Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Robert Kirkman really wasn’t kidding when he called this arc of The Walking Dead “All Out War.” Though both sides think that the war will be quick and in their favor, they have a lot of death and heartbreak coming before a resolution.
Negan is practically dancing with joy when he realizes that he is keeping Rick’s girlfriend as a hostage. Until Holly breaks the news that Andrea is safe and sound back at Alexandria. Though Holly is of little use to him, he decides to keep her alive. And more than that, he protects her. When David—one of the Saviors—tries to rape her, Negan steps in and kills him on the spot. As he says, “We’re not monsters.” But his real motivation is his desire to work with (read: preside over) Rick and his people when the war ends. By protecting one of his people now, he hopes it will help them form a good relationship in the future. Any hope of working together went out the window a long time—and many deaths—ago. While Rick, Ezekiel, and Jesus still live, none of their people will work for Negan.
Meanwhile, Rick is feeling good after their obvious win, but has no plans to celebrate. He sends Michonne and a group of survivors back to camp to ensure the safety of his people—specifically Carl and Andrea—in the event that Negan makes it through the hoard of walkers and takes the fight to them. He splits the soldiers that he has left into two groups, led by himself and Ezekiel, to wipe out the towers that the Saviors control before they are alerted of the war.
Though Negan insists that they are winning the war, it is clear that they are struggling. They have larger numbers and lost fewer people during the first battle, but in the long run that doesn’t mean much. They are trapped within their compound with seemingly no means to communicate with the rest of the Saviors; the Saviors that Rick and Ezekiel are about to take by storm. Negan might put on a brave face for his men, but the viewers see the panic that washes over his face throughout the issue. That, coupled with the excessive profanity are clear indicators that the Saviors are not in good shape.
Everyone knows that Negan has a mouth on him, but he keeps pushing it. The few words that aren’t curses are insults or other forms of expletives. Negan’s crude language is an important aspect of his character, but when it gets to the point where there is more profanity than meaningful dialogue, it becomes an issue. At times it feels as though his speech can be completely skipped over without missing anything key to the story. His profanity needs to be toned down. At least enough so it no longer seems like reading Urban Dictionary.
Issue 117 marks the first time that any incarnation of The Walking Dead discusses the effects of the virus on animals. As Shiva the tiger is seen gnawing on a walker, Ezekiel explains that animals do not seem to get infected. Though he most likely only has experience with his tiger, it is safe to assume that this is the case for all animals. The effect on animals has been a gnawing question (pun intended) for many readers/viewers, as it is a piece of lore that often goes unaddressed in zombie stories.
Emertainment Monthly gives this issue an 8/10.