Top 10 The Walking Dead Comic Characters.

In an unexpected twist, Robert Kirkman recently brought his epic zombie comic, The Walking Dead, to an end.
With 193 issues under its belt, the series has an expansive list of characters, many of which are incredibly investing.
And I am going to count down who I believe are the top 10 best characters of the series.
Honorable mentions go out to Dale, Tyreese and Abraham who just missed out on making the list.
Now, let’s kick this list off with number 10.

10. The Governor.

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I cannot remember a time when I have hated a character more than the Governor.
I know this may be a strange thing to say, considering this is a top 10 best characters list, but the Governor is a character you are supposed to hate.
And, I have got to admit, Kirkman did an amazing job at making him one of the most detestable characters I have ever seen.
He is one of The Walking Dead‘s best villains and it all comes down to how vile he is and how he covers this up.
Name any crime under the sun and this disgusting human being has probably done it.
Rape, torture, murder, the list is endless.
This is where my one criticism of him comes in as it does get quite uncomfortable when Kirkman goes full on snuff film with what he does and what happens to him.
One of the big criticisms I have heard about his character is that he is too evil to the point of being one dimensional.
Well, to those who say that I would recommend they read The Rise of the Governor and its follow ups, a series of novels by Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga that detail the origins of the Governor, and the events of the prison attacks from his perspective.
There we learn that his name is actually not Phillip Blake but Brian Blake, and he is suffering from some kind of split personality because he comes to believe he is his brother after Phillip’s death.
These books add layers to the Governor and make him more interesting to look at in the comics.
The Governor makes the list both for this reason and how he is easily one of the most memorably hateable characters in fiction for me.

9. Glenn Rhee.

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One of the original survivors in the series, Glenn quickly stood out as one of the more likeable characters with his resourcefulness.
A former pizza delivery boy, it was he who would go out into the zombie infested city of Atlanta to search for supplies to keep everyone alive.
It was here that he rescued Rick and their long friendship began.
One of the big standouts of Glenn is his relationship with Maggie.
For the first 40 or so issues where their relationship was shown they were more like those horny couples you see in horror movies only, you know, they did not die (at least not yet).
It was only after the prison arc where Glenn’s relationship with Maggie grew into something special for me, with them having to raise Sophia after Carol’s death.
Here, we saw Glenn become a father and how he had to try and help Maggie through her depression, which even led to an attempted suicide.
Glenn pushed forward though, providing for his new family in this harsh world.
Eventually, he and Maggie finally succeeded in getting pregnant and it looked like a new chapter would be opening in Glenn’s life.
And then Issue 100 happened.
Glenn’s death in this issue is definitely one of The Walking Dead‘s most shocking moments.
Not only is it horrifying to see one of the comics most likeable characters get beaten to death with a baseball bat but it also opened up a whole new story and line of development for characters like Maggie.
The death is made even more tragic by the fact that Glenn was one of the few characters in The Walking Dead who had not been corrupted by the violence in the world.
Glenn was a likeable character throughout his time in the comic, and very important to the narrative, and for that he takes the ninth spot.

8. Jesus.

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No, not that Jesus.
The Jesus I am talking about is Paul Monroe, who goes by that nickname because, well, he looks like Jesus Christ.
Arriving some time after the No Way Out Arc, Jesus serves as the character who brings The Walking Dead story into a brand new direction.
The volume he first appears in is called “A Larger World” for a reason.
Through Jesus, Rick’s group are introduced to various communities including the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and even the villainous Saviors.
Along with introducing this new angle to the story, Jesus is also a great character with a lot of likability.
He is also the series’ best fighter by a wide margin, even beating Negan in combat during the All Out War arc.
I like to think he was some kind of martial arts instructor before the apocalypse hit, which would make a lot of sense.
Sadly, we do not know anything at all about his past but, despite this, he still remains an interesting character throughout.
His relationship with Aaron after the Whisperer War Arc is also well done, with a significant amount of buildup.
Jesus is a character we did not know much about but was amazing, all the same.
Every time he showed up in a fight you knew something epic was about to go down.

7. Eugene Porter.

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Eugene is one of The Walking Dead‘s most surprising characters for me.
This is because after his introduction and the first few arcs he was featured in, I honestly never expected to like him and, yet, here he is at number seven on my favourite characters list.
When Eugene is introduced he is instantly setup as one of the series’ most important characters because he knows how to cure the zombie plague… only for this to turn out to be a complete lie.
After rightfully getting the hell beaten out of him by Abraham, Eugene admits he lied because he was scared and had no other talent to protect himself.
While this is understandable, it framed Eugene in quite an unlikable light considering so many had died for him.
This changed in the All Out War Arc when, after the death of Abraham, Eugene began to work tirelessly to stop the Saviours by producing bullets for the communities to use in their fight.
Then, when he was kidnapped by Negan, who threatened to castrate him if he did not produce bullets for him, Eugene refused in a moment that showed true bravery and just how much he had changed.
His character development continued into the subsequent arcs, as he became a vital member in, not just the communities’ survival, but civilization’s survival in general.
With all of this growth in terms of his worth and character growth, Eugene went from one of the most unlikable characters to one of the most important and interesting.

6. Maggie Rhee.

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Maggie is a character whose development does not get discussed very much compared to other characters and I think this is a shame.
Upon comparing how she started out in the series to where she ends up, it can clearly be seen how she is a completely changed person by the story’s conclusion.
When we first meet Maggie she is, to quote Glenn, a “sex machine.”
Many of her scenes in the first few arcs focus on the intimacy between her and Glenn with a lot of eye candy.
However, this changes after the prison attack where Maggie loses all of her remaining family.
This loss, and the pressure of the orphaned Sophia now viewing Maggie as her mother, causes Maggie to spiral into depression, resulting in a shocking suicide attempt.
After recovering from this, Maggie comes to accept becoming Sophia’s mother and enters a new stage in her relationship with Glenn.
From this point on, they are one of the clear examples of a family unit created in this apocalypse.
However, this unit is shattered when, shortly after learning she is pregnant, Maggie is forced to watch as Glenn is beaten to death in front of her.
After this traumatic event, a more hardened Maggie arises.
And with the triumphant words of “I believe in Rick Grimes” she becomes the leader of the Hilltop and by the story’s end is even the president.
This growth from lovesick girl, to caring mother, to hardened leader is one of The Walking Dead‘s most emotional character growths.

5. Michonne Hawthorne.

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Michonne is an instantly recognizable character from The Walking Dead.
The image of her walking with her two pet zombies, katana in hand, is one of the most recognizable in the series.
However, it did take a bit of time for me to warm up to her character.
This was probably because she first appeared and was a central character in of the comics’ weakest volumes, “The Heart’s Desire”, which basically turned The Walking Dead into a soap opera for a time.
Then there was her storyline with the Governor, which turned her into a victim pretty soon after we had met her and to very uncomfortable levels.
The fact that it later went full on snuff, rape revenge definitely did not help.
It felt like Kirkman was just trying to shock the reader with what she experienced.
After this, though, Michonne got a lot better as a character with Kirkman delving deeper into her mentality and even the guilt she holds for some of the things she has done.
Her final confrontation with the Governor is an epic moment for her, even if she does not succeed in killing him, and the moment she saves Carl’s life after the prison massacre is a highlight.
From here, she continued to be a strong, reliable figure who grew a close bond with Rick.
This eventually resulted in my favourite scene of hers where Rick calls her his best friend, only for her to cheekily reply, “what are you, ten?”
Then there is the discovery that her daughter Elodie is alive in the final arc and, even though I felt like what came of it was a bit of a missed opportunity, their reunion is incredibly touching.
Michonne is one of the series’ most memorable and coolest characters, emerging from the initial slump I felt she had in the best of ways.

4. Negan.

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If the Governor is a character I love to hate, then Negan is a character I hate to love.
Arriving on the scene in The Walking Dead‘s 100th Issue, Negan made a bloody splash when he brutally beat Glenn to death in front of everyone, including Maggie who was pregnant.
This instantly set Negan up, both as the new big threat for the group to face and also as someone for the reader to hate.
However, this last thing did not happen for me.
Because, while I did hate Negan initially, her very quickly grew on me as a character.
He was not only darkly humorous but also had a moral code, with him hating rape so much that he kills a man in his group when he tries to commit it.
This made Negan very different from the Governor because, while he was someone who simply did twisted things because he wanted to, Negan did them because he believed they were the right thing to do.
And it was this sentiment of Negan’s that allowed him to have a redemption arc in the aftermath of All Out War, becoming a changed man and helping Rick and the communities in the war against the Whisperers.
Although he never shakes his violent tendencies, as seen by him beheading the Whisper leader Alpha to prove his loyalty to Rick.
This unpredictable personality made for some great interactions with other characters, especially Carl who would go on to form a kind of friendship(?) with the monstrous man.
Then there was the resolution to his story in Issue 174, where Maggie finally confronts him for killing Glenn.
Rather than doing so, though, she instead leaves him to live the life of loneliness he deserves.
This act seems to give the both of them closure, and Negan departs from the story with his redemption arc fully complete.
Negan is the best villain in The Walking Dead.
They made a character who committed a horrific act of violence the first time we meet him somehow likeable, and made me hate myself for liking him.

3. Andrea Grimes.

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Andrea was one of my most hated characters in The Walking Dead show.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I started reading the comics and found Andrea to be one of the most likeable characters.
The TV series really screwed up her storyline and it was incredibly sad to read the comics and see what a missed opportunity she was in that show.
Andrea starts out in the comics as just an ordinary woman who becomes hardened by the world, after the death of her sister.
Becoming a sharpshooter, she is quickly established as one of the groups most reliable and useful members.
Then there is her relationship with the elderly Dale, which is surprisingly emotional and well done.
The two’s arcs are both great and make their relationships one of the highlights of the comic.
However, her relationship with Dale is not the best of the series.
No, that goes to Andrea’s relationship with Rick long after Dale’s death.
Initially, I felt that this relationship came out of left field but, as it developed and we got to see these two grow from it, it quickly became the best relationship.
Andrea has so many amazing moments from the comics, like her taking out the Governor’s men when he attacks the prison and, most notably, her fight with Connor in the bell tower.
Her death in Issue 167 from a roamer bite is one of the most emotional deaths in the entire comic series.
It is quite the gut punch seeing everyone whose lives she affected saying their final goodbyes to her, and then even seeing Rick nearly give up and allow Andrea to kill him when she turns.
Thankfully, he pulls himself together and puts her down, remembering her final words at the end of the issue.
Andrea is an amazing character with so many standout moments and an emotional sendoff.

2. Carl Grimes.

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Carl is another character that was screwed over in the show, although not to the extent that Andrea was.
His show version just never went down the dark descent that the comic Carl did.
This Carl started off as a lot more useful than the TV adaptation, with him learning to use a gun way sooner.
Still, he was not really important until after the prison massacre where he lost his mother Lori and newborn sister Judith.
After this point, Carl went down a very dark storyline, with him having to take care of his injured father and later killing another boy named Ben who had gone crazy and murdered his own brother.
Carl doing this showed just how brutal the world of The Walking Dead was for a child, with him being forced to commit acts to keep himself and the group safe.
This worsened after he was shockingly shot during the No Way Out arc because he became harsher as a result.
His crueler temperament even led him to try and assassinate Negan.
Luckily, the swearing leader took a liking to Carl so did not hurt him.
The two even formed some kind of bond, continuing to have talks after Negan was locked up.
It was at this point that Carl began to take a lot after both Rick and Negan, almost killing two bullies when they attacked him and Sophia, like Negan would, and going after Lydia in the Whisperer Arc after he learned she was being abused, like Rick would.
This created a complex personality for Carl where he embodied traits of not just the main character of the series but also one of the series’ biggest villains as well.
One of the big themes of The Walking Dead is about raising children in a cruel world and what this causes the child to become.
Carl embodies this perfectly and the series could not have ended any better than with him sitting in a rocking chair with his daughter Andrea, who is named after his step-mother, telling her the story of the series.

1. Rick Grimes.

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The man, the myth, the legend, the main character, Rick Grimes is, without a doubt, the best character in The Walking Dead. 
He was the one we followed all the way up until the ending, and during that time we got to see him grow from the leader of a small group of survivors to a heroic figure sure to be remembered in the history books.
His journey to get to this point is inspirational, with him enduring many sacrifices and hardships.
We, as the readers, instantly related to his search to find his wife, Lori, and son, Carl, after waking up in the apocalypse.
When he finally found them and his goals switched to protecting the group, we followed him in this.
And it was not long before Rick had to start doing morally grey things to protect those he loved.
Shooting Dexter in the prison arc was the beginning of this, and the act culminated in him shouting “we are the walking dead!”
With this statement, Rick’s hardships continued as he shockingly losing his hand to the Governor and then saw  Lori and their baby Judith die in the prison massacre.
He did countless horrible things to protect his people after this, from ripping a man’s throat out with his teeth to save Carl from being raped, to torturing a group of cannibals to death after they had already been beaten.
All of this resulted in Rick and his group, including Carl, starting to lose their humanity to survive.
Then they arrived at the Alexandria Safe Zone and we got to see our battle hardened main character struggle to live in society again, only for things to predictably go wrong in the worst of ways, resulting in him needing to take charge.
It was here that Rick emerged as the true inspirational leader, giving numerous memorable speeches to inspire his people.
His relationship with Andrea also started here as the best of the series.
He then began to take steps towards building a humane society, as seen by him sparing Negan, even after all the horrible things he had done, and later freeing him when he had been rehabilitated.
Rick even began to rebuild a society that was better than our own one, with everyone being equal.
His inspirational journey to build this society reached its pinnacle in the Commonwealth Arc, where his new system conflicted with the flawed old one.
The end result was Rick’s society winning with his story coming full circle when he said the great line of “we are NOT the walking dead!”
Sadly, this also resulted in Rick’s death at the hands of Sebastian Milton, which is my one big problems with Rick’s story.
I like the idea behind his death but I felt the execution left a bit to be desired.
Still, this does not change the fact that Rick is a fantastic main character, and the best character of the comic.
Watching him rebuild a new and better society in an apocalyptic world was amazing, and a highlight of the series.

The Walking Dead, Issue 192, Aftermath Review: Everything Changes but not in a Good way.

two-and-a-half-stars
In my review for the shocking Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, I said I had mixed opinions about the possibility of Rick Grimes dying.
On the one hand, I did like the idea of his death being reminiscent of assassinations of other historical figures but, on the other hand, I thought it was stupid that it was Sebastian, of all people, who killed him.
Overall, I decided to reserve judgement on the death until it actually happened in Issue 192, “Aftermath.”
Well, the chapter was released yesterday and we finally got to see the great Rick Grimes die, and, I have to say, I am disappointed.
My main criticism lies in how Rick’s death honestly does not feel like the death of a main character.
Seriously, this chapter is named “Aftermath,” we should be seeing all the people Rick helped reacting to the news of his death.
Sure, we do get Carl’s reaction and that is handled very well but we get almost no reaction from the other characters.
What about Michonne?
She was Rick’s best friend and she does not even shed a tear over his death.
Maggie, Sophia, Eugene, Jesus, Aaron, these are all characters who Rick has helped survive and we do not see of their reactions apart from brief mourning shots as they go to his funeral.
And that’s another thing, we don’t even see his funeral.
Carl collapses from grief on his way to Alexandria and says he does not think he can do this without his father then the issue just ends.
It honestly feels like the death of a minor character instead of the lead of the entire series.
What’s more, it looks like the comics are going to be quickly moving on from Rick’s death.
The next issue looks to be entirely Negan focused, and the issue after that is introducing a new character Sheriff Kapoor, who looks almost exactly like Rick.
I should not have to say this but, since Rick is the main character, his death should feel like a massive event that will affect the future of the series bur it honestly does not feel like that.
I’m not going to act like there aren’t some great things about “Aftermath” because there are.
Seeing Rick get repeatedly shot by Sebastian had me screaming out in shock.
Not only this but the scene where Carl confronts Sebastian in prison is magnificent.
It shows how Carl has been influenced by both Rick and Negan because, while he decides to let him rot in prison like Rick would have wanted, he also promises to hurt him if he ever gets out, quoting Negan as he leaves by saying “ta, ta.”
However, while this is a great moment that points towards an interesting future for Carl, it does not make up for how poorly handled Rick’s exit feels.
He was killed by one of the most annoying characters the series has ever had, there is almost no reaction from the other characters to his death, which ultimately feels like that of a side character rather the main one, and the comics already look to be moving on from it in the next issue.
In my opinion, Robert Kirkman really dropped the ball with this.
The Commonwealth Arc has been downright bad in my opinion.
There were various great moments in it that made me believe it could get better but, overall, it was poorly plotted, structured, and resulted in a disappointing death for the main character.
I will keep reading to see what the series is like without Rick but, unless it has picked up by issue 200, I will think the series has officially jumped the shark.

The Walking Dead Issue 191: The Last Stand Review – Coming Full Circle with a Shocking Twist.

4 stars
Well… that just happened.
I got spoiled right before I read Issue 191 of The Walking Dead, “The Last Stand”, but it was still shocking to see the ending of the issue.
Before I begin the review, I have to warn you there are gigantic spoilers in this review so if you have not read the issue then go do that before continuing.
Seriously, you do not want to get spoiled about this like I did.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the big moment of the issue, and what is sure to be one of the biggest moments of The Walking Dead.
That being Rick getting shot in the chest and supposedly starting to bleed out at the end of the issue.
This is such a big moment in the history of the series because, make no mistake, Rick is going to die next issue.
While this has not been confirmed, it is made blatantly obvious by the issue.
Rick is shot right in the chest, and blood is leaking from his mouth so it is clear the bullet hit something vital.
Not only that, but Rick’s character arc came full circle in this issue, with him managing to peacefully resolve the situation with Pamela, and save the Commonwealth, by making a passionate speech declaring, “we are NOT the walking dead!”
This is directly mirroring a similar speech in Issue 24, where Rick states the exact opposite, and the final shot of Rick about to bleed out also mirrors the cover of Issue 45, where he is similarly shot.
Then there is Rick’s final scene with Carl, which has a real sense of finality to it, serving as the unknowing goodbye between the two.
So, yeah, Rick Grimes is definitely going to die next issue.
If he did not then it would feel like a major cop-out.
How do I feel about this, though?
Well, right now I am mixed.
For one, I actually love the idea of Rick getting taken out in assassination after gaining so much support, which is very similar to many inspirational historical figures.
It is very realistic and, with it coming directly after Rick’s arc comes full circle, incredibly well done.
My problem lies in who shoots him: The cowardly Sebastian, the son of Pamela Milton.
Honestly, the idea of the great Rick Grimes being killed by a guy who reminds of me a spoiled, bratty teenager from one of those awful MTV shows is pretty stupid.
This could have been remedied if Robert Kirkman had built Sebastian up as a more intimidating character.
For example, he could still be spoiled, as this is his main motivation for shooting Rick, but he could also have a power base and people who work for him, establishing him as more of a threat.
As it stands though, it is pretty disappointing that Rick gets taken out by such a brat.
However, whether this drives Rick’s death more into the negative side for me will depend on how that death is handled next issue.
If Rick dies before he reaches anyone then no one will know it was Sebastian because he used a silencer and probably left almost no trace.
This could create an interesting story where Carl searches for his killer and Pamela tries to protect her son.
Speaking of Carl, I am very excited to see him take Rick’s place as the main character.
One of the big themes of the series has been how children grow up in this world of the dead, but with Carl now grown up and about to take Rick’s place, it could create a new age for The Walking Dead.
Since Carl is still only around 14 though, I do expect there be a time jump to age him up so he can be a realistic leader, because I do not see a 14-year-old leading a community.
As for the rest of “The Last Stand”, it is pretty good.
I would have found the way the hyped up battle with Pamela ended disappointing if it had not been for the ending, though.
It is funny actually.
Before this point, The Commonwealth story arc has been a jumbled mess and now it all seems to be coming together to send Rick off.
It is both tragic and exciting to see Kirkman killing off his main character.
Tragic because we are seeing the end of a character we have followed for well over a decade, and exciting because this could bring a new age for The Walking Dead with Carl as the main character.

The Walking Dead Issue 190, Storm the Gates, Review: Welcome but Rushed.

3 stars
In my review of the previous The Walking Dead issue, I criticized the Commonwealth Arc heavily for how aimless and mediocre it had been so far.
Coming into Issue 190, “Storm the Gates,” I was expecting it to be more of the same, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this issue could be a step in the right direction.
It is not spectacular or anything, but it does give me hope that the Commonwealth Arc might just get better.
Although, I have had false hope with this arc before so we will have to wait and see.
I will also admit that I was wrong about something I criticized Robert Kirkman for last issue, this being artificial tension.
I thought the Walker herd in that issue was just a way for Kirkman to create some pointless tension in a slow story, but the herd actually has a story point in “Storm the Gates,” with the herd attacking the Commonwealth.
The reason it got so close to the community before being spotted, is because Pamela called her troops back after Mercer was arrested, which is another case of Kirkman wonderfully showing Pamela’s incompetency.
The approaching herd leads to Rick, Mercer and the others. having to all hide in the buildings while the herd walks around, until Maggie arrives with her deus ex machina army to save the day.
Although I did like that the herd actually serves a point in this issue, a lot of the storylines here seem pretty convenient.
Rick and Mercer are somehow able to get the Commonwealth’s 50,000  civilians inside their buildings in a matter of minutes?
Then there is Maggie’s arrival with her army, which is a complete deus ex machina, but one that moves the plot forward.
I feel I should also mention one panel where Magna is looking down at Maggie and something about the artwork here looks a little off.
That said, the rest of Charlie Adlard’s artwork is stunning as usual.
After the Walker herd are defeated, Rick and Mercer plan to finally talk with Pamela, only for her to march in with her army from Greenville and accuse Rick of trying to usurp her.
Rick tries to convince her this is not the case but she is too paranoid to believe him, ordering her troops to attack in a panel similar to the ones when Negan attacked Alexandria, and the Governor attacked the prison, bringing an end to the issue.
This cliffhanger was a very welcome one for me because it finally looks like it is going to create some interesting consequences, possibly even some deaths, in the next issue.
Coming back to Magna, she shares a scene with Yumiko, which highlights their relationship, that has me believing one of them may bite the bullet.
However, while I do welcome this cliffhanger, it does feel very rushed to me on a story level.
Pamela was somehow able to organize an army in Greenville, a community probably a long way from them, in a matter of hours.
Not only this, but her accusing Rick of trying to take over feels very forced.
Up until this point, Pamela has trusted Rick, especially after he killed Dwight to save her life, so her suddenly thinking Rick wants to become leader of the Commonwealth comes out of left field, even if it does finally get the story rolling.
Overall, this was an average issue with various positives and negatives.
I hope that the next issue follows up on its promise of action and excitement, rather than reversing all of this like it did with the antagonism between Rick and Michonne.

The Walking Dead Season Nine Episodes 12-14 Review: It Just Keeps Getting Darker and Darker.

Just when you think The Walking Dead cannot get any darker it keeps on surprising you.
The second half of season nine has continued with episodes 12-14, “Guardians,” “Chokepoint,” and “Scars,” all of which were great.
“Guardians” and “Chokepoint” continue the story of the Whisperers very well, and “Scars” is the best flashback episode the series has had in a long time.
As stated, the series just keeps getting more gruesome with each episode.
From Alpha brutally decapitating a challenger in “Guardians,” to Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) brutal fight with Beta and the other Whisperers in “Chokepoint”, and to Michonne (Danai Gurira) having to kill children to save Judith in “Scars.”
That last one is especially dark and feels very reminiscent of the season four episode “The Grove.”

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In one of the darkest scenes in The Walking Dead a pregnant Michonne has to kill kids to save her own.

It also serves as a satisfying explanation for the scars Michonne and Daryl have and why Michonne is so closed off.
Along with this, “Scars” is the first episode of The Walking Dead to make me tear up since Glenn was supposedly killed off in season six (before it was stupidly revealed he survived by hiding under a dumpster).
The conversation Michonne has with Judith (Cailey Fleming) about what she went through and how she became isolated to protect her brought a tear to my eye.
This also leads to Michonne finally deciding to open up and go to the fair, which will sadly have disastrous consequences for Alexandria, based off what happens in the comics.
As for the other episodes, they are also strong ones with “Guardians” serving as the introduction of Beta, played by Ryan Hurst.
Much like Samantha Morton as Alpha, I am loving Hurst as Beta because he is perfectly cast.

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Ryan Hurst is very intimidating as Beta and was the perfect choice for the role.

In this episode we are also given a first hand look at the way the Whisperers live, which is about as brutal as you would expect.
The scene where Alpha brutally murders the wife of the man who challenged her, and then hands him her head, before killing, is incredibly dark.
The episode also ends on a high note, with Daryl and Connie (Lauren Rindloff) using Whisperer masks to save Henry (Matt Lintz) and Lydia (Cassady McClincy).
This leads to episode twelve “Chokepoint,” which I actually consider to be the weakest of the three episodes because, while it does have an amazing main storyline, it has a very forgettable secondary storyline.
Watching Carol (Melissa McBride) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) deal with the Highwaymen felt unnecessary and more like the filler we would see in seasons seven and eight.
That said though, the storyline did end on a very funny note.
Also, the main storyline of this episode is so exciting.
The fight between Daryl and Beta had me on the edge of my seat and made me eager to see the eventual fights between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)) and Beta.

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The fight between Daryl and Beta was very well choreographed and intense, even though I knew it was unlikely either one would die.

This said, I hope they do a better job with Beta’s storyline than in the comics but, if how he has been presented so far is anything to go by, I would say there is a good chance the show can do it better.
All of these episodes are great and have me hyped up for the next episode, “The Calm Before,” which should be one of The Walking Dead‘s biggest moments.
I can still remember reading that moment in the comics and the feelings of shock and horror I felt.
Hopefully the show will be able to do this scene justice, just like they have been doing with the rest of the Whisperer Arc so far.

The Walking Dead Issue 189: Lines are Drawn, Review: More Mediocrity.

two-and-a-half-stars
Another month, another mediocre The Walking Dead issue.
In all honesty I have grown pretty tired of the Commonwealth story arc.
Sure, there have been some really good things about it like the discovery of Michonne’s daughter Elodie, Dwight’s death, and the political commentary.
However, all of this good stuff is surrounded by features that bog it down.
Elodie is not very important to the Commonwealth story right now, Dwight’s death has failed to have any meaningful, lasting impact, and the political commentary, although interesting, at first, does not have a very interesting story to go along with it.
This has all resulted in a mediocre story arc that has me less and less excited every time I read the next issue.
Sadly, this mediocrity continues with Issue 189, “Lines are Drawn”, which was hyped up by numerous events in the previous installment, but that hype fails to go anywhere.
I will begin by talking about my biggest problem with this issue, and that is the scenes with Eugene and Stephanie.
At the end of the previous issue, the two were about to be surrounded by a Walker herd that had accidentally been drawn into the area.
The consequences of this?
Absolutely nothing, of course!
Eugene and Stephanie just get trapped temporarily in a train before Eugene uses a fire hydrant to help them escape.
There is only one reason that this is even a plot point in this issue and that can be summed up in two words.
“Artificial Tension.”
Robert Kirkman appears to be worried that people will lose interest in his political fueled story arc so he throws in some random action sequences that have no real impact on the story to try and keep his readers entertained.
However, the fact that these scenes have no consequence makes them very boring and hard to get into.
Speaking of people losing interest in the political fueled story though, it would not surprise me if they did, because this issue once again failed to go anywhere exciting.
Laura breaks Mercer out of prison, just like what was hyped up in the cover, only for the issue to end with him deciding to try and put Rick in power to keep the peace.
I was annoyed to read this cliffhanger because it took all of the exciting buildup with Mercer breaking out of prison, and Rick having to escort Pamela and her family out of the Commonwealth for their own safety, and seems to have settled it too easily.
Also, Rick taking over another community is pretty much a cliche at this point.
I would be surprised if Rick is not the king of the world by the end of the story.
In all seriousness, though, this is a disappointing end to an issue that seemed like it was building up to something big.
There is one touching scene between Rick and Carl that I do like but, otherwise, this is another mediocre issue in a long line of them.
My low rating for “Lines are Drawn” comes, not from it being a bad issue, because it is not, but from the constant mediocrity of this story arc making it very difficult to keep my interest up.
But, who knows, maybe the Commonwealth story arc will get interesting as it goes on?
Hopefully?
In any case we are almost ten issues away from issue 200 so, with any luck, I will be fully engaged in The Walking Dead‘s story again by the time we reach it.
But, for now, I am struggling to stay interested.

The Walking Dead Season Nine Episode 9-11 Discussion: True Terror.

The Walking Dead season nine has been killing it with the Whisperer Arc storyline so far.
The midseason finale served as a great introduction to these new villains and they have only got scarier since the series returned.
These three new episodes, “Adaptation”, “Omega”, and “Bounty”, continue to show that season nine is returning The Walking Dead to its former glory.
I know I have said this many times since season nine began, but Angela Kang was the perfect choice for showrunner because, under her direction, the series has bounced back from a low point in quality that many of us were concerned it could never recover from.
There are so many differences that improve on the series’ comic counterpart.
This is surprising to me because, off the top of my head, I cannot recall a time when the show has had a change that was better than the comic since season five.

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The characters are some of the best differences from the comics this season. In the comics Connie (Lauren Ridloff) is completely forgettable but in the show she is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

Character development is truly where these new episodes shine, with many characters, like Daryl, having great scenes.
It is the new characters that steal the spotlight though, because Magna’s group, Lydia (Cassady McCliny), and Alpha are already miles better than their comic versions.
Samantha Morton’s Alpha is the true standout of these characters, with her being one of the most terrifying villains in the show’s history.
I love how they gave her this dirty look to fit with her savage nature as a Whisperer.
It was odd how, in the comics, Alpha’s skin was clean, despite wearing literal human skin all day, so this is an improvement.
Morton is also fantastically scary as the antagonist.
Watching the promos, I was originally unsure about her accent but, after watching the episodes, I can say it works perfectly.
Her arrival at the end of “Omega” is nothing short of chilling.

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Samantha Morton was the perfect choice for Alpha. She looks and acts absolutely terrifying.

Speaking of these episodes, they range from good to fantastic.
The first two, “Adaptation” and “Omega” are the good episodes.
They have plenty of amazing scenes but some moments do feel out of place and drag a little, especially in “Omega”.
This is not the case for “Bounty” though because it is already one of my favourite episodes of season nine.
“Bounty” truly shows what monstrous acts the Whisperers are capable of, with a mother Whisperer leaving her own baby to be eaten by the Walkers because it is too loud.
This new scene is very shocking and is a great addition to the show.
It also leads to one of the show’s scariest moments in recent memory, with Connie rescuing the baby and fleeing into a cornfield.
It is here where she constantly has to fend off the Walkers, and it is made all the more scarier because she is deaf.
It felt like something that would be seen in A Quiet Place. 
“Bounty” is just a great episode, with the only negative I have being the blatant stupidity of Henry (Matt Lintz).
Other than this, and a few missteps though, the first few episodes of The Walking Dead season nine’s second half continues the show’s climb of better quality.
It has me very excited for The Walking Dead‘s equivalent of the Red Wedding, which we will surely see by the end of the season.
And, with what we have got so far, I am sure Angela Kang can pull it off.

The Walking Dead Issue 188, Falling into Place Review: Building to Something… Hopefully?

3 stars
Aside from Dwight’s death and some interesting political commentary, there has been very little that I have found to be investing in the last ten issues of The Walking Dead.
However, Issue 188, “Falling into Place”, seems to set this up to change.
The issue is average, just like many other issues in this arc, but it thankfully looks to be the one that will set the wheels in motion for the Commonwealth’s civil war.
Initially, this does not appear to be the case because Mercer is quickly arrested at the beginning of “Falling into Place”, before he can set his revolution into motion.
But, by the end of the issue, this revolution looks to be gaining full steam as Laura sets out to recruit George and the rest of Mercer’s men to rise against the establishment.
This looks set to commence next issue because the cover features Laura and two others storming the cell that Mercer is being kept in.
Rick and Michonne seem to have caught on to Laura by the end of the issue though, so it will be interesting to see what they do.
Speaking of Rick and Michonne ,this issue continues to disappointingly move away from their conflict, which was set up at the end of Issue 186.
It still feels weird to see that they have made up after Rick explicitly said he would never forgive her for putting him in a situation where he had to kill Dwight.
Despite Robert Kirkman seemingly abandoning Rick’s role to play in the upcoming civil war, Mercer thankfully continues to be a key player.
He gets one of the most interesting scenes in the issue where Pamela confronts him about his actions, only for Mercer to rightly criticize her hypocritical actions.
Along with the brewing the civil war, there is another feature that looks to bring much intensity to the next issue.
This is the cliffhanger of “Falling into Place”, which sees a heard of Walkers heading straight for Eugene and Stephanie, who have been left to work on their train.
While I did like this cliffhanger, the way the issue built up to it is a little contrived.
It all starts when Carl, Jesus, Arron, Dante and Siddiq, who were sent by Maggie to check in with Rick at the Commonwealth, come across Princess.
The synopsis of this issue tries to be dramatic with the line “is Princess friend or foe?” but we all knew she was not going to be.
This turns out to be the case when she runs away, only for them all to run into a herd of Walkers to create some artificial tension, oh joy!
Even though I did not like how obviously set up this scene felt, I will admit it did lead to some good banter between Carl and Princess.
I chuckled when Carl told her that being a loner is “total bulls*!t” and she replies, “you don’t have to curse.”
It makes me wonder what a scene between Princess and Negan would be like.
She would be horrified.
After this, the group diverts the herd and it unfortunately reaches Eugene and Stephanie at the end of the issue.
As for their fates, I am unsure if Kirkman will kill them off or not.
Eugene has become a very important character in the comics and I do not know if Kirkman would kill him off right after Dwight.
As for Stephanie, I find it unlikely she will be killed of because we just met her and she has not received much proper development yet.
Still, I do have some hope that this herd and the coming civil war in the Commonwealth will finally bring the excitement needed for this arc.
Overall, “Falling into Place” was another average issue in The Walking Dead. 
Things look to get more exciting in the next few issues but, if they do not then I cannot see the Commonwealth story arc being anything better than just average.

The Walking Dead Issue 187: What Happened to the Conflict?

3 stars
The Walking Dead 
Issue 186, “The Powder Keg” ended with an amazing cliffhanger that set up not only a conflict between Rick’s communities and the Commonwealth but, more importantly, between Rick and Michonne.
I was excited to read the latest issue 187 “The Road Back” to see where Robert Kirkman would take this newly developed conflict… only for him to downplay it with the two characters oddly making up.
It was incredibly jarring to see Rick go from saying he would never forgive Michonne last issue to him immediately apologizing to her this issue.
What is especially weird is that the cover of Issue 187 seems to point towards the two’s conflict growing when in reality the exact opposite happens.
There might be more tension between them in the future but, for now, this scene makes it seem that Kirkman has thrown any potential storyline of the two being at odds in the trash, which is a huge disappointment.
Even Rick’s character seems to have done a complete 180, with him seeming to have come to Dwight’s opinion that Pamela needs to be taken down also strangely being forgotten with him now pushing for peace at the beginning of the issue.
This is an unusual case of bad writing from Kirkman.
It really is a shame because the rest of the issue does a great job of building on the growing conflict in the aftermath of Dwight’s death.
The best parts of “The Road Back” came from Mercer and surprisingly Princess who both go through a great amount of character development.
First there is Mercer, whose frustration with the Commonwealth finally boils over with him giving a speech to his fellow soldiers about rising up against Pamela and the rest of the Commonwealth leadership.
This is unfortunately overheard by Lance who looks ready to arrest Mercer by the end of the issue.
Mercer really sucks at making sure people do not overhear his secret plans, first there was Siddiq and now Lance.
As for the Princess, I was surprised by how much I liked the development she got this issue.
She leaves Mercer and the Commonwealth, explaining that the abuse she suffered from her family as a child has led to her to like being alone.
This left me feeling sorry for her, which is a nice change considering I found her to be a mostly annoying character up until this point.
However, even though Princess left, by the looks of the cover of the next issue, it appears she will be drawn back into the conflict.
We can see Carl, Jesus, Aaron and Siddiq rushing towards her in the cover of Issue 188 and all of these characters are sent to see what was happening in the Commonwealth by Magna and Maggie this issue.
With things clearly about to explode in the Commonwealth because of Dwight’s death and Mercer’s soon to be arrest, it is clear they will play a vital role in the story.
Another thing I was surprised to find how much I liked was the portrayal of the love triangle between Carl, Lydia and Sophia.
I usually hate love triangles but here it is portrayed rather nicely.
Sophia finds she actually gets along well with the new kid Carl tried to set her up with and Lydia gets jealous of her and Carl.
This leads Carl to tell Lydia she and him work together because they are both monsters, (which is obviously a really bad thing to call your girlfriend) causing Lydia to storm off.
Then, when Carl departs, he explains what he meant, stating they are both the only ones who can truly see who they really are after all they have done.
This is a very touching scene that had me routing for their relationship in ways I have not before.
All of this is fantastic stuff but again it is weighed down by throwing out Rick and Michonne’s conflict, which could have been very interesting.
The rest of “The Road Back” is good but I just wish Kirkman had kept this conflict going.

The Walking Dead Issue 186, The Power Keg Review: Well, that Escalated Quickly.

4 stars
Coming into Issue 186, “The Powder Keg,” I knew something bad was going to happen.
There had been so much build up towards something happening in previous issues that if nothing had happened it would have been a serious let down.
Thankfully, the big event that had been built up for so long occurred in this issue with Michonne betraying Rick to Pamela and then Rick being forced to shoot Dwight after he pulls a gun on the new Governor.
I had my suspicions that a character would die this issue but I never suspected it would be Dwight.
I thought he would be the one to instigate a revolution against the Commonwealth’s leadership but it seems his death will be playing that role.
However, the big shock of the chapter was not Dwight’s death but Michonne’s betrayal.
Sure, her daughter does live in the Commonwealth but I thought she would have more faith in Rick to control Dwight rather than having to sell him out to Pamela.
This was obviously a terrible idea as well because Michonne’s actions may have unintentionally set off the titular “powder keg” that will set the Commonwealth ablaze.
This is because Rick seems to have fully accepted Dwight’s ideology and now believes he chose the wrong side in the upcoming war by the end of the issue.
Still, I do not think this will turn into a war because we have already had two of them in quick succession so something new has to happen.
I wonder what that could be though?
Whatever the case, this sequence of events was very shocking and finally made me get on Dwight’s side, even if he did die.
In earlier issues I actually hated what Dwight was doing, thinking it was dangerous but now I see his reasoning behind it.
Because of the trauma he experienced at those who held onto power like Negan, Dwight judges Pamela to be no better than them and a detriment to freedom and society.
It was also easy to see why he felt this way about Pamela, due to the issue showing how she leaves dangerous Walkers around to shoot at so she can act like she is the one keeping everyone safe.
This explanation made me relate a lot to Dwight’s actions and made it all the sadder when Rick had to shoot him in a moment that was reminiscent of Dwight’s first appearance, when he murdered Abraham.
Dwight was introduced with an out of nowhere death and he departed with an out of nowhere death.
It was very fitting.
The rest of the issue is pretty decent with a touching scene between Eugene and Stephanie and a funny scene between Carl, Sophia, and the new kid Joshua.
However, there were still a few weak moments.
The first interaction between Rick and Michonne had Rick slowly coming around to Dwight’s idea, even though he had been completely against it earlier so it felt out of place.
Then there was the scene between Magna, Heath and Vincent where it was revealed Magna had been left in charge of the community even though she is a fairly new addition, compared to Heath and Vincent.
This also felt out of place.
Still, these moments were nothing major just small gripes I had.
The rest of the issue is great and seems to finally set the power keg off with the shocking death of Dwight and the even more shocking betrayal of Michonne.