The Walking Dead #119
Review by Paul Bowler
Having punched Gregory for siding with Negan, Maggie then got the rest of the Hilltop community to rally together and support Rick’s war against the Saviors. However, when a raid on one of the Saviors outposts goes wrong, casualties are high, and Ezekiel would have been killed by Walkers if not for Shiva’s sacrifice. Rick returns to Alexandria, where he leans about the terrible losses Ezekiel’s group suffered. Knowing Negan will be planning a counterattack, Rick calls a meeting, but the arrival of Negan and the Saviors at the gates gives them little time to prepare. However, Negan just wants to talk to Rick, and he even releases Holly to show he is willing to negotiate…
The Walking Dead #119 picks up the pace as Robert Kirkman serves up a dramatic mix of character moments and action. Ezekiel is still reeling from the terrible loss his group suffered last issue; he blames himself for the slaughter, as well as Shiva’s fate, believing he cannot be a leader anymore. I think Kirkman has done a fantastic job in developing Ezekiel’s character over the last few issues, as well as his relationship with Michonne, and it is her no nonsense approach to reminding him about his responsibilities that really hits home this issue. We also see Arron as he tries to come to terms with Eric’s death, and there is a great scene where Carl still tries to act tough even though he is really pleased to see that his father has returned safely.
Charlie Adlard’s art is as good as ever, he perfectly conveys the characters emotions, striking just the right balance between suspense and the grim reality of the zombie apocalypse, with inker Steafano Gaudiano enriching the depth and tone of Adlard’s art. The Walking Dead #119 races towards a dramatic confrontation between Rick and Negan, with tension running high on both sides, and the closing moments provide a shocking cliff-hanger.
Any doubts about this All Out War storyline being padded out more than necessary are soon quelled after reading this issue. Kirkman continues to keep things moving along at a brisk pace, there is some great character development, and the brilliant finale scenes prove that this war is about to get a whole lot nastier before it’s over.