By Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn, and Rus Wooton
With the announcement of the upcoming arc, The Whisperer War, starting at issue 157 things are starting to heat up for Rick and company. The Walking Dead #155 finds Michonne trying to save Aaron’s life from the attacking Whisperers, Andrea finally reconnecting with Rick and getting caught up, Negan falling more in love with Alpha and the Whisperers, all while life at Hill Top goes on as normal with Maggie finally returning. At Hill Top Carl is enjoying life with Lydia and seems content with his place away from his dad. However, the upcoming war is looming when attempting to save Aaron’s life, a first act of war may have started the action earlier than expected. With Negan seemingly aligned with the Whisperers, things do not look good for Rick and the gang.
It is so fun to have Negan in play again in this world, he adds an aspect of unpredictability and is such a great foil to Rick that it is uncertain how Rick is going to react when he meets Negan again. Kirkman really knows how to add some spice when things start to feel a little bland, and adding Negan with the new super scary Whisperers is enough to get the readers all excited about the upcoming Whisperer War arc. Kirkman continually leaves the readers wondering how Rick and gang will get out of each pickle. The trick Kirkman employs is he draws out the action to really make each event arc have a lot of build up, that when the event finally happens it hits and it hits hard. The build up creates intimacy between characters and development of relationships that when we see someone die, and usually they die in a really gruesome fashion because you know the Zombie Apocalypse and all, it really sucks. Overall, this issue shows a lot of growth for the group and especially with Carl, as they are moving toward the next upcoming challenge to the group’s safety. All the readers can think about is what Kirkman is going to traumatize us with in this upcoming arc.
The art in this issue continues in classic The Walking Dead style, gray tones, great facial art expression, and lots of action. This issue has Charlie Adlard on pencils, Stefano Gaudiano on inks, Cliff Rathburn on gray tones, and letters from Rus Wooton. The details throughout this issue are tremendous, the Whisperers are super scary with great details on the rotting walker flesh they wear as a mask. Kirkman gives the creative team a lot of fun scenes to flesh out, especially the ones involving the interactions with Negan and Alpha. Again, it is just a really joy to see Negan again in his leather jacket making his great snarky facial expressions. There is also great use of dark and light gray tones to show hope versus despair in different panels. The panels with Carl and Lydia are really light to show the hope and happiness they have, which is pretty ominous that something bad is going to happen to them. Then, in contrast the pages with Michonne and Aaron battling the Whisperers are very dark and brooding.
This book shows that Kirkman and team still have it, and this comic is impactful as ever at making readers scared about what is coming and excited for it at the same time. The Walking Dead #155 continues the thrills and excitement this comic is known for. With the upcoming events that are sure to bring some loss of life it is wise to start getting caught up now before any spoilers come out. The story and art that are consistently featured issue after issue in The Walking Dead makes this a great read month after month. With the upcoming The Whisperer War arc to look forward to, there is a lot to look forward to from this creative team.