The Walking Dead #118
Review by Paul Bowler
Having won the first battle, Rick sets his sights on the Saviors’ supply outposts, while Negan and his forces try to fight back against the Walkers that have surrounded their base. Even though their prisoner, Holy, doesn’t quite provide Negan with the advantage over Rick that he expected, Negan still kills one of his own men for trying to rape her. Now as Rick and his allies attack the Saviors outposts, Maggie confronts Gregory and the deserters back at the Hilltop, while Ezekiel must battle on alone to survive a horde of ravenous Walkers…
The Walking Dead #118 sees a marked change in pace as Robert Kirkman shifts the emphasis back to some of the secondary characters, with Maggie and Ezekiel taking centre stage for most of this issue.
I particularly liked the scene where Maggie stood up to Gregory and the other deserters who abandoned Rick during the first battle against the Saviors. All the pent up rage and fury that Maggie has bottled up since her husband was killed by Negan in issue #100 rips through Gregory’s feeble lies and excuses like a machete through a Zombies putrefied skull. The way Maggie deals with Gregory and then addresses the rest of the Hilltop community is a great moment, and one which may ultimately prove crucial in maintaining the alliance Rick has fought so hard to build.
We also get a great interlude between Michonne and Carl, where he admits how scared he is as well, but the real highlight of this issue is the scene where Ezekiel recounts how a raid on one of the Saviors outposts went horribly wrong, leaving him alone and fighting for his life as the Walkers closed in. It is here, in this quiet moment were Ezekiel tells Michonne what happened, that Robert Kirkman explores the character in even greater detail then ever before. We are now so used to Ezekiel’s regal persona as leader of the Kingdom; it is something of a shock to see him admit to being so afraid and desperate. Now having seen first hand the harsh reality of this war, the terrifying events that Ezekiel has just endured makes the telling of his story all the more tragic.
Charlie Adlard’s art really hammers home the emotional impact these events have had on the characters, as matters unfold with growing intensity, before Maggie decks Gregory and Ezekiel tells Michonne how he escaped the Zombies. The Walking Dead also benefits immensely from the addition of Stefano Gaudiano’s work on inking Adlard‘s art, brining an added intensity to the issue which really heightens the drama. Although not the most action packed issue of All Out War, The Walking Dead #118 does however give Kirkman the chance to focus on some great character development for Maggie and Ezekiel, which together with Adlard and Guadiano’s exceptional work, delivers a highly entertaining, and thought provoking issue.