It would seem that Rick has the upper hand in this, “All Out War.” But upon returning to the camp Rick learns that all is not as it seems.
The Walking Dead #119 opens with an emotional Ezekiel. He breaks character in front of Michonne as he grieves for the men he lost during the battle with the Saviours. His emotion turmoil takes a turn for the worst when he realises he has lost his only family member; his tiger; Shiva. Ezekiel is no longer the strong willed man that he once was, and Michonne lets him know that he needs to be the man that they need him to be, he needs to put on his mask and be King. Except she does not say it in such a nice manner. You may immediately begin to think that Kirkman is using emotion to drag out another issue in order to fill another slot for the remaining eight issues in this story arc; but you could not be more wrong.
Rick returns and hears that the King’s men have fallen, that they were in fact slaughtered with all but five remaining but unaccounted for. Rick immediately begins to strategise in preparation for Neegan’s imminent attack. However, the attack comes a lot sooner than expected. Catching Rick and his followers on the back foot as Negan comes charging right in, grenade in hand, without a care. He has a bargaining chip, Holly, and he plans on giving Rick a taste of his own medicine.
This issue really picks up the pace while humanising characters that seemed unbreakable. The emotion is heartfelt, honest and easy to relate to. Adlard’s penciling captures the emotion well whilst complementing the tone of this issue. Stefano Gaudiano’s work can be felt in this issue as his inking enhances the thrill and suspense within. Kirkman leaves us on one heck of a cliff hanger that could potentially change the war as we know it.
This is a great issue that makes up for the sins of The Walking Dead #118. It is re-setting the story and pace for “All Out War” after it lost a little bit of steam. With eight issues left and an enemy at their doorstep, you will find yourself dying to know what is going to happen next as the war continues and the victor is uncertain once more.