“We don’t die.” It was only inevitable that these words would end in tears, so when Andrea got bitten two issues ago you can bet readers were speculating how this was going to play out. Mercifully the creative team haven’t dragged proceedings out over several issues, bringing the inevitable fate of Andrea to fruition in this forty-four page, oversized comic. Having been described as a “big deal” during the Letter Hacks section of last issue, it was nice to see that there was plenty of emotion within this tale, with Rick’s will to survive being severely tested from start to finish.
Robert Kirkman has given us plenty of emotional and gruesome deaths over the course of the last thirteen and a half years, but there are few that I can think of that rival the death of Andrea in this issue. Not only does the writer reflect over the promise that both Andrea and Rick made to each other long ago, but he also shows how beloved the character is in the community they’ve built, as well as the defiant and headstrong attitude she shows in the face of death. What really captivated me throughout all this, however, was the way that he allows the artists to drop hints at future developments, allowing the focus to remain on this heart wrenching scene. Couple this with the powerful dialogue and fitting narration near the end and it’s hard to describe this issue as anything short of sensational.
We’ve seen that much death throughout the course of this series that it must come second nature reflecting this in artform for Charlie Adlard. What the artist produces in this issue, however, is something truly spectacular. Capturing the tone and emotion within Kirkman‘s script, Adlard allows the turmoil of this tale to ooze off the page, as despite there being a certain jarring moment, the overall product was simply breathtaking. If this wasn’t enough, the artist would go onto show the awkward nature this leaves the rest of the group in, as despite various emotions clearly being on display, it is obvious that they are unsure how to express these. Rounding all this off, we once again get some crisp inks from Stefano Gaudiano, with the grey tones of Cliff Rathburn reflecting the more emotional nature of this issue perfectly.
The Walking Dead #167 is certainly one of the more emotional issues in recent memory, with the latest death having a massive toll on our characters. Not only do the creative team handle this in a fitting and gripping manner, but they also leave us with a few hints as to what recent events may have in store for our group moving forward.
(10 / 10)