Horror Comics: Walking Dead #120

Walking Dead #120

Publisher: Image
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Charlie Adlard
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Gray tones: Cliff Rathburn

"All Out War" (a storyline celebrating ten years of the Walking Dead) has just six issues left (out of twelve) and is definitely living up to the title. As "A.O.W" plays out, the Walking Dead is looking more like a mixture of an old school military adventure book with a bit of a Mad Max vibe. If you're invested in the characters, this is highly entertaining (I've heard Walking Dead called "tragedy porn" many times, and it's hard not agree when you're opening each issue wondering who will die next), but if you're looking for horror/zombie action, it might be a bit of a let down.

That said, this issue features Negan (leader of the brutish Saviors) using zombies cleverly to his advantage in a full on attack on Rick's home, Alexandria. The Saviors effort (throwing lots of grenades) is blunt but effective, leaving several of Alexandria's residents (some of them major characters) dead or maimed in moments. The Saviors scarred double agent, Dwight finally shows his allegiance this issue (or does he? I have a feeling he might just side with whoever is doing best, with getting revenge on Negan his only real motivator). Regardless of Dwight's actions, the attack goes so well for Negan that he leaves Alexandria believing he's all but won the war. Negan points out to his lackeys that there's no such thing as a fire department anymore, indicating that the billowing smoke coming off the ruins of Alexandria mean a victory for the Saviors.

This issue continues a recent legacy of misleading cover art (Negan and Rick don't directly face off, and Michonne isn't given much to do this issue despite being the center point of the cover), but the interior art is still top notch and appropriately gory given the warfare on display. And hell, misleading covers are kind of a tradition in comic books.

Halfway through this arc it does feel like things are dragging out a little (you know, like a real war) and I'm starting to wonder if it could've been told in fewer issues. However, I'll reserve final judgement for issue 126.