So The Walking Dead #127 came out last week and it was… interesting. Here are some thoughts and theories about what we found out in this noteworthy issue.
SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THE WALKING DEAD #127… OBVIOUSLY
THERE’S ALSO PRETTY MUCH A SPOILER FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER BECAUSE OF A JOKE I COULDN’T RESIST (Sorry)
The biggest and most obvious thing to talk about is the time skip. Yep, The Walking Dead finally did it, they jumped forward two years. This raises a bunch of questions right away as it means we’re only aware of the whereabouts of those who actually appear or get a mention here. Of those who do appear though, they seem to have undergone quite a transformation.
Rick, The Wise Old Man
Rick is rocking a beard and with his bad leg it looks like he’s evolved to the role of ‘wise old man,’ or ‘senex’ for any of you literature buffs out there. I think the days of running and gunning Rick Grimes are over, but then again it looked that way when he lost a hand and he’s still been kicking ass. Maybe by the end of the series Rick will just be a head with a gun in his mouth.
The beard also draws some interesting parallels to Douglas, the former bearded leader of the little community. I wonder if this was a happy accident but I imagine Kirkman did it on purpose considering Rick later greets the new characters in a very Douglas-like manner.
Rick is also still with Andrea, that’s pretty awesome to see. I was never a big fan of Lori back in the day and Andrea has turned into such a complete badass she’s the perfect compliment to Rick’s character. I especially liked that Carl actually calls her ‘mom,’ which shows that they’ve been living as a family since All Out War ended, which leads me onto….
Carl, Our Boy’s All Grown Up
Carl looks to have decided to drop the emo hair and taken the Nick Fury approach of hiding your bad eye (if you can still call what Carl has an eye) behind a pair of stylish sunglasses. In an un-Fury like manner though he’s popped out the frame for his good eye, ruining one of the last surviving pair of pre-apocalypse sunglasses.
The other thing to note about Carl is how that boy sure has grown. Last time we saw him he was yay big but now he’s catching up to Rick. Will the series one day follow an adult Carl instead of Rick? Who knows, but Carl has come a long way from that scared little boy we met years ago.
Maggie, Mother On The Hill?
After accidentally inheriting leadership of the Hilltop back in All Out War, it looks like Maggie is still the leader over there. Interestingly there’s no mention of her baby, at all. Oversight? Or is there more to that…
Jesus, From Ninja to Samurai
Jesus seems to have evolved from kick ass kung-fu master to samurai warrior with his new top-knot hairstyle and horse. I confess I genuinely thought he was a new character for the first few pages until I realised he was just tired of running around with hair in his face. Like seriously, if it’s the end of the world and you’re running around fighting all the time having long hair must be an absolute pain. Have you ever had long hair and tried to fight someone? I haven’t but I imagine it can’t be easy with those lockes whipping in your face. Nice to see Jesus has taken some advice from Andrea and learnt how to tie his hair back.
It seems like he’s now definitely Rick’s second in command too, a job that’s usually about as safe as being the drummer for Spinal Tap. Are his days numbered? Maybe. But at this point, whose aren’t?
Magna, Future Troublemaker?
Issue #127 also gave us a brand new group of characters led by a woman named Magna. Their introduction to the main cast, and Magna’s ‘I’m not the leader, am I?’ reaction, was very reminiscent of Rick and co. being inducted by Douglas. When you consider that Rick then had a plan to secretly steal back his own weapons, it makes me wonder if Magna is a troublemaker too. Especially when in the early pages of the book one of her group was killed because of the herding actions. If Magna herself isn’t up to no good then I suspect one of her party is going to snap sooner or later.
Dwight, Negan II?
Dwight took over leadership of The Saviors but we don’t get to see any sign of him here. Did he disband the group? Reform it into something better? It seems very unlikely Rick would allow him to become anything like Negan so I doubt he’s sat around with multiple wives and shoving irons in people’s faces. It looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the truth though.
Surprise! Negan’s still around! Or not a surprise I guess, because Rick said he wasn’t going to finish him off. I don’t know what’s more noteworthy about that last sequence, the fact that Negan is so hairy or the fact he didn’t drop his usual F-bombs into casual conversation.
I’m glad Negan is still apart of the series because as despicable as he is, his introduction really kicked the series back into gear. He’s a horrible person but he’s also quite complex. Was he being sincere about realising Rick’s way was the right way? I guess we’ll find out as time goes on, I doubt he’s just going to sit in a cell ‘till the end of time.
Altogether it was a pretty fantastic issue. The whole dynamic of the series looks to have completely changed. The zombies don’t even seem to be that much of a problem anymore, sure there’s a hell of a lot of them but they handed it quite nicely (apart from poor Bernie I guess). Things are actually getting back to resembling a real civilisation. There are farms and even factories now. If there were any lingering theories that they’d be moving on to a new location soon that’s been completely jettisoned. Save for a huge organised attack on them I don’t see how they’ll ever need to move again. What that also means is there’s going to be some interesting stories coming. I doubt we’ll be watching Carl’s apprenticeship and Rick walking around the vegetable patches for another 100+ issues, something has got to come along and cause some conflict.