I love it. Once again, Kirkman plays with our expectations and has Negan actually act like a sane guy, for once. I also wonder if he’s starting to realize just who he’s messing with in Rick. I mean, Rick surely gets some good licks in during their couple-page fight. Negan comes out on top, but he better realize that Rick is one angry man who usually gets his revenge.
This is a good issue because we’re starting to see the cracks in Negan’s armor. He has fewer men than he’s let on, he’s got basically no weapons, and he actually has to be reasonable or else he’d face a revolt from those under his thumb. Combining that with the Community’s new discovery, I think Rick’s guys might have a chance. Gunpowder and bullets go a long way…
I really like that so many of the other folks in the Community are getting some panel time. The problem is, I seem to be incapable of remembering anyone’s name. I’m always like “Abraham’s girlfriend” or Abraham’s ex-girlfriend” or “weird scientist guy.” I’m not sure if this even needs to be fixed; the book is plenty dramatic and fascinating even with a lack of truly defined second-tier characters. I still care if they live or die, but man; I need them to call each other by name when they first appear in an issue!
Charlie Adlard continues to deliver brutally effective artwork. The fast-moving fight is fascinating for the wild feeling that fills it. Negan is totally surprised, and the constantly switching momentum really drives that home. My favorite panel, though, is a silly one. When Carl steps out with his hat off, there is a ridiculous looking guy with a gold chain that just cracks me up. He looks so smug. Let’s kill that guy too, Rick!
The Show (Minor Spoilers)
Ugh! Tyreese has done nothing since he got there! Are you kidding me? He is everyone’s favorite character in the comic, and eagerly anticipated on the show. So now he just sits there until he’s dismissed by crazy Rick? What the heck?
And Rick. Oh man. The show has extrapolated crazy phone talk to an amazing degree. Honestly, I don’t think Rick would ever be able to take over as group leader again. He is fully insane, and has endangered the group while wandering around after his friend. Ridiculous.
I can’t get a read on the Governor, either. The guy’s dialogue is written totally differently than his actions. That would be one thing, but you can’t be too subtle on TV, you know? It is like the actor doesn’t know how to play the guy. Is he actually somewhat apologetic? Is he simply hiding his insane side? It’s too hard to tell, and I’m afraid it is weakening a fantastic villain.
Basically, I’m worried the show is changing the comic too much. I’m not sure if the rumored split between Robert Kirkman and the show runner Glen Mazzara are over content or what, but I can understand why Kirkman might be interested in re-focusing the show a bit closer to the comic.
That said, Sunday’s episode did deliver some decent action after the snoozefest on Feb 9th.