Negan’s insane sense of morality takes center stage in Kirkman’s new chapter of his zombie epic, and to great effect. Every character is pushed to the brink of conflict, as things get more interesting in “The Walking Dead”. Kirkman is the master of a looming sense of dread. The inevitable battle with Negan is just around the corner. Rick and a small group leave the settlement to get “supplies.” Although it is not clear what exactly they are doing. As Rick and company leave, Negan arrives. He’s come early to collect his tribute.
WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ART BY: Charlie Adlard
RELEASE: June 12, 2013
With Ezekiel’s forces, Rick feels strong. There is a discussion about Negan’s forces, and nobody is entirely sure what kind of army The Saviors have. Rick says it himself “I’m no strategist.” Without Abraham around anymore, nobody can really plan a battle with any accuracy. The impending sense of doom is at an all time high.
The final moments with Negan allow the issue to shine. Negan is hated by almost everyone who comes into contact with him. He is vile and disgusting to them. He’s also ready to make a home among them. He settles down in anticipation of Rick’s return. Spencer approaches him, and we learn just what kind of guy Negan is.
It’s here where Kirkman takes a character who is morally vile, and makes them interesting. The resulting pages show Negan with a warped but respectable moral code, one that if followed would perhaps lead to a peaceful coexistence with Rick. Rick is on a collision course. Both of these men will come head to head, and one will die. Above all else though, this issue shows us that Rick may in fact be just as vile as Negan. Kirkman has no fear in showing us the darkest side of ourselves. He shows us people who are more monstrous and unpredictable than the atrocities that surround them.
Adlard’s art continues its constant upswing. The cover is a total treat, as it pays off by the end of the issue. The last three pages are sadistic and filled with tormented facial expressions. Adlard allows you to see right into Negan’s haunted eyes as the man makes some interesting choices.
Adlard’s art lingers on gore for the right amount of time. The final moments are delivered viscerally with a quick progression of intimate panels to larger splash panels. It helps convey the madness of the scene with relative ease, and compels you to turn the pages.
The Walking Dead #111 is another solid entry in the epic. The book is particularly hard to review on a monthly basis as Kirkman shines in the collected format. The pacing may be an problem for some, but overall it’s just another issue (pun intended) of The Walking Dead.
The characters are progressing in interesting ways, and the inevitable conflict looms closer than ever on the horizon. I only hope, with all this buildup that Negan and Rick’s confrontation is as glorious as these last few pages. Let’s kill some characters and lets throw things under the bus again, it’s about that time isn’t it Kirkman?
Reviewed by – Jimbus_Christ