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The Walking Dead #124

Review by Paul Bowler

(Contains Spoilers)

Even though Eugene believes Dwight is playing both sides, there are others who also want to rebel against Negan. They join forces with Eugene and his friends and help them escape from the Saviors base. Negan and the Saviors have attacked the Hilltop, only to discover Rick’s people are better prepared than expected. However, the Saviors have developed a nasty strategy, contaminating their weapons to spread the Zombie infection. In the midst of the deadly battle, Dwight aims his crossbow at Rick, and shoots him in the abdomen…

Robert Kirkman keeps building the tension in The Walking Dead #124 as Rick and survivors are left reeling from the Saviors horrific attack. The shocking cliff-hanger ending to The Walking Dead #123 saw Rick wounded by a crossbow bolt fired by Dwight. Even though it was Negan who gave the order, Dwight still obeyed, so it would seem that Eugene was probably right about Dwight after all. Negan knows his victory is now assured; anyone wounded by the Saviors will soon develop the fever and become Walkers, even Rick…

The Walking Dead #124 shifts the focus momentarily back to Eugene and the others as they escape in a small van. With fatigue setting in, they decided to find somewhere to rest for the night; unfortunately they also run into some Walkers. To make matters even worse they find that one of Negan’s snipers is also in the area.

The Walking Dead #124 (Cover)

Then we are flung right into the thick of the action back at the Hilltop where Rick and his forces are trying to regroup while the Saviors press home their advantage. Fortunately Ezekiel and Michonne have set up an ingenious way to catch Negan and the Saviors off guard, soon the tables are turned, and Negan’s forces have to retreat.

Part Ten of All Out War is one of the best yet, the action doesn’t let up for a moment. Jesus is quick to help protect Rick after he is wounded, while Ezekiel and Michonne also play a crucial role in repelling the Saviors, and later Michonne and Jesus work together to try and clear out some of the Walkers attracted by noise of the battle. As the wounded at the Hilltop begin to suffer from the deadly effects caused by the Saviors infected weapons, developing terrible fevers, the full horror of what is actually happening begins to sink in.

So, it certainly looks like Rick’s days are numbered. If the crossbow bolt was indeed covered in infected Zombie matter, it’s only a matter of time before Rick succumbs to the inevitable and becomes a Walker – although he has yet to develop any symptoms like the rest who have been injured. It’s almost unthinkable to contemplate, that such a pivotal character like Rick could be killed off, but as we all know anything can happen in The Walking Dead and no one is ever truly safe. I must admit I’ve had my doubts about Dwight right from the start, ever since he decided to help Rick’s alliance fight Negan. So, has Dwight really betrayed Rick, it seems he was he lying all along, or is there a chance he could he still play a part in bringing about Negan’s downfall? Either way, Robert Kirkman has certainly kept us guessing about this scarred faced character. As Dwight sat beside Negan at the campfire in this issue, while Negan gloated about how he plans to end this conflict, I couldn’t help wondering if there might be a few more surprises in store for us as far as Dwight is concerned.

The art by Charlie Adlard is as excellent as ever in The Walking Dead #124 I really liked the scenes where Eugene and the others were driving through the darkened streets and the Walkers surrounded their van. Adlard’s art depicted this nightmarish moment perfectly, with the Zombies caught in the headlights, as they began shambling towards the van. Stefano Gaudiano’s inks also really enhance this scene, making it even more menacing. The way the sniper is dealt with added another surprise twist, illustrating just how cut throat life has become in the Zombie Apocalypse, when the hunter suddenly becomes the hunted.

All Out War has featured some nasty scenes, and the battle at the Hilltop is no exception. It’s brutal in its intensity, with no quarter given or taken on either side. This is page turning stuff and will keep you on the edge of your seat, even after the dust has settled and we take in the full extent of the damage this attack has wrought on the Hilltop – a hauntingly bleak vista of desolation created by Charlie Adlard that is so eerie you’d swear you could almost hear a gentle breeze caressing the wreckage as the undead stagger aimlessly through the ruined landscape.

The Walking Dead #124 is another really good issue. All Out War has been a really exciting storyline, its certainly taken the series in a new direction, and events look set to continue building towards a suitably epic and blood soaked finale.