Olivia. Josh. Tammy. Luke. Erin. Ken. Amber. Louie. Oscar. Rosita. Ezekiel. 12 men and women. That’s how many, and who, the Whisperers murdered in the last issue. 12 heads left on pikes as a boundary and warning for Rick and his communities to keep their distance.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a storm in the series, and you could tell the calm was building to something. This seems to tbe the pattern that writer Robert Kirkman follows when plotting the series. Last issue was that and The Walking Dead #145 picks up with the emotional turmoil, and just some of the fall-out.
Some of what we see is immediate, Michonne for instance is immediately impacted by the fact Ezekiel has been murdered, and it’s an interesting interaction between her and Rick. Her challenging Rick’s decision is really the key of what this is all about. Hilltop and the surrounding communities have found peace under the leadership of Rick and Maggie. This looks to challenge not just the peace, but also that very leadership. Would Rick have acted differently if it were his son or someone else closer to him? How long will it be before Rick tells the group about all of the walkers that the Whisperers have rounded up? We’re getting to see Rick’s leadership and decision making really be put to the test.
The art is as solid as usual. The fact that Charlie Adlard‘s work is in black and white, the pressure is really on for Stefano Gaudiano who inks, and Cliff Rathburn who provides the gray tones. For me, Adlards black and white art enhances the emotion and mood. The reaction through movement or the looks on faces become that much more important and vital without color to get in the way. Here, you feel the sadness, anger, and worry ooze off the page. Adlard has been beyond consistent in his work on the series.
For long time readers, we’re seeing the real beginning of the next big event to shake up The Walking Dead world. While the teaser text says “blood for blood,” this issue is more tears for blood…. so far.
Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read