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– by Drew Carlton

It’s a brand spanking new year! Most of us have taken our vacation, we are rested, our families have been visited, we have given presents to loved ones, and perhaps us middle aged guys have gotten a tie or a pair of socks that we pretended we loved. In fact, I was so relaxed last week that I missed my comic book pull day, and had to rush to the store yesterday to get the latest issue of The Walking Dead — #162 The Whisperer War #6 of 6.

I gotta start this off with the fact that this series was not the best ever. I liked the precursor to this 6 issue series, in the first part of 2016 which built up to The Whisperer War, quite a bit more. However, there were a few cool moments; Dwight coming into power, Negan letting go of Lucille, Carl and Lydia’s relationship, and seeing Rick THINK he is getting old. (Also it is cool to note that Rick and I are the same age, and I am in much better shape — but then again I have not been through a zombie apocalypse… yet.)

Issue #162 starts off with Negan burying, both figuratively and literally, his longtime love, Lucille. If you don’t know, Negan’s backstory was released in a series of 4 page minis, which shows that Lucille was the name of his cancer-ridden wife who died at the beginning of the plague of Walkers. The first couple panels show Negan finally letting go of his turmoil while burying the baseball bat (and symbolically burying his wife) and showing a flicker of sanity as he says, “I’m sorry I named a stupid f**king baseball bat after you.” We get very little of Negan the rest of the book, however in the few lines he has, one can see a change, almost like he is looking for companionship. I have long thought that Negan has had some type of endgame here, but now I think he is just as lost as everyone else.

Next up, William, the current leader of The Kingdom, has finally come to the rescue of Hill… top… or well, had he left earlier he would have, as Hilltop has been left in smoldering ruin. William gets berated for being late, but Maggie being Maggie, soothes his guilt and lets him know that it could easily have been him.  This solidifies their bond for future issues, and Maggie makes it known that it is time to rebuild.

Carl and Lydia. Oh gees. They both carry guilt, and have had a hard time bonding with each other. But finally, it happens, and after a 4 page conversation, the “hold out” Lydia sees Carl for what he is, gives him a big hug and says, “Just shut up and hold me, Carl.” I have been waiting for this, because I know Carl loves the crap outta Lydia, and I am still trying to figure out if the AMC’s Enid is based on Lydia or Sophia. Only time will tell, as a Lydia-Enid-Carl love triangle could weave quite the web of intrigue.

After we see Beta being the rough and tough “I can walk on my own” character that he is, we are sent back to Alexandria where Andrea is trying to convince Rick that he isn’t the old fart that Rick thinks he is. Eugene, after days of travel without sleep, makes it back with a ton of ammo — and yes, Eugene is 100% the most valuable member of the group, as they would have been long dead without his big brain. Then Rick and crew get ready on defense when Dwight rolls in with victory in hand.

YES, The Whisperer War is over! Dwight, Negan, and crew have killed the majority of the whisperers.  Dwight reports in, and celebration ensues.

Or does it? Earlier in 2016 Alpha promised waves of thousands of undead flowing over their camp, and Father Gabriel got a peak of it before his untimely death.  Rick realizes that a wave of Walkers are about to flood them, and the comic ends with Beta confirming his victory vs. Rick.

What a mess!

February will give us 2 TWD‘s as there will be a double ship that month, and #163 will be an extended 25 cent issue. TY IMAGE & KIRKMAN!

What do my TWD fans think about the finale of The Whisperer War? Sound Off!