I know it has been a while since I’ve reviewed The Walking Dead comics and I do apologize for that. Well, lets get right into it. Issue 134 From Whispers to Screams left off with things still building for the people at Hilltop, two bullies attacked Sophia and Carl, which Carl in turn nearly beat them to death saving Sophia. Jesus managed to survive the attack by the “Whispering Walkers” capture one of them and brought her back to the Hilltop.
That pretty much brings us up to speed and ready to dive into Issue 135 Face to Face. Now I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on each individual issue since I am covering three but I will give the broad strokes and my personal opinion on them. #135 opens up with Carl carrying Sophia to Maggie and the others after being attacked, which interrupts Jesus returning from his rescue mission with the captive “Whispering Walker.” From there things progress rather quickly with Sophia passing out and being rushed to the doctor, where Carl explains to Maggie what happened. Of course, seconds later the two bullies are dragged in by their families who are accusing Carl of being a monster that nearly beat them to death with a shovel.
Tensions quickly escalate as Maggie says the two boys attacked Sophia and the families argue she attacked them, your typical he said, she said scenario. The families want Carl locked up or worse for what he did and of course Carl being the badass hothead he is tells them all to essentially (pardon the language) “go fuck themselves.” The whole situation plays out exactly how you think it would, though I am surprised everyone made it out of the room without a single punch thrown or worse. I think its funny that all this is going on while three kids are beaten and bloody on hospital beds, we are in the mid-west though so it’s entirely believable.
Meanwhile, Jesus has unmasked the “Whispering Walker” and revealed Lydia, a young girl around Carl and Sophia’s age and has her locked up in some sort of basement interrogating her. Though Lydia doesn’t say much she does reveal that the “Walker” mask keeps the dead from attacking them and that they have a symbiotic relationship with them. The dead protect them and they protect the dead. I will say that Lydia has a bit of creepy vibe to her, especially how she is drawn with large eyes and a vacant expression. She also talks with a sort of brainwashed cult rhetoric that makes her seem even more dangerous and creepy.
Jesus’ interrogation by Maggie bringing Carl down to the cells and locking him up which sort of surprised me at first just like it did Carl, but after her explanation of its to protect him it makes sense. Despite that, Carl is not happy about being locked up for protecting his friend, which I totally understand. However, in this “new” society violence isn’t the way to do things and there was a line between protecting Sophia and attacking those boys, Carl Crossed it. Issue 135 was a solid installment that definitely built tensions for things to come but the highlight of the issue comes on the last page when Gregory proposes killing Maggie. That alone definitely caught my attention.
Issue #136 Found, picks up right after Gregory proposing to kill Maggie and the families of the two boys standing around dumbfounded, which angers Gregory. He quickly makes it clear that he only wants to get rid of Maggie so that he can be in charge again. The others feel that he’s going to far but no one goes running to tell Maggie either. Luckily, the comic doesn’t stall on this conversation, it flips over to Maggie and Jesus telling Marco (the one who first encountered the “Whispering Walkers”) that he isn’t crazy and was attacked by people wearing Walker suits. I am sure that came as big relief.
This comic doesn’t have the action that the last few has but it definitely moves things forward and starts to really weave people and situations into the what we hope will be the perfect storm. Carl is still locked up in the cell, which happens to be right next the Lydia who for some reason decides to open up to Carl. Lydia and Carl’s conversation seems harmless enough at first glance but I think Carl reveals a bit too much about his group and their desire not to kill. I definitely find it sketchy how open Lydia becomes with Carl in such a short period of time. To me, it feels like she is playing Carl but as we’ve learned in recent issues Carl is very much a ladykiller.
I feel like there were some wasted pages in this issue with Maggie talking with Sophia, nothing really came from it other than one panel with Maggie looking at the two unconscious boys angry as hell. Grant it, Maggie confirming everything with Sophia leads to her letting Carl out but not before him and Lydia become a little too friendly. Of course, the bullies’ father sees Carl out and about and immediately jumps on board with Gregory’s assassination plan.
Despite the few wasted panels, I was happy to see some panels with characters we haven’t seen in a few issues like Andrea, Rick, Eugene and newcomer Magna. Not much was given to them but we know they still exist. It was also nice to jump to some “minor” characters like Jesus and Alex (the doctor) life and more importantly their love life.
I was excited to see that the “Whispering Walkers” weren’t totally defeated and left in the dust. A small group of them have apparently followed Jesus back to the Hilltop and are casing the place. So perhaps Gregory’s coup de tat will coincide with an attack by them. Over all the issue wasn’t too bad, it went with a slower pace than the last two issues but again it is setting things up that I am hoping really pays off. I was surprised that the issue ended with Carl giving Lydia his sheriff hat to help her feel safer.
So I’ve been saying this for the last couple of issues but things were building in The Walking Dead, tensions are rising at The Hilltop and shit is going to go down. Well, issue 137 A Future Uncertain has shit go down! The issue picks up with Carl giving Lydia his hat and Maggie and Jesus catching him. They are understandably not happy about this or the fact that Carl seems to be taking her side despite what her people did. Carl storms off in all his teenage angst and anger.
Before Maggie gets a chance to talk to Lydia herself Alex summons her because the two bullies’ woke up and their mother is screaming for her. Maggie walks into a situation that you would think couldn’t escalate anymore but manages to do so at the mention of the two bullies being punished and the idea of “relocation.” Gregory is in the infirmary with everyone for some reason and manages to insert himself as a “peacekeeper” and calms the situation down and asks Maggie to meet him later in private to figure out a solution. Knowing Gregory’s intentions, I as reader was very weary of Maggie meeting him in private.
After Lydia was so chummy with Carl she clams up again when Jesus tries talking to her just like Maggie and Jesus thought would happen, but this leads Maggie to ask Carl to talk to her more, gain her trust, and learn about her and people. Despite seeing how friendly Carl was with her at first, this time around he isn’t a cellmate but an overseer. He quickly makes it clear that she is his responsibility and that he will not hesitate killing her if she tries anything at all. We are quickly learning that there are two sides to Carl like there was to Dr. Jekyll and Carl can be just as terrifying as Mr. Hyde.
Things jump back to Maggie after Carl leads Lydia around for a tour of Hilltop (which I thought was weird since people may want revenge on him). Maggie meets with Gregory at his house alone and things start off peacefully enough. Sometimes I feel like pages are wasted on formalities that we know happen and don’t really need shown, I get that the writer and artist are trying to get as many pages as possible but I really didn’t need to see Maggie and Gregory exchanging false pleasantries.
I did like that at this point the comic jumps back and forth between Maggie and Carl, Carl and Lydia get very chummy together as they talk and get to know each other. Despite only knowing each other for a few hours they seem to be falling in love, which seems absurd. As things get sweet for Carl the exact opposite happens to Maggie, while Lydia cuddles up with Carl, Maggie starts feeling sick from Gregory’s wine and clutches are his pants as she collapses to the ground. Just as Gregory stands over Maggie apparently dying from poison, Jesus walks in which ends their storyline for this issue.
Now, you would think Maggie’s implied death would be where they decide to end the comic but in true Walking Dead fashion it ends on a more twisted note. While Maggie is poisoned Carl and Lydia are cuddling and flirting on a hilltop next to a chicken coop. Lydia Catches Carl off guard and asks about his pirate glasses that hides the empty eye-socket. She asks him to take off his glasses so that she can see it but he refuses half-heartedly, She eventually manages to get them off and Carl assumes she will be disgusted. To his and I’m sure every readers surprise she says its sexy and decides to lick his eye socket, I never thought I would ever see a picture like that in any comic. From there Lydia asks if Carl is a virgin and then offers to remedy that for him.
The comic ends with Carl’s and Lydia’s hands intertwined holding the iconic Sheriff hat. We can all assume that Carl just had his cherry popped. Now this whole sequence brings up a million questions, but lets be honest we all went back and looked at the eye socket licking panel again and said what the hell out loud for a second time. Like I said things were definitely building for several issues and the cap on this bottle just popped and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few issues. Thank God, next month we get two issues instead of one.
Article By: Joseph Murillo