Review: The Walking Dead #156

TheWalkingDead156_coverIt’s “Queen and King” in The Walking Dead #156 which focuses on Negan’s experience with the Whisperers. Like the recent comics that have run in Image Comics Image+ magazine, this single issue gives us so much depth as far as Negan and also Alpha, the leader of the Whisperers. And the comic re-emphasizes that The Walking Dead is about the living people, not the shambling hoards.

The issue is all about Negan as he’s integrated into the world of the Whisperers. Through each segment, we learn more about the rules of the Whisperers and how they structure their society. It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain. We’ve gotten some hints up to this point, but with this issue, it’s all laid out so there’s no confusion at all.

While we learn more about the Whisperers, we also learn more about Negan himself. The man has a code and here it’s clear what that code and philosophy is. It’s very clear after this issue.

Writer Robert Kirkman lays all of that out while giving us a lot of humor. Let’s face it, motormouth Negan dealing with a group of people who don’t talk is going to be entertaining. But it’s not all humor, there’s some heart too as Alpha is given her “scene” and we learn there’s more to her than the stern leader.

But, the issue is really about the ending. What happens isn’t surprising at all, it’s what’s said that makes you question so many actions these past few issues. I’m not spoiling it, but it shines a different light on the motivations behind a certain someone’s actions.

Kirkman as always is helped by Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn, who form like Voltron to give us fantastic visuals as always. This issue is sparse on the backgrounds and details, and even gore, but every panel is key in setting the tone, the mood, and adding to the story through a character’s stance or the look on their face.

This is a key issue that should have fans buzzing. Where the series goes from here is anyone’s bet, because while the act committed could be seen a mile away, the why is a mystery that’s yet to come.

Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy