As expected, the ending of issue #147 ended up being resolved very quickly in #148: “No Turning Back.”
Actually, a lot of this issue moved fast, which is typical for most issues of this series, but the thing is you always just want more from every issue, especially when you just get a taste from a storyline.
Not so much with the first one, with the rather unnecessary conflict between Carl, Andrea, and Lydia being settled very fast. Lydia ought to give these people more credit. Sure, that’s my bias from knowing more about them than The Whisperers and we’ve seen people in this world grow paranoid in a short amount of time. However, I think Carl and Lydia have earned each other’s trust by now. Especially after the sex. Does Andrea know about that?
Never mind. One thing I did find a bit funny is we have Carl yet again pointing a gun at a friend instead of the newcomer. First it was Michonne, and now Andrea is baffled that Carl would even point a gun in her direction. Carl is bound to his family, yes, but damn it if he’s not tempted by the power of the pussy.
To be frank, ending on a cliffhanger in issue #147 wasn’t really needed, especially given how little time is spent with these three. It’s not bad, but this issue could have been resolved in the previous issue and ended there. That way, more time could have been spent on the other storylines.
Like the brief time we spend with Dwight as he contemplates his future as leader of The Saviors. We get all of two pages to what could be a very big decision regarding The Saviors. Dwight is under a lot of pressure and this situation with The Whisperers hasn’t made things better. This is building off of the conversation that Dwight had with Rick, but now we see him discuss with other Saviors.
I’d like to spend more time with what led Dwight to this decision outside of him saying that he’s not cut out for it anymore. He did tell the rest of the Saviors to follow him, but now he claims that he’s of no use to anyone. That and Debbie leaving him seem to have turned him into a mellow man.
We’ve seen a softer side to Alpha before when she talked with Rick about how much she truly cares for Lydia. While it’s nice to see a tender side, it’s important to remember that this is the person responsible for the murders of 12 people whose heads were put on pikes as a barrier. Alpha may show emotions, but she does have an image to maintain.
I will say that it’s very stupid of this man to bring up the fact that Alpha could be challenged. To say “You better make sure nobody else finds about this” made me shake my head. Idiot, what do you think she’s going to do to you? I get the feeling that others have given thought to challenging Alpha. I’ve no way of proving that, but I do think it’d be interesting to explore more of the hierarchy structure within The Whisperers’ community.
Right now, Alpha can’t afford to be seen as weak or emotional, no matter how much she’s worried about Lydia. And it speaks to how much influence and power she apparently has when the other Whisperer just accepts without question that Alpha was challenged, as is her story.
The climax comes during the meeting in the Safe Zone. It’s a tad repetitive, in my opinion, because we know the individual communities are outraged at these murders and want revenge. More than that, they’re upset at Rick for not taking action. Now that they know their one potential advantage is gone, the communities are at least unified in their hatred towards Rick and, possibly, Maggie, to an extent.
Again, these people haven’t seen what Rick saw when Alpha revealed that massive herd of roamers. She has an army read to tear through them. The Alexandria Safe Zone has already been rattled more than once and Rick isn’t about to jeopardize the progress the communities have made since the time skip.
Charlie Adlard’s art is always very well done and this is no exception. The artwork and facial expressions in the fight, when everyone’s emotions have exploded, were great and showed how the people just aren’t going to take this news sitting down. They’ve already been told individually by Rick that there would be no sort of retaliation. Putting this in a group setting just sets up a confrontation.
And yet, despite the craziness of it all, Rick reminds us why he’s in charge. His threat to put the next person in the ground was a very good line and a great moment.
However, the surprise came at the end when Rick went to Negan for his help. After being taunted by the man, having his leg broken, and despite his horror at the man’s cell being unlocked, Rick still would not kill Negan. But now, with the ongoing threat with the Whisperers and disarray in the community, Rick is now turning to Negan for help. For what? To what extent? No idea, but it’s a strong way to end the issue. If Rick is coming to Negan of all people, having weighed his options and anticipating the reaction from the community, it seems that he’s left with no choice.
Given what we know Negan is capable of, there’s no way this can end well for Rick, but we shall see.