The Walking Dead #140 Comic Review

The Walking Dead #140: Life and Death

The Walking Dead #140: Life and Death

Hey… psst… you want to see some spoilers? Yeah man, I’ve got all the best The Walking Dead spoilers. First one’s free. What’s that, you aren’t caught up with comic? It’s your funeral… but here you go man… some real fresh talk about issue 140.

I always enjoy a book that begins with a line so out of left field that if you hadn’t read the previous issue you would be completely lost. Such is the case with Michonne’s opening in The Walking Dead #140: Life and Death, and it leads into an issue with heart, politics, cowardice, and revelation. And as if that weren’t enough, we get a delightful tease of a freed Negan.

Let’s start with the heart. Hearing Rick profess that Michonne is his best friend, as if there was any doubt, was like that moment in every teen movie from the 80’s when the underdog gets the girl. There may not be a new romantic relationship on the balance, but the effect was the same, “Awwwwwww”. But it wasn’t just pigtails and shy glances, it was also a discussion on commerce and the economies of this new world, and the blending of the two… the heart and the business, was seamless.

For all of the great dialogue between these two, it was talk of the fair (yes, I love a good party) that excited me the most. Using Carl as the reason for Michonne to attend was wonderfully manipulative and a great way to ensure that all of our series favorites would finally gather for the first time since the end of All Out War. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Fortunately we get an answer to, “what could go wrong?” immediately in the form of a sniveling and lying Gregory. That panel of his pleading, the look of pure conniving and self preservation, was a work of fine art. His cries of foul play and trickery were music to my ears at the sight of Maggie listening in on his attempt to save himself… but the implications of his attempted coup and the potential repercussions of what Maggie and Jesus is planning may reverberate through the comic for many arcs to come.

Maggie started out espousing the “Grimes Doctrine” of “we don’t kill”, but eventually found herself on the side of death. Does it really make sense after all they’ve been through to not at least consider the possibility of relocation? It’s an idea that was brought up at least once before, I believe in reference to the two families of the injured jack asses (the Harlans and the Roses), why not use this for Gregory and for these two families? Send the Harlans to the Kingdom, the Roses to the Sanctuary (I wonder if they’ve changed the name?), and what… send Gregory to Alexandria, under the watchful eye of Rick… and Negan?

As tempted as I am to talk about those last few pages… I’m going to wait.

What do you think Maggie should do with Gregory? Is it better to set an example by use of force, or by use of compassion and imprisonment? We saw the reaction of one of the co-conspirators, but what of the rest? What of the one fellow, I think it was Morton, Claudette’s husband, who was more than eager to deal with the Maggie Greene problem? How do you punish those who try to depose you? Great questions, and a great story to follow.

As for great stories, Carl being out on his own among the Whisperers is most certainly one of the better tales being told in this book. There is an uncertainty to this whole situation that is helping to make something that is little more than a teen runaway after-school special, a compelling look at differing philosophies and a new way of life in this post apocalyptic world.

We finally get a look at how the Whisperers live, and like Alpha’s dealings with Maggie, I find it to be a surprise… much as Carl must be considering since he isn’t informed as to what Dante said about their being in the thousands. This is Carl’s new revelation. There are cattle, preserved meats, horses, tanning racks, dogs, and sleds… a complete and functioning nomadic people, and Carl seems to be integrating and supplicating himself to Alpha in a way that presupposes this indoctrination into this community. The only thing that seems to be a hindrance is that brief exchange with Lydia.

What exactly did Lydia mean when she told Carl he shouldn’t have come? Is that because she doesn’t see the point? That he can’t do anything to change her situation? Or is it that she is concerned that Carl could get himself and his people into some sort of trouble by being there. Much like that Maggie/Gregory situation, the tension is in the possibilities.

Alright… I can’t keep it in anymore. We’re talking about possibilities? We’re talking about implications with regard to the “Grimes Doctrine”? There is no greater exemplar of both ideas than Negan… and it is in this issue that he is able to take advantage of both.

Negan is free! How did this happen? I can’t imagine Olivia did anything on purpose. She didn’t seem to have much love for the man as she was cutting his hair or mocking the size of his manhood. And neither one of the men pointing their guns at him seems to move an inch, nor did Andrea so much as flinch… so what happened with the lock?

By the way… did you notice that it was Olivia who cut Rick’s hair when he first arrived in Alexandria? Apparently she is still the town barber.

After chatting with James for our segment on The Walker Stalkers podcast, I’m convinced that Dwight’s men are already at Alexandria as Rick had mentioned, and someone loyal to Negan may have sabotaged the lock. How that would be possible without Negan seeing them is beyond me, but I like the idea. I also love the idea, suggested by James, that perhaps he really has turned over a different leaf and will go and let someone in charge know that the cell was open and it should be locked. Can you imagine that? Negan doing the honest and decent thing? Neither can I… but I love a great surprise.

Of course… with the fair coming, Negan free to roam about, Maggie potentially prepared to execute the former leader of the Hilltop, Michonne preparing to reenter the community, and Carl free-ranging with the Whisperers… what could possibly go wrong?

I can’t wait to find out.

Mr. Blahg can be heard, along with his co-host Grace, weekly on Under the Comic Covers, a podcast dedicated to independent comics. Have any comments or questions for Mr. Blahg, he can be reached at [email protected].

 

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