“The Whisper War” part two ups the action and balances a hell of a lot in this tension-filled issue from writer Robert Kirkman, artist Charlie Adlard, with inks by Stefano Gaudiano, and Cliff Rathburn on gray tones.
The Walking Dead #158 is the first massive clash between Rick and the Whisperers with bodies piling up and things looking really grim for every side. I say every side because this issue really sets up a lot of sides as help is sent and not sent by Rick’s various allies.
The issue is one bit battle interspersed with cut scenes at what’s happening outside of the battle back in the various camps/towns, the politicking occurring by the various groups. Those scenes are key as they up the tension leaving you wondering if those battling will see help come or if they’ll be overrun by the hoard of walkers and Whisperers.
Then there’s Negan.
In some ways you could call this “All Out War 2: Electric Boogaloo” as the issue revolves a lot around Negan’s actions. Will he betray Dwight and his team? Is he really on board “Team Rick?” Is he still out for himself and doing what he wants? We expect him to turn at any moment and that’s part of the fantastic tension of the issue. Will he or won’t he? Kirkman keeps us guessing until the very end.
The action is brutal and Adlard, Gaudiano, and Rathburn don’t hold back as intestines fall to the ground, heads are lopped off, and folks are stabbed. There’s lots of stabbing. They also do an excellent job of using the walkers/Whisperer shots to enhance the chaos of not knowing who’s human and who’s not. The art drives that part really well and as a reader I caught myself looking into crowd shots trying to figure that out.
The issue is a solid one packed with action and tension and most importantly has me wanting to see what happens next.
Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard Ink: Stefano Gaudiano Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Story: 8 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review