Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Issue #118 of The Walking Dead reminds its readers that the series has a large cast of very well-developed characters. Robert Kirkman once again shows that he does not need to rely on his “main characters” to keep the story flowing. In fact, the distinct lack of Rick is part of what makes this issue shine.
Gregory returns to the Hilltop, hoping to be exalted for his success in reuniting with Negan. With him he brings back complaints and expectations. Instead he finds Maggie, a newcomer to his community, ready to put him in his place. For the first time since Glenn’s death, Maggie steps up and takes control of a situation. She gives a Rick-styled speech to the people of the Hilltop praising Rick and his plan. She promises that if they fight alongside Rick, they will win; they will no longer lose half of their hard-earned supplies to Negan and his Saviors.
Besides Eric’s death, Rick appears to be successfully leading his soldiers in an attack on the Saviors’ towers. Ezekiel and his troops, however, are not achieving the same result. Though they have the element of surprise, Ezekiel’s group is quickly overwhelmed by the combined efforts of the Saviors and the walkers. The remaining survivors flee, each in separate directions. Ezekiel manages to get away from the Saviors, but is quickly pinned down by the dead. When all seems hopeless, Ezekiel’s tiger jumps out from the brush and into the swarm. Shiva forfeits her life to save her master’s; leaving a guilt that will forever burden Ezekiel.
Ezekiel tells his story of loss to Michonne in the form of narration, something that has been practically nonexistent in The Walking Dead. The use of narration allows the readers to get a deeper look inside Ezekiel’s mind and suffer the loss as he did, rather than as an outsider.
When Rick doesn’t return home immediately, panic spreads across Carl’s face. He admits to Michonne that he is scared, particularly for his father’s life. For a long time, Carl tucked his feelings away and put on a brave face, no matter the situation. However, he is now willing to share his thoughts and fears. Since his mother’s death, he has grown a very real attachment to both Michonne and Andrea and has even begun to rely on them for support. These attachments are incredibly healthy and will keep him on the right side of sanity.
Emertainment Monthly gives this issue an 8/10.