11th May2017

‘The Walking Dead #167′ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Written by Robert Kirkman | Art by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Stefano Gaudiano | Published by Image Comics

twd-167

Rick may have inadvertently killed Sherry but how will the Saviors react to this? Let’s see what happens with Andrea, if anything, I mean obviously this could last a good few issues.

I have heard it said that people don’t like Kirkman’s writing style or that they like his ideas but not his execution. To those people, today I say read The Walking Dead issue #167 and come back once you have processed the comic you have just read and I defy you to tell me Kirkman is not a great writer, with possibly some of the finest execution of a story you can hope for.

Soooooo, yeah, I guess we knew this issue was coming, to be fair if you read my last review you will know that I thought this might take a while to happen but I guess the man thought if we are going to do this we are doing it now.

Before we really get into the issue we are back with Rick in the room after having killed Sherry and discovering Andrea has been bitten. We do get a really intriguing couple of panels with Dwight having discovered a dead Sherry and staring down Rick (lets see how that plays out). Then we move to the bedroom for the rest of the issue as we the reader are put through the mill of emotion as Andrea slowly passes on.

I bloody loved this issue, it was a stunning read and some of the most personal introspective writing The Walking Dead has had in some time. I want to draw attention to a particularly well done full page spread of panels whereby each member of the survivors comes to say goodbye to there friend. Not only does this page take the time to show us just how much she has affected this group but Kirkman breaks the tension a little with a great Negan one line appearance.

Its issues like this that remind me not only how great this book is but also how great the series can be. Adlard wonderfully illustrates an issue that cant have been easy to get his head round but there are certain pages that actually play out like some of the best movie scenes you remember.

I’m done now, I knew this issue would be hard and it certainly was. You want proof? Well Kirkman dropped his now infamous letters pages to bring us a very personal message to the fans… Read below:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry to my fans and to myself and to Andrea. I feel like I killed a close friend. The deaths in this series are never taken lightly, they’re never done with a sense of glee. They weigh on me the same way they weigh on you. These characters are very real to me, and their deaths are upsetting even to me.

I plotted this issue out during a plane ride a few months ago. I plot my stories down with a pencil and paper, and there I was in my seat, blocking out scenes and writing dialogue notes, surrounded by strangers who probably thought I was jotting down a shopping list. As I was writing some of the moments from this issue, I started crying. I found myself glancing around, wiping my eyes, hoping no one would notice. I’ve been living with this death for months now… and I don’t like it.

I had plenty of time to change my mind. I had plenty of time to just not do it. I am in control of this story after all. But honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m not. This was one of those times. I don’t like this. I don’t want this. I want Andrea to live. I want to write more stories with her. I want to see her and Rick grow old together, watching Carl grow up and have kids of his own. I want that kind of happiness for these characters.

And yet, here we are.

Andrea is dead and the story moves on. I don’t know why this had to happen… but I know it did. I know this is another important turning point in the life of this series. I know Andrea’s death will mean something, that it will resonate in the stories moving forward for years to come. But I still don’t like it. It still upsets me.

I loved Andrea and I will truly miss her.

- Robert Kirkman

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