There is a major spoiler ahead so be warned.
Walking Dead issue #100. Yep, we’ve all been talking about it. Waiting for it. Those of us who have been in the fold since issue #1 have salivated over what was going to befall Rick Grimes and his crew. Would they make it to the Hilltop Community? Would the followers of Negan rush the folks left by Rick back at base camp, and who would survive all the turmoil? Issue #100 answers exactly one of those questions. If you’re thinking the four bucks you paid will fill in all the blanks, you’d be wrong. Writer Robert Kirkman has yanked the rug out from under us again.
The plot here is simple. Rick, Michonne, Carl, Glenn, Maggie and some others are in a van racing towards the Hilltop community. Back at base camp, Andrea and the rest are biding their time waiting for Rick’s return. Little do they know that some of Negan’s followers are preparing to storm the camp. Rick’s crew pull over for the night and then WHAM Negan and his large crew step out of the night and capture them.
Negan, speaking like any psychopathic exalted leader, begins a long soliloquy about how Rick and his crew work for him now and they will give him half their shit or die. The speech is long, too long for my taste, and it ends with the big shocker. Negan chooses one person out of Rick’s crew to die. Glenn is picked and dragged to meet a horrible and brutal fate. As his pregnant girlfriend Maggie and all the rest watch, Negan beats Glenn to death with baseball bat. It’s a gruesome thing to see happen and it sucks the air right out of the room. When Rick swears to kill Negan, there’s nothing behind it. The moment is over.
I don’t really know if I like Walking Dead #100 or not. There’s a constant battle in my head where each plus turns into a minus. Glenn’s death was horrific and shocking. The kind of who-will-live moment that’s always kept us on edge in the series. Flip that and it is an easy kill, a plot device used to pluck heartstrings. It’s also easy. Kirkman can’t kill Rick or Carl or Michonne so he chooses and easy target that’s been there for a while. I also have issues with how Negan knew the random spot Rick and his crew picked to camp or that Rick would be so easily taken.
Negan. There’s another back and forth. On one side, I like that he’s pure evil and that he’s taken a liking to this world. I also enjoy the mystery behind him. Who is he? How did he get so many followers and what caused him to be this way? However, taking a look at the other hand, Negan is really cliché. The egotistical madman who has a religious like following of men ready to do vile things at his command. The whole “offering” bit and the idea that he sees himself as the leader of this new world. It smacks of a combination of bad Bond villain and cheap video game last level bad guy. He also smells of leftover Governor scenes.
I know one thing, Kirkman needs to end this quick. If we get three or four issues of Rick raising his group as well as convincing the Hilltop people to fight Negan, then we have a game. If this drags on for twenty issues with some back and forth thing between Negan and Rick, it’ll get old fast. You don’t unleash savagery like Negan’s attack on Glenn without swift retribution. Personally, I’d have Rick challenge Negan to a battle to the death to prove to the followers he’s nobody. Then, when he’s beaten, allow Negan to live. The loss of his followers and his power will crush him. Then turn Negan out into the world alone.
So there you have it. Issue #100. Glenn is dead, Rick and his gang are against it worse than ever and Robert Kirkman has hooked us all right in. Some folks have decided to give up Walking Dead because they are so disgusted with issue 100. Some think it’s the best thing ever. I’m in the middle, leaning towards the latter. I respect the balls of issue 100, but also think it doesn’t live up to what it could have been. Regardless, I’m still in for the long haul.
And I still hate the art.
(5 Story, 2 Art)