — and stick with Rick.
With the outposts being attacked and Negan being stuck at his place, Michonne lets Carl know what has transpired. From here, the comic goes into a strange narrative by Ezekiel. It’s a nice change of pace, as it fast forwards our story a slight bit. Basically we learn that as the outposts are attacked, there is more and more death — on both sides. Good and bad, the men fall and Ezekiel notes how quickly an ally turned into a walker. And not only are men being lost, but as we learn, so is Shiva. Saving Ezekiel from a group of zombies, the tiger leaps into action and her owner escapes unharmed. We learn he is telling this quick recap to Michonne as they sit, safe, warm, despite his embarrassment and remorse.
These two issues, along with 115 and 116, have been subtitled “All Out War” — which is to be a 12-part storyline. I am still not sure that this is a very accurate title, as I have stated, there is a lot of talk and not a whole lot of action. While we did pick up momentum in issue #117, and the recap in #118 pushed us even further, I still feel the series is treading water. I am hoping that the war will culminate with Negan’s defeat — and hopefully it will be fulfilling. After having this bully for so long, it seems that we cannot just end his storyline with a shot to the head. Perhaps there will be a long speech that could make such an ending that is — despite my constant disapproval of all talk and no action — truly satisfying.