The Walking Dead #116
Review by Paul Bowler
Rick has led the combined forces of Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom to the Saviors base where they confront Negan. While Rick wants to avoid going to war, Negan refuses to agree to his terms, and reveals that he also has a secret ally: Gregory, the Hilltop leader, who then orders his people to return to their homes.
The second part of All Out War begins with Rick having to face up to Gregory’s betrayal, as The Walking Dead #116 explodes into action when Gregory seriously underestimates how many of his people are amongst Rick’s forces. Rick gives Negan one last chance to surrender, before launching a devastating attack on the Savoir’s base, with Rick, Jesus, and Ezekiel leading their forces in the attack, using the busses for cover as they avoid Negan’s snipers.
All the noise attracts hordes of Walkers to the Savoirs base, exactly as Rick intended, and with Dwight secretly helping inside the fortress, it looks as if Negan and his forces are outgunned and about to be overrun by Walkers as well. The key to Rick’s plan is for him to drive a truck into the gates to let the Walkers into the Savoir’s camp, while Ezekiel and Jeseus lead the retreat back into their territory. However, Holly has other ideas, and isn’t prepared to let Rick take such a risk as he is too important to the new alliance. Determined to get revenge for Abraham’s death herself, she knees Rick in the stomach, and then takes the truck and crashes it into the gates.
The Walkers pour in through the gates as Holly staggers from the wreckage of the truck. She is almost killed by a Walker, but Negan isn’t about to let her get off that lightly, and smashes the Zombies skull in with Lucile and takes Holly prisoner. After they regroup, Ezekiel and Jeseus discuss what happened with Michonne, just as Rick suddenly returns, informing them all that there is no time for celebration, and that the war has only just begun.
Robert Kirkman has taken his time setting up these events, but The Walking Dead #116 finally kicks into high gear, as Rick leads his new alliance against Negan and the Saviors to unleash the opening salvo in All Out War’s first big skirmish. What a battle it is, although Gregory’s betrayal doesn’t really impact that much on Rick’s forces, but when Negan refuses to back down the bullets quickly start to fly and the Walkers begin to close in. I think it’s very clever how Rick uses the undead as a weapon against Negan like this, but his plan hit’s a snag when Holly intervenes and takes the truck herself and drives it into the gates.
Charlie Adlard’s art on The Walking Dead #116 is excellent, this issue is really dynamic and action packed, and its great to see huge numbers of Walkers attacking, and it seems ages since we’ve seen this many in one issue. For this storyline, Stefano Gaudiano joins the art team. Gaudiano’s inks bring an added level of sharpness and depth to Charlie Adlard’s pencils, and this action packed issue really benefits as a result.
The Walking Dead #116 is a great issue, with some really exciting action sequences, lots of zombies, and with the addition of Stefano Gaudiano’s ink, it look like All Out War is going to be one hell of a ride.