The Walking Dead #126 (Image)

CREDIT: Image Comics

Rating: 3.5/5 – Extremely Weak Ending to “All Out War”.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Robert Kirkman has had me for 126 issues, always stringing me along but ultimately making the storylines pay off for me at their conclusions.  That changed with the end of All Out War that has been going on for 12 issues.  I can’t really go into details without spoiling the ending for people who’ve not read this yet (particularly those who read the series in collections).

Kirkman is a master of the “fake out”.  Setting us up to think he’s going to go in one direction and then going in another.  Typically this strategy is used to deliver a ‘punch’ at the end of a story, but this time it played out opposite to what we usually get.  Rick Grimes has been set up as a great leader and strategic thinker, he makes the tough decisions and has an underlying morality that serves him well.  Unfortunately this time he makes an incredibly stupid decision of the kind that has rarely, if ever, worked out for the best in the history of storytelling (or in the history of history, for that matter).

I suppose Kirkman could pull this off in an incredibly long game but I’m guessing that we are seeing the seeds for a future storyline here that is far too transparent a set-up and something I’d rather not have seen transpire.  So, here I am, conflicted on how to rate this issue.  I wanted to give this a lower rating based on what I think Kirkman is doing here, but I could be completely wrong and he’s pulling a really slick trick on his readers and will NOT have what seems like an extremely ill-advised decision come back to bite Rick in the ass.  So, we end up with 3.5, which we have defined as:
Well done comic.  Not the greatest book the reviewer has read but certainly worth reading.  Some issues with the art and/or writing.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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