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.

The Walking Dead Season Nine, Episode Six to Mid Season Finale Discussion.

In my last The Walking Dead discussion post I talked about the departures of Maggie and Rick and how I felt they would impact the show.
I said that despite their departures the show’s future looked bright and, based on the final three episodes of this half of the season, I think I can stand by that statement.
Even though viewership is still declining, I think The Walking Dead is returning to its glory days and it will only get better as it goes on.
The show has already made improvements on its comic book counterpart, something that has not happened since season five.
This improvement can be seen in the episode after Rick’s Departure, “Who Are You Now?” where we get the official introduction of Magna (Nadia Hilker) and her group after they appeared at the end of the previous episodes.
I already think these characters are a massive improvement on their comic versions.
Magna is a lot more fleshed out and given more backstory, with it being revealed she was in prison.
Her group of Yumiko (Eleanor Matsura), Luke (Dan Fogler), Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory) are also made much more interesting because they are given more characteristics and a lot more to do.

Magna 3
The portrayal of Magna, Yumiko, Kelly, Connie and Luke is already better than what we have been given so far in the comics.

I also liked how this episode and the other ones place a divide between the communities.
Everything was all hunky-dory after all out war in the comics so to see such open hostilities between the communities is very interesting, especially because we do not know what caused this divide.
We do know it has something to do with the X’s carved into Daryl and Michonne’s back but not much else.
This adds a layer of mystery to the story, which I am really enjoying.
However, the seventh episode of the season “Stradivarius” is definitely the weakest of the season because, while it does continue the character growth of Magna and her group, it only slightly pushes the story forward.
It is certainly not a bad episode though, and the season not having one bad episode out of eight is definitely something the last few seasons cannot attest to.
The mid-season finale, “Evolution”, is one of the best episodes of the season, possibly only falling behind Rick’s goodbye episode “What Comes After.”
It features the moment I have been waiting for even since it happened in the comics… the reveal of the Whisperers and it does not disappoint.
The final moments of this episode felt like a horror movie and brought incredible levels of tension.
This unfortunately led to the death of Jesus.
I had heard rumors of his death before watching the episode but I was still disappointed to see him go because, just like his actor Tom Payne said, he had been badly underused up to this point.
That said, what an epic way for him to go out.
It was a masterful sequence that shocked me, even though I knew it was coming, and showed the true horror of the Whisperers.
Just as Jesus finishes killing some Walkers in an amazing use of slow motion he walks towards safety but two more stand in his way.
He takes out the first one when suddenly the second one ducks and stabs him from behind whispering in his air, “you are where you do not belong” as thunder crashes around them.

Jesus
Even though it is sad to see Jesus go he got one hell of a send off.

This was an amazing way to reveal the Whisperers because it shows how deadly they are with many unable to tell if they are Walkers or Whisperers in disguise.
We then got the intense cliffhanger of the group realizing the supposed talking Walkers are actually people wearing their skin and then hearing multiple Whisperers as they surround them before cutting to black.
And, with that, the first half of season nine comes to a close.
I have been saying for a while now that season nine was the make it or break it season for me, where the show would either recover from its dark descent or rise above it.
Thankfully, I am now certain that the show has moved past the dark times of seasons seven and eight.
Angela Kang has done an amazing job with this season and if it continues like this, it may be one of my favourite seasons of The Walking Dead.
One thing is for certain though, I cannot wait to see how the rest of the Whisperer arc plays out in the next half of the season, where we will get the much awaited arrivals of Lydia, Alpha and Beta.

The Walking Dead Issue 185, On Guard Review: The Calm Before the Inevitable Storm.

3 and a half stars
When Rick got his hand cut off by the Governor all the way back in the prison arc, I never thought there would be a twist where he gained the magical ability to grow it back.
However, in the latest issue of The Walking Dead, “On Guard”, Rick obtained this ability because while talking with Dwight his hand magically grew back!
Okay, time to get serious now.
In all honesty Rick’s hand appearing to have grown back was nothing more than a funny mistake.
That said though, the scene where this happened was anything but funny, with Rick confronting Dwight about his actions throughout “On Guard.”
This moment marked the culmination of Dwight’s devious actions, which began right from the last issue’s cliffhanger, where Dwight was angered by Rick’s refusal to attempt a take over of the Commonwealth.
Here, in the beginning of the issue, Rick logically points out to Dwight why they could never take the Commonwealth by force and tells him to get out.
After this, Dwight attacks some soldiers to gauge the citizens’ reaction and is thrown in jail.
This leads to the ending scene of the issue where Rick confronts Dwight (and we are given that funny mistake of Rick’s regrown hand), with him again logically pointing out why Dwight is wrong.
I do not think Dwight will listen though, despite how much I hate where his character is going.
He was such an amazing character in the Whisperer Arc, however, after Sherry’s death, he has been in a slow downward spiral.
I do not know if Robert Kirkman is trying to make him unlikable but if he is not then he really needs to improve on Dwight’s character.
Still, Dwight’s antics did lead to be best part of the issue, which was the cliffhanger.
In the final scene, after Rick once again points out how dangerous Dwight’s plan is, he is confronted by Mercer who overheard the conversation.
Mercer calls Rick “the leader the Commonwealth needs” in a fantastic bit of development from him that shows just how impressed he has become of Rick and his people during the brief time they have known each other.
This also has massive implications for the next chapter because, based on the chapter, it looks like someone will try to assassinate Pamela with Rick getting in the way so maybe this is an expansion of Mercer’s endorsement of Rick.
That said, I do not think Mercer will be the one aiming the gun at Pamela because he has stated previously he has never wanted her dead so I have no idea who the gunman will be.
The rest of “On Guard” was pretty decent, with both good and bad moments.
For example, the scene where Rick breaks down into tears over how much Andrea would have loved the Commonwealth was a great scene.
However, the one where Sophia complained to Carl about how she has never had sex had a lot of cringe to it and I really hope it is not setting up some kind of love triangle between them and Lydia.
Although, there were plenty of good and bad moments in this issue I am eagerly looking forward to the next one.
Multiple things are hinting at this issue, “The Powder Keg,” being a big turning point, from its title, to the cover, to even a scene between Magna and Yumiko in “On Guard.”
In a moment between the two Magna comments, “when things are peaceful, that’s all just killing time between the horror.”
And if that is not an ominous hint towards next issue then I do not know what is.

Did Rick and Maggie get an Appropriate Send off in the Walking Dead?

The fifth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead, “What Comes After”, recently aired, being the final episode for Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Rhee, at least for a little while.
When I first head these two were leaving I honestly thought the show was doomed with two of its central characters (Rick being the main character) departing.
However, after viewing all five episodes of this season so far and seeing the direction it is heading, I actually think with Angela Kang as the showrunner The Walking Dead may continue to deliver a compelling narrative.
But even so, this does leave the question of whether the departures of such major characters as Rick and Maggie were done right?
Since Rick is the main character, I will start with him.
Coming into this episode I was very concerned with how he would leave the show because I thought we were going to get another Carl situation with a bad death for such an important character.
This concern was generated by the ending of the previous episode, where Rick accidentally impaled himself on some rods.
I came in feeling like I knew what was going to happen, with Rick hallucinating all of his dead friends before dying of blood loss.
However, while that first part was right, the second, thankfully, was not.
Rick does experience numerous hallucinations and all but one of them are handled expertly.
Seeing Rick interact with Shane and Hershel again was a joy to see, especially Shane because their scene together spoke a lot about how far Rick had come.
The one hallucination I did not like, however, was when Rick talked with Sasha.
This was Rick’s final hallucination and of all the characters for him to talk to during it, Sasha would have been at the bottom of my list.
She and Rick barely interacted and I do not think they were even that close so seeing Rick hallucinate her giving him this emotional pep talk made absolutely no sense.
It should have been Glenn, Lori or Carl Rick talked to, not Sasha.
Other than this though, the hallucinations were all handled well and added to the tension.
Then came Rick’s “death scene” where he blew up the bridge while he and the herd of Walkers were still on it to save his friends.
This was very emotional and if Rick had died here I would actually have been OK with it because it left a big emotional impact and served a logical purpose, unlike Carl’s death.
However, this was not the end for Rick because Jadis saved him by taking him on the helicopter with her.
And so Rick departed the show on this helicopter, with the ending song from the very first episode “Space Junk” by Wang Chung playing in a fitting end his story on the show.
This did leave me wondering what would happen to him in the future but this question was answered when I learned Andrew Lincoln would be starring in the recently announced The Walking Dead spin off movies.
When I first learned this, I laughed but, after thinking about it, I realised this could be interesting.
I will just have to wait and see the movies to know if it was a good idea to keep Rick alive for this.
Overall, Rick’s sendoff this episode was both touching and fitting, and I think they did a great job with it.
Not so much for Maggie I am afraid.
I would go as far to say that Maggie’s sendoff this episode was handled incredibly badly.
I will say I did like what happened to her in this episode, with her finally confronting Negan over Glenn’s death in a scene that, while not as good as the comics, was still very impactful.
However, there was literally nothing in the episode that would suggest this was Maggie’s last episode.
No emotional sendoff, no death, nothing.
It was like they completely forgot this was supposed to be her final episode until they had actually completed it.
Hopefully they can at least give a logical reason for her departure in the next episode.
Speaking of which, even though these two incredibly important characters have departed the show, I am still looking forward to what is to come this season.
We will be getting the full introduction of Magna and her group next episode, The Whisperers will be introduced soon, and it looks like Judith will now be taking center stage in a surprising yet welcome turn of events.
All in all, the future for The Walking Dead looks bright, even with these departures.

The Walking Dead, Season 9, Episode one, The Bridge Review: Another Solid Episode

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

The Walking Dead season nine continues on track in its second episode, “The Bridge.”
Since seeing the season premiere over a week ago, I have been optimistic about the show’s future given that the new showrunner, Angela Kang, helped produce an episode that was better than almost every episode in the last two seasons.
“The Bridge” continues this, giving us an episode just as good as the last one, providing more great aspects of acting, character development and action.
This episode primarily follows Rick and the others’ attempts to build a bridge for the Sanctuary and the disastrous consequences that follow.
During this time we got an expansion on character’s relationships since the time skip that I enjoyed, for the most part.
There was one relationship reveal that I personally was not a fan of, which I will get into in the spoiler review section.
Aside from this though, I loved the character interactions both major and minor that presented once again top-notch performances from the cast, especially from Ross Marquand who was the standout.
The performances have got significantly better in these two episodes than prior seasons and I am looking forward to seeing what the cast can pull off in the future.
The episode also gives us a few cliffhangers, some I like and some I have mixed feeling about.
Overall though, “The Bridge” was another good episode of The Walking Dead, which can hopefully continue to the end of the season.

Spoiler Review:

“The Bridge” picked up at least a month after the cliffhanger of the previous episode where Maggie hanged Gregory and made her position on the Saviours abundantly clear.
Now Rick and the other communities were working together to build the bridge for the Sanctuary, leading to a horrific accident that caused Aaron to lose his hand after it was crushed under a log and had to be amputated.
Ross Marquand did absolutely incredible in this scene, giving not just the standout performance of the episode but the standout performance of his entire time on the show.
He pulled off the agony his character was in extremely well and it made me feel incredibly sorry for him.
On a lighter note though, many fans have pointed out that now with his beard and missing hand Aaron looks more like Rick in the comics than Andrew Lincoln himself, which is funny.
The cause of Aaron’s accident was an incompetent Saviour named Justin, played by Zack McGowan.
However, Justin was not long for this world because he is attacked at the end of the episode.
Justin clearly recognized whoever attacked him and this has sparked the theory that it was a Whisperer wearing his dead friend’s skin.
If this is the Whisperers I am eagerly anticipating their arrival as they are by far the most disturbing villains of the comics.
However, while I did like this moment near the end of the episode, there was one moment I was not so sure about it.
This is when Anne sees the helicopter from season eight again in the night sky.
I have a feeling that what this helicopter means will either be great or bad for the series so we will have to see if that plays out.
If it is the Commonwealth, however, I think they are introducing them far too early.
Speaking of Anne though, another thing I have mixed feelings on was the reveal of her relationship with Gabriel, which, in all honesty, felt pretty forced to me.
But it may improve in the future, who knows?
Even though I did not like the interactions between Anne and Gabriel very much there were plenty of other interactions I loved.
For example, there was the interaction between Carol and Ezekiel, where Carol agreed to wear his ring but refuse his speech, and the conversation between Earl and Maggie about Earl’s alcoholism.
Then there were the Rick and Negan moments, which were great as Jeffrey Dean Morgan is perfect as Negan.
However, I will admit, it is sad we will never get to see him interact with Carl in the New Beginning story arc because their odd friendship in the comics is very interesting.
Even so, I will still say that “The Bridge” is another great episode of The Walking Dead.
It is not without its flaws but it, and the previous episode, are still better than what came before.

Predictions:

  1. Every time I see a new couple get together in season nine I always think one of them is going to be on the receiving end of a machete and have their stuck on a pike by the Whisperers. First I thought Ezekiel would die this way, now I have a feeling Anne may as well, after she finishes her helicopter storyline though.
  2. Speaking of Anne, I wonder when she will reveal what she knows about the helicopter and why she did not tell everyone about it after she joined the group at the end of season eight? Hopefully this will be revealed soon.

The Walking Dead, Season 9, Episode one A New Beginning Review: A Return to Form?

4 stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Coming into The Walking Dead season nine, I have felt like this was the season that would return the show to its former glory or doom it forever.
The series has been in a slow decline ever since season six that it all culminated in the disastrous decision to kill off Carl.
However, season nine opens on the A New Beginning story arc, which gave the comics a new and fresh feel to it that made the already great comic even better.
So, even with Andrew Lincoln, and possibly Lauren Cohan, leaving the show, season nine could pull The Walking Dead out of the drain it has slowly been circling.
For this season they even changed showrunners, moving Scott Gimple over to Fear The Walking Dead and, given how terrible that show has become since he started working there, I think it is good he no longer holds that position for the main show.
Angela Kang has replaced Scott Gimple as showrunner for season nine and if episode one, “A New Beginning”, is any indication then she was definitely the right choice.
Written by Kang and directed by Greg Nicotero, “A New Beginning” felt incredibly different from the last two seasons in the best of ways.
It had great writing, acting and pacing, which, looking back on season seven and eight, were features that were sorely lacking.
It even had a new title sequence, which was well done and different compared to what we have seen previously.
If the other episodes of season nine play out like this then this season may be a return to form for the series that gets me fully invested in it again.
There are no guarantees though, especially with two of the main characters leaving this season, but I remain optimistic based on this episode.
“A New Beginning” was a great start to the season that has me intrigued for what the rest of it holds.

Spoiler Review:

Now to get into the specifics.
“A New Beginning” starts off with a time jump, being a few years after the war ended Rick and the communities are working together to help get the Sanctuary back on its feet.
Numerous things are revealed in this opening half hour, like many of the Saviours still want Negan to return, Daryl has taken over Dwight’s comic storyline by being leader of the Sanctuary, and Carol and Ezekiel have got together.
This leads to a both sweet and humorous scene where Ezekiel proposes to Carol after a close call.
This close call was at a museum where Anne (Jadis’ real name) remembered there was gear that could help the Saviours with their crops.
There were many interesting character interactions and events during this mission, including Siddiq being attacked by a Walker.
I loved this moment because it made Walkers scary again, which was once again something that has been lacking in the past few seasons.
The threat the Walkers pose is truly established when, in a freak accident, one of them bites and kills a survivor from the Hilltop named Ken.
We just met Ken this episode so his death does not really mean anything on an emotional level.
Rather, it is the impact of his death that truly delivers, both emotionally and for the story.
We get to see his parents’ reaction to his death and both actors playing these characters do a tremendous job of getting their grief across, which really made me feel for them.
Story wise, Ken’s death also has huge implications because it leads to Gregory manipulating the boy’s father to try and kill Maggie.
I was very surprised by this turn of events because Gregory’s attempt on Maggie’s life does not come until much later in the comics, but it was a nice surprise.
This lead to Gregory’s comic book death when is hanged for his crimes on Maggie’s orders, showing Rick that she is planning on doing things differently and subtly shaming him for sparing Negan.
This was a great continuation on the weak cliffhanger from season eight that hinted at Maggie, Daryl and Jesus going against Rick because its set up numerous debates and conflicts that were not present at this stage in the comics.
Along with all this, I liked what the episode did with its characters, primarily Daryl.
For the past three seasons I feel that Daryl has been a very weak character with little to no character development and because of this, when it was announced that Rick would be killed off, I had no confidence in Daryl taking over as the lead.
After this episode, however, I can say that, if he continues on this track, Daryl may actually be able to take over from Rick.
Daryl got development in this episode that made me like him a lot more.
On top of this, the dialogue and acting during these character development scenes was much better than seasons seven and eight, along with the pacing.
“A New Beginning” is, in my opinion, miles better than what we got in season seven and eight, and if the show continues like this then it may actually redeem itself.

 

Predictions:

  1. Ezekiel and Carol’s interactions have me worried because Carol seems to be taking the path comic Michonne did by leaving Ezekiel. All of this points towards (Warning: Potential Spoilers!) Ezekiel being killed by the Whisperers, just like he was in the comics, and Carol regretting leaving him.
  2. It looks like we will see Negan in his prison next episode, which I am very interested in. While I am disappointed we will not get to see him interact with Carl again, it will be interesting to see how he and Rick’s conversations play out.

The Walking Dead deals with real world politics in Issue 183.

4 stars

WARNING: Major spoilers for the issue.

The Walking Dead goes to interesting places both figuratively and literally in the latest Issue 183, titled “And Michonne Without her Sword”.
The issue sees Michonne witness police brutality at the hands of the Commonwealth soldiers, which results in the death of a civilian.
The Walking Dead has been going for a political storyline since the Commonwealth was introduced but this is the first time it has brought up a current, real world, political issue.
I cannot claim to know much about the subject but from the news I have seen police brutality is a very controversial subject in America so to see this being implemented into The Walking Dead is certainly interesting.
It makes this most recent issue all the more relevant, although I do feel like some of the events went by too fast.
It went from witnessing the police brutality, to a peaceful protest, to a riot in just a few pages, which was very abrupt.
I wish this had been established in previous issues and this one just built off that but that does not mean what we got was not good.
I think Robert Kirkman handled the subject very well and it offered even more insight into the flawed political system of The Commonwealth.
Lance orders Michonne to defend the soldiers because he does not want their system to be undermined.
In a real world scenario, this would be a rather disgusting thing to order, considering a man died but since this is the apocalypse and the collapse of The Commonwealth’s political system could be disastrous it makes the situation more complex.
The other interesting event of the issue saw Michonne and Elodie go to the community of Greenville.
There they met its leader Cloris, who definitely looks to be on Pamela’s side when it comes to political ideas because she criticizes Michonne for giving expensive food to poorer people.
The discussion of political topics in this issue was very well done and it being current certainly made it more interesting than previous issues.
One criticism I do have is the scene where Michonne and Elodie are on their way to Greenville with the soldier Jerome, the one who would later beat the man, Anthony Keith, to death.
In this scene, Jerome is surrounded by zombies, forcing Michonne to save him.
My problem here lies in how Jerome got surrounded as it seemed very contrived and just another way to put in some pointless action.
Otherwise though, “And Michonne Without her Sword” was a really good issue that looks to have some interesting implications for the future because it ends with Rick arriving at the Commonwealth just as the riot begins.
I cannot wait to see what his reaction will be.

The Walking Dead: Issue 182 – More of the same.

3 stars

WARNING: Major spoiler for the issue.
In my review of the previous issue of The Walking Dead, I stated I was getting a bit annoyed about how it had been a while since the story of the comics had any genuine excitement.
Sadly, it looks like that trend continued with the latest issue, number 182, The Commonwealth Grows.
Just like Issue 181 though, there was nothing bad about this Issue.
It was good, it just continued the cycle of not much excitement happening.
However, even if there was not anything bad about this issue, there was something about it that felt off.
In the opening moments of the issue, we meet up with the minor character John, the new leader of the Sanctuary.
This scene felt off because John was a completely different character to the one seen in previous issues.
He seemed a lot more generous and willing to work with people, which is a complete contradiction to how he was in previous Issues.
This inconsistency was quite jarring but I do think it is slightly implied that it may be an act to get what he wants.
I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.
Other than this, the issue was enjoyable, although once again lacking in the exciting department, as we got to see Pamela Milton meet and interact with all of the other communities.
One thing I did find particularly interesting was Pamela’s interest in learning about Negan.
It was a brief moment but possibly hints at her potentially trying to have him executed for his crimes, which could be an interesting story if Kirkman goes that route.
Pamela asking Rick about Negan was not the only interesting character interaction this issue though, as Dwight finally made up with Rick over Sherry’s death.
While I am glad that the two are back on the same page once again, this makes their entire conflict feel very forced and unnecessary, considering literally nothing came out of it.
The two best scenes of the issue in my mind though, were the moment when everyone learned about Michonne’s daughter being alive and Rick’s conversation with Mercer.
The scene where everyone learned about Elodie and just stared at Pamela in blank shock was pretty hilarious and Rick and Mercer’s scene seems to be hinting at future events.
Rick explains to Mercer about how their system works and Mercer seems obviously disgruntled with the way the Commonwealth does things.
This could be once again hinting at a coup committed by Mercer.
This scene also really made me love Mercer because it explained why he does not agree with the Commonwealth’s system.
The system has actually left Mercer well off, protecting people like he has always wanted to do.
The thing Mercer does not agree with it that there are others in the Commonwealth “not living their lives to the fullest”.
This shows Mercer to be a very selfless person who is concerned about the well-being of others and really made me like him as a character.
Other than this, Issue 182 was a fairly standard Issue.
What really has me excited is what is coming.
The cover of Issue 183 promises a riot in the Commonwealth and, based on what I saw in this issue and on the cover of Issue 184, it looks like Eugene is planning to get a train going between Rick’s communities and the Commonwealth.
I am genuinely excited to read the next few issues as the story looks to be more exciting there.
As for this issue it is still good but it is just more of the same.

The Walking Dead Issue 180: Interesting yet Disappointing.

3 stars

Warning: Major spoilers for the issue.
In this issue of The Walking Dead Rick meet the Governor of The Commonwealth, Pamela Milton, leading to an interesting conversation but a disappointing lack of excitement.
That is not to say this issue was bad, in all honesty it is just good, but given that this is the final issue of Volume 30 and featured a meeting between the leaders of two communities, I certainly expected more things to happen.
It looks like the problems that Rick will have with Pamela and The Commonwealth are solely political at this point, not that there is anything wrong with that but if this entire story arc with The Commonwealth is going to be solely political talk it would lack serious excitement and be difficult to read through again.
So hopefully the story will pick up and more exciting things will happen with the interactions between The Commonwealth and the other communities.
As for the conversation between Rick and Pamela, they got along surprisingly well with Pamela even insisting that Rick call her by her name instead of Governor, when he tells her about the previous Governor who cut off his hand.
Things only grew sour between the two when Pamela seemed to have problems with the way Rick was running things, leading to Rick saying, “then maybe we need a new world order.”
I loved this line of dialogue because it established that the title of this story arc, New World Order, was actually in reference to Rick’s way of doing things and not Pamela’s, which, in retrospect, makes a lot of sense since Pamela’s political system is based off politics in today’s world, while Rick’s is something new.
Aside from their conversation, there were a few other interesting moments in the issue.
First of all there was Lance giving Michonne and Elodie a new home, due to Michonne’s lawyer status, which will be interesting to see if Michonne can continue as a lawyer considering all she has been through.
Then there was Dwight who finally came out of his phase of hating Rick after Sherry’s death.
I will admit though, while I am glad Dwight has come to his senses because his hatred for Rick felt very forced, it does render that storyline pointless.
There were even a few interesting moments before Rick’s conversation with Pamela.
My favourite scene of the issue was Rick’s reaction to seeing Eugene with Michonne’s sword and immediately assuming the worst.
Even better during this scene was Eugene’s comment on the mathematical possibility of Michonne finding her daughter again, which was funny.
One of the most interesting moments of the issue though came when Maxwell Hawkins, Pamela’s assistant, glared at her and Rick as they walked off to talk.
I am curious to see what that was about.
Overall though, not that much happened this issue as it mainly focused on the interactions between Rick and Pamela and their different political views.
It was a serviceable issue but did lack excitement.
Hopefully, the story will pick up in future issues.

Is The Walking Dead Finished?

You know, I tried to be optimistic about the future of The Walking Dead in my season eight review but now the future for the show is not looking bright.
I swear, every time I say some good might be on the horizon for The Walking Dead news has to come out and completely dash my hopes and, unfortunately, this time the news I am hearing may very well kill the show.
This is because Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes the main character, and Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Rhee another central player, have both been reported to be leaving the show in season nine.
No matter how you look at it this is nothing short of an absolute disaster.
This means the show will be losing three of its most important characters in two seasons, the other being Chandler Riggs’ Carl, whose controversial departure in season eight, I felt, was completely unjustified.
Granted, this time it appears to be the actors’ choice to leave, unlike Riggs’, but this will still have dire repercussions for the show that I honestly do not think it can bounce back from.
When I first learned about Cohan’s departure I was not happy because of the effects this would have on the story, combined with the effects of the recent loss of Riggs, but I still thought the show could recover if it was done right.
However, when you add the departure of Lincoln to this, I believe the final nail in the coffin has been delivered.
While Cohan’s departure is a great loss, if Lincoln or Riggs had remained the show may have been recoverable because there would still have been a reliable character to put the show on their shoulders.
If Rick died in the comic then it would be able to continue because Carl could take his place and if Carl died instead it could go on because of Rick, but losing both characters creates a vacuum that cannot be filled.
Not to mention the dramatic impact Maggie dying at this point in the show would have as well.
Having three major characters leave in just two seasons will hugely disrupt the storylines they are involved with in the comic and the characters that are left, after they are gone, are not strong enough to keep the show going.
It does not matter if Melissa McBride (Carol) or Danai Gurira (Michonne) decide to stay and it certainly does not matter if Norman Reedus (Daryl) takes over as the lead.
They are just not leading material like Rick and Carl were.
Speaking of Reedus, as I said, in my Top 10 Worst Changes From The Walking Dead Comic to the Show post Daryl Dixon has more than overstayed his welcome.
There is so much story revolving around Rick, Carl and Maggie in the future of The Walking Dead, as can be seen by the comic, that it makes it impossible for the show to continue with any meaning after all three of them have departed.
The show can try to continue, as I am sure it will, and many fans of the show will continue to watch it, but it is unlikely than anything will change for me.
I will watch the show through to season nine to see these characters’ departures but after that I will find it difficult to care about the story anymore and many fans may feel the same way.
This may cause The Walking Dead show to implode, if it is not doing so already from the numerous departures.
But hey, at least the comic is still going strong so there is that.