The final chapter is ‘All Out War’ begins with a bang and changes the direction of not only Rick’s group but all the survivors engaged in this war with Negan’s ‘Saviors.’ While not as shocking as anticipated The Walking Dead #126 is still a satisfying conclusion.
Official description from IMAGE:
‘ALL OUT WAR,’ Conclusion. This changes everything.
When solicits began circulating for the events after ‘All Out War’ it seems as though Rick, Negan, Maggie and all the other familiar faces of The Walking Dead were done for as a result. The anticipation from the previous issue was off the chart as Rick ended the book slicing Negan’s jugular. But Rick’s intentions, which seemed logical to kill, turns out to be a much greater attempt at moving past the war. Robert Kirkman does not balk at the prospect that Rick and Negan were going to come to blows in the final act and when they do it signifies the beginning of the end of the war. Negan’s not the only one who suffers at the hands of Rick but dishes out punishment of his own, befitting of Negan, even though he’s on the verge of death.
What does come as a shock is not the violence but the bigger concept on creating real peace and progress and who will be sticking around after the final blow is struck. Rick really steps up to a new position of power and leadership and Kirkman does right by Rick and how he will resolve the war and move past it. Negan’s fate is suitable as well and, while the method may not be what we expect, it’s been well worth the 12-part story arc Kirkman crafted.
Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard are in lock step in issue #126 as they have been during the entire ‘All Out War’ series. It felt as though both writer and artist got to expand their skills with the survivors, we have come to know and love, and set us up for a new beginning next month. This is one of the first times I can remember when violence wasn’t the sole final act and Kirkman gives us a glimpse of what must be done that really hasn’t been attempted often during what has become a blood soaked, violence ridden society.
Not everyone is sold on Rick’s solution to the end of war and long-time readers will understand why. You can’t blame any of these characters for their need for vengeance and justice but sometimes the easy answer isn’t always the best one. Kirkman addresses that fact head on and gives the survivors a new outlook on what it means to be living in this world. It only took ten years of The Walking Dead to get here and the ride was well worth the new hope that war created. How long will that last? Only Kirkman knows but at least he’s attempting a new approach even if it’s not the most popular one.