Unlike a group review, in a “Dual Review” two writers (in this case Jordan and Adam) will take a look at the issue and give a numeric score for the issue. This is still the “All Out War” story arc which has reached the half way mark. Jordan:
I take it all back. Negan is a f$%king s#$%head.
Damn. The Walking Dead is heating the hell up. If there was any doubt issue #120 proves that when Rob Kirkman plays cards, he goes all in. Bets are off and no characters are safe this issue. In a brilliantly terrifying setup Negan and his men have our man Rick’s precious community surrounded, lobbing grenades into the camp, the very walls that protect them now keeping them boxed into a blazing hell. It’s an idea that makes for tense as hell moments as you never know next where or who next to a fiery ball is going to erupt. To imagine great set-ups like that it takes a mind like Kirkman’s who weaves an aesthetic and emotional world that could be just as at home on a big screen as a comic.
Shout-out to Jesus this week, who pulls off an aerial move with a grenade that will satiate your inner Matrix and for Davis, whose shit-awkward and terrified correspondence with Negan about having a boner before meeting an untimely end made me laugh harder than I have at a comic book in a long time, “I’m excited like you… my dick and balls are hungry for death.”
Big character moments, heavy action and a whip smart action setups make this issue of TWD one of my favorite ever. Its heavy and high-octane and proves that The Walking Dead is here to stay. This much is for sure; the guys on The Walking Dead put on a hell of a show.
Although the end of the last issue was almost expected as Holly was returned to Rick and his group, it made me very anxious for part 6 of “All Out War.” Luckily, it did not disappoint except for a few gripes that I’ve had for a while in this series. Since the last issue had a slower pace which built up to the realization of a zombified Holly, this one quickly got off to a high-octane start. Denise gets bit in the arm by Holly right off the bat. As that’s happening, Negan and company are raining grenades over the wall as Heath gets his leg blown off. Pretty intense stuff as we’ve come to expect from this series.
To me, Dwight was the sleeper star of this issue. Personally, I’ve really been looking forward to see where his loyalty lies. Well, it’s clear in this issue that he’s on board with Rick.
As far as the negatives go, I hate how anticlimactic this issue ended up being in regards to Heath and Denise. I thought they had to amputate Denise’s arm off and Heath would most likely die if they did that, meaning they would likely both die if nobody had a chance to amputate Denise’s arm. At least have one of them die. I mean Denise herself said that if they amputated her arm, she wouldn’t be able to save Heath. But at least have her die since she sacrificed herself for Heath or something like that. It gets old having everyone be ok and people who don’t matter die all the time. It just makes me less sympathetic and have less attachment to the character. I’ve been waiting for Carl to die since he got his eye blown off and survived that too. I thought I was going to get my wish this issue, but I didn’t. Rick brought Carl back in from the explosion that he was with in along with Andrea, and Denise is just chilling on the bed like ‘everything’s cool, I’m good, I saved Heath’s life-oh yeah and Carl’s not even burnt from that explosion.’ The beginning was so intense, with the feeling only to be totally bypassed at the end.
Overall though, this issue was awesome. Negan made a good point at the end: even though they didn’t directly take out anyone important, they left behind a firestorm and it’s not like there’s a fire department to save Rick’s community from burning down. Rick is clearly shaken by the events as he ends up passing out. I think physically, mentally, and egotistically, Negan has done a number on Rick. Both sides have taken damage in his issue and I don’t think there was a clear winner. I’m curious as to see who makes the next move as we’re already halfway through this arc.
Score: Jordan – 5/5, Adam – 4/5
Writer: Robert Kirkman Artist: Charlie Adlard Publisher: Image/Skybound Price: $2.99 Release Date: 1/22/14