Comic Breakdown: THE WALKING DEAD #161

Disclaimer: As always, when reading any The Walking Dead comic review, make sure you know that there will be spoilers for both the book and the AMC television show.

In issue #160 of The Walking Dead, we gotto read a lot about Hilltop and their entanglement in The Whisperer War, and #161 picks it up from there focusing primarily on Maggie, Carl, and Lydia with a few other cool elements thrown in.

We start the book in the midst of The Whisperers raining down fire on the Hilltop settlement.  This blazing environment quickly overwhelms everyone living there, and they begin to panic and try to flee to a safe area.  As usual, Carl is told to follow and make sure the kids are safe, but this time he decides not to obey and he takes charge and instead of listening to Maggie, after telling her,  “You are more important,” he goes house to house rescuing as many people as he can, in true Rick Grimes fashion.  After saving the lives of quite a few people, Carl, in a last ditch effort to save a few others, pushes people out of the way as a burning building seemingly falls on him, killing him.

Not so fast.  We all need to remember that killing Carl would possibly be worse than killing Rick at this point, and Carl has survived numerous gunshot wounds, including one to his face.  I will say, I thought it would be ironic if the natural environment killed him as opposed to the Walkers.  Luckily, Aaron, a character that has become beloved to fans, ends up saving him by dragging him out and giving Carl CPR. Whew.

Lets not forget how much of a hateful badass Lydia is.  Lydia is basically Enid from the show, even though some would say Enid is the adaptation of Sophia, I would disagree.  In this issue Lydia makes it absolutely clear that she is no longer a Whisperer and is fully in control of her own destiny, as she mows down Walkers left to right and even guts a few of the Whisperers.  Her story arch intrigues me, and I cant wait to read where she is creatively taken.  Poor Carl already loves her immensely but I am not sure Lydia has the capacity to reciprocate the feelings.

The Whisperers get held off and at the end of the day, Maggie flippantly says, “Yay, we won.” showing both her apathy towards life and her current situation.

After a quick glimpse of Beta fleeing, we get the story of what happened to Vincent when the new leader of the saviors sent him packing after asking for help.  One of Magna’s group has to face the “lose your arm or die” scenario, in the best way, and we finally get to a small Negan vs Dwight panel.

Negan, still in tears over the death of Lucille, is seemingly unaware that a hand of a teammate was chopped off less than twenty feet from him.  Dwight catches this, and while shaking his head berates Negan and calls him a “f*cking lunatic” to which Negan doesnt even flinch as he is in such sorrow.

After Eugene, still on a life mission to prove his worth, decides to set out in the night to deliver munitions from an outpost, we see the aftermath of the “falling out” of The Saviors and Rick.  Our fearless leader knows that something is amiss, and decides to put people on a spot check if any Saviors step near Alexandria.

The biggest revelation of this entire book is what the leader of The Saviors decides to do.  I have left it to the end of the article, but the new leader of The Saviors is none other than Dwight’s cuckolded wife, Sherry.  I will admit, I didn’t fully get until I read this current issue that it was actually Dwight’s wife, the one that Negan took as his own.  Sherry is pissed at the world and she leaves us with, “I believe in Rick Grimes,” and then, “When its all over… and all The Whisperers are dead…… We will take over what is left.”  So I believe Sherry simply wants to get back at Dwight for abandoning her, when she fully believed she had to do what she did for the two to survive.

I can’t wait for next month, and hopefully we get more Negan.  

I know that many are rejecting the adaptation of Negan’s takeover from the comic to the screen, but I assure the readers it is well worth it.  Any thoughts on this current issue? Let us know!

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Drew Carlton

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