By Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
The Walking Dead #114 is Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s final step into the beginning of the 12-issue storyline “All Out War” that starts next month. What happens in this issue feels far from just a set up however as Kirkman and Adlard are able to get quite a bit done in this one issue.
It’s no secret Kirkman loves a slow-burning comic book and luckily he manages to pull those slow-burning issues off while keeping them quite interesting. This issue picks up right where the last one ended finding Rick and company being held by Negan and his men. Kirkman’s handling of Negan continues to be one of this series greatest strengths of late. Negan’s over the top and vulgar dialogue continues to oddly humanize him and set him apart from the other villains this series has seen.
There are also some great character moments in this issue, particularly a scene between Rick and Carl. The father and son’s relationship has grown into something completely new and to a place where readers were probably hoping it would just get to. Rick is done trying to hide what is really happening in the world from Carl and now fully involves his son in his plans. Kirkman has managed to slowly change Rick and Carl’s relationship over the years and it feels with this issue they are both finally on the same page.
Adlard puts out a solid issue as well. He is an artist that pulls off character moments well and makes talking heads still interesting to look at. He also had a few panels involving a certain tiger going to town on some of Negan’s men that just screamed awesome. A problem I did have was Jesus’s fight scene. In past issues all of Jesus’s combat has felt very fluid with a great flow from panel to panel which felt a bit lost in this issue.
With this issue the stage is finally set for “All Out War.” Kirkman and Adlard pull off a solid final issue before the war gets started with some great character moments and some awesome tiger inflicted deaths. The series will no doubt ramp up the intensity starting next month so savor this quieter issue while you can.