johnkmccubbin91's The Walking Dead #116 - All Out War Chapter 2 of 12 review

The Hilltop's Decision

This review was originally posted on my website Imagination Centre (here).

The Walking Dead has been a series that I have been enjoying for the last few years and although the quality has dropped ever so slightly in the last year and a bit it has still been an outstanding series and I have faith that this current story will propel it back to the phenomenal series it was.

Plot

The war between Rick's army and Negan's Saviors continues with the question of the Hilltop's involvement being brought up.

Review

This was yet another great issue for the Walking Dead and a terrific continuation to the opening issue of this anniversary story with Robert Kirkman as usual doing an outstanding job of the writing. I did however feel that it wasn't as exciting as the last issue set it up to be, as although it still had plenty of exciting moments, the follow-up to the cliffhanger from the last issue was slightly disappointing. In saying that Kirkman continues to pace this storyline well, keeping it both suspenseful and exciting, as with another ten issues after this one it would make no sense to have it turn into the All Out War right now. Kirkman would also show the characteristics perfectly once more and this is certain shaping into a great story.

The artwork in this issue was once again spectacular and Charlie Adlard did an outstanding job. The detail in his art was as usual very consistent, as although his artwork isn't quite as detailed as some of the other artists working the now, it is far from poor. The layouts and depth of his art does however overshadow this anyway, as it is very impactful, having the perfect tone. Adlard also handles the suspense and excitement in this issue perfectly, with his layouts helping to add even more excitement and tension to the action sequences. The grey tones from Cliff Rathburn would also be spectacular, and would as usual add the perfect tone and atmosphere to the series.

The last issue would end on a cliffhanger questioning whether the Hilltop would stay and fight alongside Rick and the rest of his army or whether they'd leave to protect themselves. Now I won't go into too much detail over this as it was a very interesting cliffhanger to end the previous issue, but the way it was followed up in this issue wasn't that spectacular, being a bit mundane and disappointing. I did however enjoy the characters reaction to this as it would add more tension and suspense to the issue, even though as a whole it wasn't as good as it could have been.

During this issue Holly would also step up a bit wanting to have a bigger role in the fight, in an attempt to get revenge for Abraham's death. Now I personally liked this development as although it was a little sudden to see Holly make such a statement, it does add some more tension and excitement to the story. I also loved the minor conflict between her and Rick during this development, as although it was clear that they are friends and are working together, there was a clear difference of opinion which would also add some friction to the issue.

The action throughout this issue would also be very exciting with nearly anything you could hope for happening, including a lot of gun fight as well as zombies getting involved. Now as I've already said the fighting wasn't quite to the level that the cliffhanger teased, but it was still immense, and perfect to build up more tension and suspense for the story as a whole. I also loved the chaotic nature of the fighting and how Negan and his men really appeared to be fighting on instinct with little to no plan whatsoever, showing just how prepared Rick's army is.

Final Verdict

All Out War is starting to get even more exciting as although the issue is still very much setting things up, it would still have some very intense and suspenseful moments throughout. It would also have some brilliant dialogue and as usual a interesting ending and I for one can't wait for the next issue. Due to this I'd highly recommend this issue as well as the opening issue of All Out War and any Walking Dead comics or trade paperbacks that you can find.

Rating: 8/10

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