Only three weeks until the monumental 100th issue of The Walking Dead and author Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard have set the stage for what could be the bloodiest and most shocking issue to date. However, before getting to the review, which is more like a recap, I should state the following:
**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**
After Abraham was murdered last issue by Negan’s thugs this issue finds Rick’s camp attending a memorial service and burial for their fallen comrade. Confident Negan’s band has retreated to lick their wounds after losing almost a dozen men last issue, Rick, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Carl and a few others travel to The Hilltop, looking for reinforcements and advice. However, as has been seen in the past, Rick’s intuition and leadership skills have sometimes caused more harm than good. Proving Rick’s hunch is off this time, the issue concludes with a cohort of Negan’s men spying on the compound from a rooftop and exclaiming, “We attack at dawn.”
Although Rick claims his journey to The Hilltop is only a day trip, making such statements proves foolish when travelling through a zombie filled landscape. Rick’s hubris is clearly displayed and his trip to the neighboring camp undoubtedly leaves the remaining group members vulnerable. Yet, The Walking Dead is always good at surprising readers, offering up one situation that seems hopeless and delivering something completely unexpected.
Its possible Rick’s trip to The Hilltop is just a ruse, lulling Negan’s group into believing the compound is weak when reinforcements are waiting around the corner. Then again, Rick’s last appearance in this issue, where he skeptically looks at the community while driving away, might be nothing more than a gut feeling, a sense that he won’t see his friends alive again because so many have died since the start of the series. Considering TWD’s 100th installment is less than a month away anything is possible, as Kirkman and company have a habit of doing something unexpected and spectacular with every milestone issue (issue 75 had a full-color dream where the zombies were alien soldiers).
Hopefully Kirkman won’t kill off Andrea, as she’s probably the best character in the series, in a tie with Carl and Glenn. Personally, I don’t care if everybody else dies, as it’ll make the series all the more interesting. Hell, they can kill off Rick at this point, placing Andrea, Glenn, and Carl as the series’ primary protagonists. It’s possible putting an emotionally disturbed adolescent into the driver’s seat would make the series extremely interesting.