The Walking Dead #142 Comic Review

The Walking Dead #142: A Gathering

The Walking Dead #142: A Gathering

Do you know what happens to milk left in the hot sun? It spoils. Do you know what will happen to you if you read this review without having read The Walking Dead #142? You’ll be spoiled. Get it? Good. Carry on.

So many things crammed into one issue! Last month it seemed to be the calm before the storm, this month we can see the storm clouds gathering and the wind is starting to blow.

Picking up exactly where we left off in #141, we see Gregory’s lifeless body being lowered from the hanging tree and Maggie going into full “Rick mode”. She gives a great speech about how what was done had to be done, but it won’t happen again, while everyone looks on in stunned or defiant fashion, Sofia in particular. It’s hard to gauge exactly how much this decision will help or hurt Maggie at the Hilltop, but we don’t get any time to see the reactions of any of the residents beyond that montage of panels. Plus, you can’t spend too much time on that when there is a party getting started!

The fair has finally arrived, and it’s fantastic to get a look at how far these communities have come since the end of the All Out War arc. Structures have been built, wares are being sold, produce and livestock, the very young and the very old… it’s beyond anything I would have ever expected to see in The Walking Dead, and I can’t tell if it’s heartwarming or a sign of doom that we share a wonderful tearful moment with Andrea before bad news befalls our protagonists.

I enjoyed the conversation between Andrea and Siddiq, but between her loving smile towards Rick and the happiness she is obviously beaming while looking on at the fruits of so many peoples labor, I feel like our favorite sharpshooter could be headed towards her demise. Is this really how cynical we have become? Something good happens to a character and we automatically think the worst? I hope I’m proven wrong. (not like that doesn’t happen often enough)

It’s been a little while since we’ve seen what Carl has been up to while wandering with The Whisperers, and I found it to be a relief that he hasn’t quite been fully indoctrinated into the skin wearing cult. A tough little bastard through and through, Carl is still sticking up for what he believes to be right and doing so, unblinkingly, straight into Alpha’s face. On one hand, it does seem a bit presumptuous that he keeps insisting to Lydia that she would be better off with him and his people… on the other hand, it’s fantastic that this kid has such a strong moral compass.

I am slightly perplexed as to how Alpha can’t understand surviving in the way Carl and the crew survived. I mean, it would seem to be more of a leap to go from civilization to wearing zombie skins and breaking society down into it’s base animal parts than it would be to survive as the messed up humans that we are. What exactly is she curious about? Does she think it couldn’t possibly work, or is she wanting to destroy what has been built? I can’t peg her motivations… I want to know more!

And now we know how they get their skins. Ew.

Two major questions I’ve had recently are finally answered in this issue. First, how would the fair go? For the time being, it looks to be a complete success (I know, I’ll get to that). Second, how would Rick react once he found out about The Whisperers, Lydia, Carl, and Gregory? He seems to be taking in the idea of The Whisperers well, and although he doesn’t yet seem to know about Gregory’s death, he at least appears sympathetic to Maggie regarding his assassination attempt… but the Carl situation is an entirely different beast, and the Rick we all know is back. Raging, determined, and ready to protect his son. And I must say, Maggie holds her own, with a little help from the increasingly likable Dante.

What do you think? Will they, or won’t they? Dante keeps trying, and Maggie keeps saying no with a little wink and a smile.

Rick gathers his posse… Andrea, Michonne, and Dante… and off they go into the sunset, into dangerous territories in search of a freaky animal-man commune and his son. I absolutely love that splash page of Rick and company riding off… Rick looking straight and tall, ready to kick some ass, flanked on either side by the two most important women in his life, and Andrea’s fane concealed behind the brim of her hat. (foreshadowing perhaps?) The rotting skull in the lower left corner was a nice touch… a reminder of the world we still live in, a world of death and the undead… in case you forgot.

In the words of my favorite movie franchise… I have a bad feeling about this.

I also have a bad feeling about Alpha chatting it up with Earl. And why is the fair being held outside of the walls? Are they being careless, or is this an attempt at promoting a more open society  where fear doesn’t have rule your every moment? Have they become the complacent people they once feared they would become when they first arrived in Alexandria? Carl seems determined to not give in. Which is the better way? Is Alpha there for something other than reconnaissance? Are there others of her group with her?

The Walking Dead #142: A Gathering is a fantastic issue. Enjoyable from the first page to the last. We get some long awaited answers, plenty of question still lingering, and a couple of new situations for everything to get cocked up once again. My biggest question now is, who will ignite the powder keg? Rick or Alpha?

Fortunately, we get another issue in two weeks…

Mr. Blahg can be heard, along with his co-host Grace, weekly on Under the Comic Covers, a podcast dedicated to independent comics, as well as Game of Microphones, a podcast dedicated to Game of Thrones. Both of these podcasts are part of the Podcastica Network. Have any comments or questions for Mr. Blahg, he can be reached at [email protected].

 

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