The Walking Dead #118 continues the “All Out War” story line and the deepest part is surprisingly told from a reflective yet despondent point of view. This isn’t a war without casualties and some heroes aren’t what you expect.
Issue #118 kicks off with a confrontation between Maggie and Gregory with Maggie coming out on top and using Glenn’s death at the hands of Negan as a weapon against those who still don’t understand Negan. It’s riveting and emotional and is a feather in Maggie’s cap as someone to follow. The rest of the issue plays out as a flashback of sorts as Rick, Jesus and Ezekiel lead teams against Negan’s strongholds. It’s strong and intense and give you an outsider’s perspective on the war at hand.
Robert Kirkman almost telegraphs this issue as he would a retrospective TV episode. It’s got the feel and pace of the horrors of war within the horrors of the undead. As Ezekiel states, “this feels different” and he’s right. No amount of fighting between groups who aren’t undead has felt like this and Kirkman knows how to distinguish between the different types. Ezekiel is the focus as he is the narrator and his heartbreak can be felt in his words. This is a sad moment for him and for readers as we finally get a feeling of care and love that very few new characters have brought to the table. It’s not as gripping as last issue but does just enough to give the reader the sadness of war and everyone involved.
Charlie Adlard doesn’t get to get too gruesome here but he plays right into Kirkman’s playbook. He details much of what Ezekiel is narrating but by the first few panels you get the sense that this is a look back at what has transpired and has the tone of despair and heartache. His simple technique of a shot of a barn with the sound of gunfire as the only indication of what’s transpiring says a lot about Adlard’s trust of the reader and their ability to let their own mind fill-in the blanks.
Overall not a mind-blowing issue but a poignant one nonetheless. Even though the art shows the brutality and unforgivingness of war the words say something else deeper and more profound. This is a slight change of pace but still packs an emotional punch!