More than ever in recent months, The Walking Dead has become a showcase for what’s possible when a series is able to build on years’ worth of stories and continuity. Would issue #167’s death have had the same impact if readers hadn’t spent the past 13 years growing attached to that character? The series is showing a newfound respect for its own history these days, and that’s helping to generate an even stronger emotional pull as Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard forge ahead into the latest phase of their seemingly never-ending saga.
This issue is a very quiet, dialogue-driven affair, with nary a zombie or militant killer in sight. Issues like this don’t always play to Kirkman and Adlard’s storytelling strengths. The former sometimes has a habit of overwriting his dialogue, while the latter can sometimes struggle to maintain enough variety in his facial expressions. But luckily, the focus in this issue changes often enough to keep the story humming along and prevent the creators from dwelling on any one area for too long.