The Walking Dead, Issue #100
Story by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard
In 2003, Image Comics released The Walking Dead Issue #1. This told a post apocalyptic story of a father (Rick Grimes) trying to keep his family safe in a world where the dead have risen and any one who dies or becomes infected will rise again. I’ll try to remain as spoiler-free here as I can since some of you reading this may not have been avid followers. Basically, society has crumbled, the dead walk the earth, and if you’re bitten you die… or have to be put down (boom, headshot).
So now we come to Issue #100 of the series, the centennial, and Robert Kirkman has pulled zero punches. Rick Grimes’ band of survivors has come across a group who call themselves “The Saviors.” They are a murderous group of thugs who extort supplies from small encampments in the area while offering to “protect” them from any walkers as compensation. Any who says no is dealt with violently and made to comply. Now, our group of survivors isn’t pushovers and has seen some horrific things. They’ve come across cannibals, psychopaths, and herds of walkers. They’ve lost friends and with each encounter become a little colder and more distant to their humanity. They decide to decline The Saviors’ generous offer and fight back killing several of the Saviors along the way.
Needless to say a small group of our heroes is on their way to a secure location when they are ambushed and brought before the Saviors’ leader, Negan. Negan has a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire he carries named Lucille. I’m going to stop there for a moment.
My favorite part of The Walking Dead series is the humanity in the writing. I’m not talking about the bright side of humanity either. He exposes the darkest aspects of our nature through the narrative. What would people REALLY do and become if every thing around them came crashing down? ***Spoiler*** What transpires in the final pages of issue #100 will probably shock and, most definitely, make you cringe. One of the group does not survive the ordeal. This is not an action packed, heroic end either. This feels more like the end of Empire Strikes Back. It’s dismal and bleak with virtually no hope, but it’s also a jumping off point. This is an encounter that leaves you wondering how will people adapt to what’s taken place. ***Spoiler End*** If you’re a long time fan of the series (like me) you’ll more than likely be standing there with your jaw agape, haunted, and wondering how things will go on in issue #101.
That being said, this issue has gotten some flack for the violence depicted and the story being a rehash of similar stories Kirkman has used in the past. If you’re speaking gore and shock equating to violence, then yes, it’s grotesque and over the top, but it’s The Walking Dead… we’re here for shock and awe. As for the plot being a rehash of previous work, I disagree and don’t find this to be the case. The Saviors are a threat the group has never met, led by a man with no inhibitions and absolutely zero remorse. Rick has proven, in the past, to be violently loyal and fiercely protective. Things are only going to get worse from here. If you’ve read the previous issues of Dead you know this is how things go. That’s their reality. It just wouldn’t be The Walking Dead if they could up and go to Aruba and live out their lives sipping Mai Tai’s. It’s about survival, tragedy, and trying to keep some part of you humane in a world that is not.