Warning – Walking Dead comic and TV spoilers ahead.
The Walking Dead comics are still going strong, and they’re steadily ahead of their television counterpart.
Robert Kirkman, the mastermind behind the series, always seemed to have a fascination with the number 100. That issue was when Negan was introduced, and when he took the life of longtime fan favorite Glenn.
Now fast forward another 100 issues, and the series may have seen its biggest death ever. To recap, it’s worth noting how the conflict is shaping up between the community of Alexandria and the far bigger Commonwealth area. The series’ leading man, Rick Grimes, was once again caught in the middle.
Torn between his disdain for the returning problems like wealth disparity and his vision of restoring a pre-apocalypse world, he seemed determined to establish peace between the two sides. Knowing the Commonwealth’s resources and organization are key to rebuilding the world, Rick had done a lot to keep things together.
A lot included killing his enemy-turned-friend Dwight in order to prevent the settlements from going to war. Here, Rick took a more civil approach which included a powerful speech about coming together. It was reminiscent of his “new world” speech from the show, and even included a nice Easter egg reference to his old “we are the walking dead” line.
Rick’s words sway the people of the Commonwealth, enough for them to unseat the all-powerful Mayor Pamela Milton. Even when he freed her from jail and offered to let her help guide the community to a better, more cooperative and horizontally organized future, it seemed he’d be destined for the new role of leader.
Rick said he had no interest in the role – and that’s a good thing, too. He may not have a chance to. While the next issue could throw us a curveball by revealing the ending to 200 was a fake-out, it sure doesn’t seem that way.
That’s because this issue closed by having Sebastian, Pamela’s son, barge into Rick’s room and shoot him in the chest after a heated argument. Wow – now that’s a Game of Thrones level twist. It’s a rough way to go out, especially after he survived brutal villains like the Governor, Negan, and Alpha.
It gives Sebastian’s character nuclear heat, however, drawing the type of ire no character has had since Negan first showed Glenn the business-end of Lucille.
This issue is very similar to Rick’s apparent fate in the show. His “death” episode was actually a fake-out, revealing him to be severely injured but on his way to a new community with Anne. She had alluded to Gabriel that the world was like “nothing he could imagine.” Combined with the fact she seemed suspiciously well stocked despite living in a dump, it’s a safe bet she was in contact with the Commonwealth.
If Rick really is a goner in the comic, it means issue 200 was every bit as jarring as issue 100, if not more so.