Here we are: issue 124. The action is getting hot and heavy. Let’s do a quick summary then jump into discussion of the action.
Carson has led Eugene and the other as far as he can. Eugene is now taking command of the group. Rick is feeling “the fever” from the zombie-soaked arrow. Jesus and Michonne kick some ass. The saviors are driven out, but not far. They lie in wait anticipating the death of Rick.
We have the Saviors who are as vulnerable as we have ever seen them. Their typical tight leadership is quite lax. They no longer have the upper hand. They don’t know how many dead there are. They are outsmarted and ambushed. They are forced to retreat. However, Negan is still as confident as he ever has been. His plan to coat the weapons with zombie juice was sinister, but brilliant. Many members of the combined forces, including Rick, are feeling the effects of the zombie fever. The ranks will begin to thin as members die off and turn. Does the group have enough left in the tank to mount one last offensive against Negan?
For the first time in a long time, Eugene has stepped up and shown to be a useful member. Although he isn’t a top government scientist (sorry to break the news to you, TV fans), he is still a pretty smart guy. So when he takes the bull by the horns and begins to take charge of the escapees, it’s a pretty awesome site. But I can’t help but think that Maggie in the last few issues showing such leadership, now Eugene stepping up, and Ezekiel reprising his role as leader, that this is foreshadowing something really bad happening to Rick. I think the timing is right. He’s overcome so much and survived so much that nobody really sees him as a character that can be killed in the book or the television show. Sorry, kiddos…Kirkman will kill Rick in a New York minute. And I think that is exactly what is about to happen. Who survives a walker bite? I give it the same odds to survive the poisoned arrow. I don’t see Rick surviving this one. What’s funny is that it will take us all by surprise, even though we are already 2 issues deep into his journey to death. But I think he has one last act of courage and bravery in him. Suicide mission to take out Negan?
Another positive thing I saw was that Carl stepped up to be a huge help. He saved his father’s life. Then he helped get people inside into safety as part of the offensive plan to fight off the Saviors. He was cool under pressure and definitely growing into his father’s mold. Will he be faced with the mortality of his father, even after losing his sister and mother? Carl has suffered so much throughout the 124 issues that have come out thus far. Does Kirkman push him even further by having him lose his last connection to who he once was and his childhood? Will the comic then begin to focus on Carl as he grows up and continues to mature?
I think all of the readers absolutely love Negan for being the one that has taken an already dark book and turned it on its head and being the bad guy the comic always needed. But I think his existence is getting a bit stale. Hopefully Kirkman feels the same way and has a concrete plan to end him and his reign. While there has been a lot of action, the story itself hasn’t seemed to progress much. And Hurricane Negan is the driving force of that. Having such a horrendous and vile villain forces everything to focus either on him or on dealing with him. It suffocates other advancements. It’s time to move on. Hopefully issue 125 sees the end of Negan.
To a Walking Dead fan who wanted to know if Kirkman had an endgame for the whole series, Kirkman stated, “I have big events planned for #125 and I know where I’m going to be for issue #200…”
So, we are just a few weeks away from seeing how true Robert was in that statement. April 9th, we get the penultimate issue of the All Out War story arc. Does Rick die? Does Negan die? Do they both die?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the group mounts an offensive, utilizing walkers to help create a distraction. Eugene and the others flank and leave the Saviors surrounded. Rick will do something heroic and sacrifice himself, knowing that if he doesn’t, he’ll die and turn. Negan will try to kill either Carl or Andrea and Dwight will finally exact his revenge and shank Negan. Dwight really is playing both sides of the fence. Once he sees once and for all that Negan’s reign is almost over, he will take the bait and kill him.
What are your thoughts?