The Walking Dead #191
“THE LAST STAND” Words are spoken. Alliances are broken. All the trouble that’s been brewing in the Commonwealth finally comes to a head.
Where do we even begin with an issue like The Walking Dead #191? After so long, the series continues to show an unprecedented ability to deliver utterly shocking events, and the final moments of this issue will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable among any of them.
There is a lot to unpack, so let’s jump right in. The battle with Commonwealth turns out to be not as devastating as it potentially could have been. Rick’s unique public speaking skills come in handy once again to help de-escalate the situation, but it just feels too good to be true. The discovery of the Commonwealth is one of the most monumental events in recent TWD history, so to see the transition of power happen so effortlessly immediately made me feel uneasy.
We follow up on Rick and the others after the chaotic confrontation only to find morale “at an all time high”. Democracy is forming, the people are taking lives into their own hands and everything seems to be on the mend. But somehow things just feel off. This cryptic undertone is almost unnoticeable at the beginning of the issue, but before we reach the conclusion, the tension it creates almost becomes unbearable. The story feels like it is slowly building up to something truly terrible and we have no choice but to endure whatever it may be. It speaks volumes about the creative team and their uncanny ability to engage readers with suspense, horror and sheer surprise.
After Governor Milton was arrested by Mercer and taken to jail (mainly for her own safety), Rick is able to spend some quality time with Carl. Their exchange is heartfelt, even telling each other how proud they are to be family, but this really only confirms our suspicions as readers that things are progressing a little too well. It makes for a conflicting experience, really. This is supposed to be a heart to heart between Father and Son, but the inevitable sense of doom that hangs over the positive moments instill nothing but dread for what is just around the corner.
What happens next is one of the best examples of a classic TWD “OH S#!&” moment in recent history.
Rick is shot.
Governor Milton’s garbage son, Sebastian, just couldn’t accept what happened. Fed up with Rick’s apparent God-complex, watching his mother get arrested proved to be the breaking point for him. He bursts into Rick’s room that night and shoots him right in the chest!
I’m still panicking over what this might mean for The Walking Dead. Kirkman is a master when it comes to this type of storytelling though, so the only thing we can do is wait for next issue to see what he has planned. Is this the end of Rick? Doubtfully. But it will certainly change how the series progresses from here on out. Kudos to everyone in the creative team, from illustration to lettering, this was one to remember!
The Walking Dead #191 is a shocking and powerful reminder that the series is still one of the best ongoing comics available.
The Walking Dead #191: We Are Not The Walking Dead
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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