Note: SPOILERS for the issue follow.
I’ve said before that my interest in post-apocalyptic stories varies according to what the characters are trying to accomplish. When there’s a set goal I have something to invest in. The simple continuing survival of characters isn’t really a particularly stimulating prospect to me since I see most post-apocalyptic worlds as not worth living in (this must sound quite strange to some, but for me – once you go internet, you can’t go back), and there has yet to be a set of characters in which I could invest so thoroughly as to distract myself from the bleak nature of even a comparatively comfortable post-apocalypse existence.
“The Walking Dead #128” offers us a continued look at Alexandria, Rick Grimes’s attempt at a new beginning for society. We see more of how the thriving community works, including a deeper look into the lives of several old characters.
Last issue saw a nice reveal at the end, with Carl’s conversation buddy being none-other than Negan, still alive, and imprisoned in the Grimes basement after all this time. Seeing Negan so frustrated at the idea that Carl still wants him dead, even after they’ve had (presumably) many personal conversations, and after Negan has become a confidant of sorts to the one-eyed teenager, was interesting. Why was Negan so frustrated? Does he really feel a connection with Carl? or is he trying to plan or an escape? Whatever happens, I’m fairly confident that the decision to keep Negan alive will prove costly.
The extended look at how Alexandria works kept my interest, as we got to see that it took several years for the relationship between Eugene and Rosita to start deteriorating (and really, who ever thought that, or cared if, these two would last?). We also get to see that Carl wants to be an apprentice blacksmith, and that the group of new people from last issue is close to getting a bit of initial trust from Rick and Andrea.
The idea expressed by the leader of this new group is an interesting one; I must admit that when she proclaimed that Alexandria seemed too good to be true, two thoughts came into my head. The first was that it seemed absurd to see Alexandria as good at all, showing how horrifying life in a zombie apocalypse is generally and particularly if you don’t have even the basic elements of stability and security. The second was that she was right. Oddly enough, we haven’t seen any bad sides to Alexandria, and that is very suspicious indeed. Every society has it’s flaws and hardships, and yet Alexandria, as a collective, seems to be nothing but a success. I have to agree with the new group’s doubts here: there’s no way this is all the truth.
“The Walking Dead #128” gives us a further glimpse into Rick Grimes’s grand new society and also provides us a fair dose of suspicion regarding the parts of the story that aren’t being told. I do hope that a goal is set for these characters soon, since my personal investment in seeing the day-to-day goings-on of a doomed world are limited. So far, however, I’m still enjoying the post-time jump story.