The Walking Dead #162 (Image Comics)
While The Walking Dead’s seventh season failed to ignite the world on the fire like previous ones, the Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard comic series that inspired the show has seen some new life, thanks in large part to “The Whisperer War” event. Rick Grimes and his band of survivors are now fully at war with The Whisperers, and issue 162 brings the final issue of the latest mega game changing storyline, and sets the stage for the next issue in an incredible way.
One of the strengths of The Walking Dead comic is the characters. Robert Kirkman has never had to worry about actors, commercial breaks, or TV ratings, so he’s been able to take risks with the characters in the comic that he simply can’t do on the show. There’s no better example of this than Negan. While his introduction back in the 100th issue definitely showcased him as a very bad guy, in the 62 issues since then he’s become one of the funniest and most dynamic characters in the book. Recently Negan, who is begrudgingly-helping Rick against the Whisperers, has even had some genuinely heartfelt moments (in his own special way, of course). There’s no better example of that then in the opening panels of this issue, which had me laughing and feeling a little bit of sympathy for the character at the same time.
Naturally when it comes to The Walking Dead you expect two things from artist Charlie Adlard: fights and zombies. Well, this issue is a little light on the fights, but without getting too spoiliery I can tell you that it definitely features zombies, and lots of them. Robert Kirkman’s script sets up some very crazy stuff for Rick and his survivors to deal with in issue 163, and Adlard’s pencils hammer home the dread and tension perfectly.
The Walking Dead as a franchise has left me in a weird spot since the first half of season 7 wrapped up. While I’ve grown tired of the constant gimmicks that the show has pulled, I’ve found this storyline in the comics to be one of the strongest it’s ever had. If you’ve wanted to get into the comics, this issue isn’t the best one to try. But next month’s issue 163 will be priced at twenty-five cents and designed for new readers, so you’ll definitely want to check it out if you’ve been wondering what you’ve been missing.