comics review

The Walking Dead: 'All Out War' Comic Series Review (Spoiler Alert)

24.4.14



So the All Out War series of The Walking Dead has finally finished. I say that in a way that might be perceived as negative, but really to be honest…it’s been the most riveting the long-running stories the comic series has ever had.

We’ve had a series that spanned 26 episodes/comics and with a welcomed schedule of two-comics-a-month with some of the biggest bumper issues since it’s start. So before I start waffling on about it and exceptionally spoil it for everyone, I’ll give you a moment to stop reading right here and just tell you TV series people or anyone that hasn’t read issue 126 yet that: I really enjoyed this series and with what feels like an ‘end of an era’ for the comics, a new beginning awaits us in issue 127. So I do think that this is the most positive change in direction is a head of us. I’ve purposely held of the review until this currently story-arc was complete, so here it is in it’s splendid glory.

Before I go into the review, here is a small selection of memorable cover art from the series.



Obligatory Spoiler Alert - Stop reading right now if you haven’t read Issue 126 or if you only watch the AMC TV series.

The whole story-arc has picked up from the end of volume nineteen, with Rick and his people on the cusp of war with Negan and his group of allies known as ‘The Saviors’. Rick has a plan. The attack begins. But will all his allies deliver? And what might happen if Negan gets the chance to fight back? Negan has been brutal for so long, blackmailing others with a false sense of community to get what he wants. Not to mention the brutal slaying of main character Glen who was battered to death with Lucille (Negan’s beloved Baseball Bat made with razors). Luckily Rick has managed to band two other neighboring communities who oppose Negan and his regime (The Hilltop and The Alexandra Safezone) to together fight the good fight.

So Negan arrives at the Hilltop’s gates, and asks for their newly elected leader, believing that Rick is dead. He is surprised to see him alive as he crawls over the bus, and looks at Dwight. Rick tells him not to look at him, and to look at Rick. Rick asks Negan why he is fighting his people, and Negan responds he is trying to save lives. Rick tells him he must be the stupidest person alive, and explains to him that they can cooperate with Rick’s people, to make a barter system, to stop fighting, to start living and be better.

Negan slowly starts to believe his actions have been wrong all along and agrees with Rick. Rick then slashes Negan’s throat with a knife, responding “Good.” I personally cannot believe that Negan lets Rick get this close, but there you go.

Rick allows Negan to live but goes back to explain about ‘co-operating’ and working together to make supplies and food in a different way to how Negan was doing it and working together as part of a new world.

Rick decides Negan should live, Maggie, Carl and the rest of the survivors are fuming. Rick talks about punishing Negan and putting him in jail. It’s a subdued ending to whats been the most, bloody, violent and gripping story arc.

I’ve only read Issue 126(the final comic in the series) once and I feel I really need to go back and revisit it again, in order to take it all in. My thoughts are mixed at the moment. I’m happy that the series has closed in such a calm way and without any major deaths. It’s always a cliche: end of the series and the reader is always guessing who will die, in this case it wasn’t the most obvious of conclusions. I’m happy with the fact that we might actually get a new change in direction for the writing style. But what I’m not happy with is the way Negan got into this predicament, he was one of the greatest comic villains that ever graced our pages, but the thing with Negan is: he’s smart, cunning and knows when he’s being manipulated. We learn all this early on and he kept Rick and Carl alive when the table was turned, and that’s exactly what Rick is going to plan to do next.

So what’s next for The Walking Dead? A new group of survivors to focus on? New character centric comics? and has Rick Grimes officially signed off? I think all of the above ideas would be a welcomed change for the comic book.  Do let us know your thoughts so far. Whether it’s a rant or a rave. Feel free to get involved.

RS

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