I know this comic came out a few weeks ago so this isn’t a fresh review. I wasn’t able to make it to my local shop before this issue sold out but my good friend Brock was nice enough to get a copy for it and it arrived bag, board, and flat. All of the things we obsessed comic book collectors love.
The Walking Dead ended suddenly a year ago this month. The adventures continue in other formats but all has been quiet from comic books. During the pandemic and shut down, Robert Kirkman wanted to find a way to help comic stores. So every shop received the same amount of this comic as they were ordering for TWD, for free.
When the series ended it was implied that Negan is still alive and has lived in exile for many years as society rebuilt. Atoning for his sins. Too scared to die. Maybe he doesn’t even feel deserving of death and the release it would give him from living with himself.
In this comic he wanders, he talks to himself, he’s depressed and deranged but ultimately a sad character. Which bothers me a little. He’s the biggest villain in the series but is also so popular. Too popular to kill. I do like the idea of letting him live. Alive but dead inside. No longer a villain but his present crazy hermit persona will always have the sins of the past hanging over him.
He may have gone a bit screwy, but he’s not dumb. He realizes right away something is not right inside his house. He knows he’s not alone. And he knows when he’s being set up. He’s not trying to die, but he does understand it is inevitable. But in this one issue he at least wants his death to be earned. After all of the battles he’s been in, everyone he has fought, he’s not going to let some random idiot take him out. I think he won’t allow it, because that’s how Rick went out.
Instead, Negan starts fighting back against his attackers and the monster comes out again. The violence, the swearing, and a sense of glee with it. Almost as if murder and revenge give his life purpose. He chooses to roll with this awakening and finish his to do list. A headstone for his wife/bat. He takes his late attackers version of Patty Hearst with him for this new adventure.
The issue ends there with no promise of something more. But, people like money and Negan’s quest would make a lot of money.
As it stands it’s a good extra issue of TWD. Writing and art is quality as always. Good suspense building, good zombies, good look at how society and humans break down. It could be a one and done and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t think this is it though because I think I’m on to something here with Negan vs. Rick. Rick died from some kid sneaking in and shooting him in his sleep. Not a warrior’s or leader’s death. I think Negan will fight against that scenario and fight like hell to control his own ending.