Spoilers for The Walking Dead
After the events of last issue, Negan has some new prisoners, including our bullet maker, Eugene. Negan is pretty high on himself right now and heads off to victory screw a few of his “wives,” leaving Dwight alone with Eugene. Eugene has surely taken a beating, but the visual art depicts a face as fearless and defiant as the dialogue suggests. The tactical importance of someone who can produce fresh ammunition is not lost on anyone, so Dwight chooses to reveal that he’s willing to help bring down Negan. These are two full characters conversing, with storied personalities, motivations, and history between each other. I ate up every word, and the only thing that could snap me out of it was another big reveal – they weren’t quite alone as they thought. Eavesdropping is not the art of a gentleman; nevertheless, the deed is done. The pencilly looking spy confides he feels the same way, and that many others do too. Could Negan be facing a full on insurrection? I thought Dwight might have to kill the guy, and for all we know he’s lying to avoid just that. It’s a tense moment, that leaves plenty to be resolved. When Negan comes back, we see he has a new plan: cover all their weapons in zombie guts, so any wound inflicted will sooner or later be a fatal one. It’s a classic war tactic right out of history. Ancient Scythian warriors were well known as dirty fighters, who would fill bags with fabled concoctions of extracted snake venom, vomit, feces, and every manner of disgusting thing they could find, and then dip their arrows in it.
Meanwhile, the Alexandria refugees, joined by Ezekiel’s group, have made their way to the Hilltop. Maggie knocked the Hilltop’s old incompetent leader on his ass, so now everyone is looking to her as in charge, whether she wants it or not. Her territory is now filled by the entirety of the alliance, which is a lot of mouths to feed. After sharing a tender moment with Andrea, Rick comes up with a plan to consolidate and then re-disperse, moving the less capable away from the action, and putting another strike force outside the walls. All he needs is enough time to put all these resources and move all these people into place. Ezekiel seems to be re-evaluating as well, but I don’t buy his newfound courageous comments. We also check in with Rosita, and Jesus gets a little time with his man. On the last page, we see Negan is already watching all of this though, and preparing to attack.
My rating: 4.7/5
The Walking Dead #122 is another strong entry into the “All Out War” story arc. It’s not really any longer or shorter than the typical issue, but they pack enough twists and turns into the overall narrative that it’s a filling issue. It really feels like enough, and every character we focus on has enough time to breathe and be themselves. It even elevates previous issues, by not let letting us just brush off acts like “performing massive surgery with minimal tools while also dying of the zombie plague” as an easy everyday occurrence. If you like these people, you should enjoy this issue.