SPOILER ALERT: http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/Comic_Series_Characters
VOLUME 25 (#145-150)
Michonne reacts to seeing Ezekiel’s head. She attacks Lydia and threatens her. Lydia promises that she had no idea this was happening. The Whisperers have never come across a group as big as theirs before. She thinks Alpha is afraid of them. Michonne goes to stab Ezekiel’s head, but Rick stops her. He tries to calm her down while Andrea does it. Michonne wants to get everyone and go to war, but Rick knows they can’t do that without thinking it through clearly. They are to bury the heads, but leave the posts to keep people from crossing until they know what they are up against. Rick and Andrea announce to everyone what has happened.
No one is happy with the “wait it out” plan, but Rick has to keep everyone calm to keep them from doing something stupid. When Maggie admits she executed Gregory, he says that she is undermining everything he has worked for. She explains that she couldn’t allow Gregory to keep running around turning people against her. Rick punches her and she punches him back. She reminds him that if Carl hand’t gone after Lydia, they wouldn’t have had this issue in the first place. They decide to cool down overnight and resume the conversation in the morning. Eugene is waiting for Rick at his house when he gets home. He explains that Rosita’s baby wasn’t his, but he couldn’t live without her. He is a smart man and he says they can wait until they are informed and ready, but they will have to make the Whisperers pay. Eugene gets excited about using Lydia as a bargaining chip.
Eugene doesn’t care if Alpha calls his bluff and they have to kill her. Andrea asks him to leave and he says he is done anyway. Andrea convinces Rick to let her take Carl and Lydia to the Hilltop. He agrees and they go to wake up the kids to get them ready to go. After they are gone, Rick finds Michonne sneaking around his house with her sword. She has been hearing the chatter around Alexandria and wanted to get Lydia to safety. Rick stops her from leaving and talks to her about his life and how he has to live with the regrets and guilt everyday. She cries and he tries to convince her she should find happiness and hold onto it. As Andrea takes Carl and Lydia to the Hilltop, Lydia becomes confused as to why they have to leave. Andrea tries to explain that people are upset because of what her mother did. Lydia pulls a gun on Andrea.
Andrea pulls out her own gun. Carl does the same and points it at Andrea first and then Lydia. They are able to calm her down and reassure Lydia that they only want to keep her safe. A man on patrol finds Alpha crying. She kills him so he can’t spread word of her weakness. Dwight arrives back at the factory. He wants to quit being their leader because their is too much pressure. The woman next to him, Laura, tells him he can’t because they need him now. The people in Alexandria are riled up with fear and anger. They want to attack right away, but Rick tells them they need to be smart about it. He wants to send in a team to gather information without being seen. The people gathered start to fight each other. Rick stops them by firing a shot and saying he will shoot the next person to throw a punch. He sends them home to cool off. He goes to Negan for help.
Rick tells him he just wants to talk to him about the situation when Negan gets a little too excited. Dwight tells Laura that he is leaving. She tries to tell him that he is the only thing that is keeping their people from returning to Negan’s ways because they don’t trust Rick. She tells him that Diane is a waste of his time and kisses him. He is still determined to leave. Andrea gets Carl and Lydia to the Hilltop. She tells the guard to let her know if anyone comes looking for her and to tell anyone that asks that she isn’t there. Lydia apologizes to Carl again for pulling a gun on his mom. She finds it hard to trust him because he is the first person to care about her. Maggie is patiently waiting for answers so she can return her people to the Hilltop. Negan asks Rick if he set up the Whisperers to keep his people united, wishing he would have had something like it when he lead his own people. When Rick says he isn’t behind it, Negan encourages him to use it to his advantage. The people don’t necessarily want action, but security. He doesn’t have to lie to them directly, but can use the situation to manipulate them into safety. Rick says he can work with that. Vincent blames Rick for everything that has happened since he took over Alexandria. His wife, Julia calms him down and helps him realize that isn’t true. They were both so focused on keeping their son, Josh, alive that now they have nowhere to focus their energy but hatred. A couple comes to their door. Rick goes to talk to Eugene. He has a plan: start an army. They will start selecting people from the communities to form a militia and use Eugene’s stored bullets from the factory to train them. As Dwight packs to leave, he grabs Lucille. He grabs a horse and takes off. Laura goes with him.
Rick finishes his talk with Eugene about the army and then starts to head home saying they will start in the morning. Morton and Vincent come up behind him to scare him into action against the Whisperers. Morton starts to attack him and Vincent tries to stop him. Morton is convinced they have to kill Rick because he saw their faces. Vincent tries to stop Morton, but gets knocked to the ground. When Morton goes after Rick again, Rick bites him and takes out a huge chunk of his neck to allow him to bleed to death. Andrea walks in on Carl and Lydia having sex and decides to sneak away from the situation rather than confronting them. Maggie finds Rick and gets him to the doctor. He tells Michonne she has to find Vincent and she goes out to chase down the man who is getting away on a horse with a woman. Rick is still covered in blood when he addresses the community. He tells them he was attacked by two of their own. Dwight and Laura walk in during Rick’s speech. Rick explains they can’t afford to go backwards to what it was before they created a wonderful, safe community. He tells them they are going to form a dedicated military to kill the Whisperers. Michonne brings in Vincent, who tries to explain what happened. Rick says he isn’t going to kill him because they need everyone to band together.
VOLUME 26 (#151-156)
Rick and Dwight lead a group in attacking roamers that surround them out in a field. Dwight is constantly telling people how to respond to the changing situation. Afterwards, Rick tells Dwight he is a leader whether he wants to be or not. Rick is a liability out on the field and Dwight obviously has some military training and the trust of the soldiers. They need Dwight to step up and lead the army. Eugene is working on a two way radio. Maggie and her group are packing up to leave the next day. Jesus is staying behind, but Rick knows they will need more people. Maggie says she will send what she can when she gets back. Rick tells her to let Carl and Lydia know they are both welcomed back in Alexandria. Vincent catches up with Rick as he is walking to thank him for sparing his life. Rick tells him he will make up for his actions by all the good he will do in the military. Rick quickly checks on Negan and leaves him without even making it all the way down the stairs. Father Gabriel asks Rick to start training with the army and Rick accepts. Rick makes it back home to find Michonne packed and ready to go. He tells her Pete doesn’t need her making runs on his ship. The Kingdom needs her. She tells him she has been thinking the same for a while and just needed the push to go. Rick is glad he will be working with people he trusts and they contemplate who should lead the Saviors. Eugene keeps trying to find someone over his radio. He is shocked when someone actually answers.
Eugene talks with the stranger over the radio and immediately asks where they are. The stranger points out that it will take them time to build up trust. Eugene admits that he is with a group in a community that they have easily defended several times. The stranger says he is also with a group, one larger than the 50 Eugene reports. They agree not to deal with anyone except each other. Laura is impressed with how quickly Dwight was able to train Gabriel, but Dwight is unsure Gabriel will be able to handle shooting actual people rather than the dead. Rick runs into Brandon on the road, and Brandon attacks him. After a few punches, Rick overpowers him. Brandon is upset because Rick killed his father, but Rick points out all the people his parents tried to kill (him, Maggie, hit Carl in the head with a brick). Michonne comes along and Rick stops. He tells Brandon he is on probation and if he tries anything, he will kill him. Gabriel goes to the church to ask forgiveness for being a killer. Brandon goes to Negan. He offers to free him if he will help Brandon get to the Whisperers to warn them about Rick’s army starting a war in hopes they will all kill each other. Negan says he has to think about the offer. Rick has people painting, “Silence the Whisperers” on the walls to keep peoples’ fury directed. Michonne is uncertain about the tactic. A woman comes rushing up to tell them the keys to the jail cell are gone. Michonne runs head and when Rick catches up, they see Negan is gone.
People are wondering why Rick is asking about the gate. Annie and Siddiq confirms no one has been out since Maggie’s group left for the Hilltop. Rick thinks Negan is snuck out with them. Brandon slips out of the convoy lead by Dante. He meets Negan a bit into the woods and gives him his jacket and belt. Negan decides he is in charge and tells Brandon to point him in the right direction. Rick meets with Aaron and Michonne. They think Negan will head to the Whisperers to try to get revenge on Rick. Aaron and Michonne prepare to leave to kill him before he gets there. They plan to keep the situation quite. Eugene talks to the man on the radio until someone is shot outside. He runs out to find an Alexandrian didn’t recognizes and shot a Hilltop person, Marco, that stayed behind to help. Dwight is out training his group for the army and it doesn’t go well. He points out they will have to be sneakier to get the jump on the Whisperers. Laura asks if he should give up Lucile, but Dwight points out he wants to change the meaning of it and prevent it from becoming a king’s scepter at the Sanctuary. Magma’s group is among Dwight’s trainees. Though they have been at Alexandria for months, Connie and Kelly don’t feel like part of the community. Magma tries to remind them how bad it was out on their own, but they don’t seem convinced risking their lives to save Alexandria from the Whisperers is the best choice. Michonne and Aaron find Negan and Brandon’s trail and try to catch up on horseback. Brandon is complaining and starts to cry when they get to the border Alpha warned them against crossing. He is upset the Whisperers killed his mother and Rick killed his father. Negan kills him and goes on with his own plan in mind.
Maggie has ridden ahead of the group to scout out a place to camp for the night when she runs into Andrea on her way back to Alexandria from the Hilltop. Andrea decides to stay with them instead of riding through the night. Michonne and Aaron find Brandon’s body and leave it to continue going after Negan. In the middle of what used to be a town, Negan speaks up to call out the Whisperers. He tells them he wants to join them. Beta isn’t sure Negan can be quiet enough to be with them, but doesn’t want to fight him either. They take his knife and tell him to come with them. Eugene tells the person on the other end of the radio about the Whisperers and how they killed his pregnant girlfriend. The other person says her name is Stephanie. Andrea returns to Alexandria and Siddiq sends her to Rick to get filled in on what has been happening. Michonne tries to talk to Aaron about maybe dating Jesus, but he isn’t really interested. They are attacked by Whisperers. Michonne tries to explain they are just after a dangerous fugitive, but they don’t care and start fighting them. Negan enters the Whisperer’s camp and is taken to Alpha. He says he is in love when he sees her.
Michonne and Aaron continue to fight Beta’s team of Whisperers, but Aaron is hurt in the process. Dwight shows up with his men and starts shooting them. The Whisperers that survive, including Beta, run away into the woods. He sends Michonne to the Hilltop to get Aaron help. Michonne asks Dwight to hunt him down. He appeases her and then decides doing that would only make matters worse. Andrea is furious about the messages painted all over Alexandria. Rick explains he needed the people to stop being angry at him and direct it elsewhere. She isn’t comfortable with him manipulating people. Negan tries to hit on Alpha, but she just gets annoyed and punches him. Beta shows up to inform Alpha that Negan lied about not knowing who they were. Negan admits it and says he thinks he can be useful to them. Siddiq watches the wall. Carl wakes up to Lydia watching him and she thanks him for making her happy. Maggie talks to Brianna about sending a rider to Alexandria for an update when Michonne arrives with Aaron who isn’t breathing. Dwight hurries his troops out of Whisperer territory knowing that they have started a war because they were not only seen there, but they attacked the Whisperers.
Beta is furious that Alpha is letting Negan not only survive but also join their group. He questions her and she asks if he is challenging her. He backs down and apologizes. Alpha sends him away. She tells Negan he can stay, but she doesn’t think he’ll survive. He asks when he will get a skin suit, and she tells him when he earns it. Negan is noisy and he goes on with life as a Whisperer. Most of the group ignores him. When he is attacked by zombies, they leave him to deal with it on his own. He brings them two fresh bodies and they are impressed with his strength. When he makes his way back out to the edge of the group, he finds two men trying to rape a woman. He stops them. Beta takes him to be punished. Alpha explains Negan took away the girls ability to show that she is strong. She sends him to sleep outside the group for the night. Negan is laying in a field when Alpha approaches him. He tells her he lost someone before the world ended and hasn’t felt anything since. He points out that protecting the weak is what makes them civilized. Alpha agrees that they are animals, but admits her ways didn’t make her daughter strong as the tears come. Negan tell her she can’t bottle up her emotions and pretend they don’t exist. Then he slits her throat and holds her until she dies. He plans to take the head to Rick.
VOLUME 27 (157-162)
Negan arrives and surrenders to Dwight and his small crew keeping watch. Dwight tells the woman holding the rifle to shoot him, but she refuses. Dwight is positive they should shoot him, but they all agree Rick will want to hear Negan’s story. Beta finds Alpha’s body. He declares there won’t be a new Alpha. They will live by her wisdom and wage war for revenge. Negan tells Rick he wants to be trusted and a part of the community. He tells him how he got out, where he went and what he did. He presents Alpha’s head to Rick and Andrea. Rick offers him a isolated position at an outpost if he stays loyal through the war. Negan agrees to Rick’s terms. Rick goes to Dwight to talk to him about the war. Soldiers are coming in from the Hilltop and Kingdom to help. He expects the Whisperers will come to them and Dwight is in charge of holding them off. Dwight questions whether or not they can trust what Negan has told them. Rick points out they don’t have a choice and Negan hasn’t turned on them yet. He asks Dwight to watch him and shoot him if something goes wrong. Jesus visits AaronZa in the hospital. Alex comes in and points out the sexual tension between them, and Jesus leaves. Maggie has her troops ready to send along to Alexandria. Carl and Lydia want to go, but Michonne tells them they are needed at the Hilltop to protect Maggie. Dwight starts handing out positions for war. Negan stands in the corner because Dwight won’t let him out of his sight. Zachary tries to convince William that he doesn’t need to send the Kingdom’s men to Alexandria. He points out that some might follow Michonne, but the people are looking to him to lead. Eugene tells Stephanie they are just outside of Washington DC. She tells him her group is in Ohio. In the privacy of their home, Rick wonders if he is making the right choice by trusting Negan. Andrea tells him not to second guess himself so much. Dwight gets his men in position. Magna signals she is ready as well. Gabriel gets to the top of the water tower and sees the Whisperers and their herd approaching.
In his rush to warn the others, Gabriel falls from the water tower and catches his leg on a ladder rung. Beta comes and slices him open to leave him for the zombies. Richard arrives at the Savior’s camp, but they refuse to send help. They say their alliance ended when Dwight left. They take his horse and send him off. William has what men he didn’t send to Rick watching the Kingdom. Zachary doesn’t agree and says William will regret dismissing him. Dwight sees the approaching Whisperer’s and tells everyone to get ready. He refuses to give Negan a gun. The fighting starts and the Whisperers appear from within the herd to kill Dwight’s men. They have to fall back to a new position. Magma’s team flanks the herd while the warriors from the kingdom also help out. Negan is able to grab a gun from a fallen soldier and starts helping out. Dwight is shocked by how many Whisperers there are. Maggie has feelings for Dante. Lydia tells Carl it won’t matter if they see the Whisperers coming because of how large the group is. Eugene goes to the factory to speed up production. Aaron starts trying to walk again. Siddiq goes to Pete (ship captain) for men, but he can’t spare any. Rick takes Andrea lunch while she watches the walls of Alexandria. Jesus asks Michonne about Aaron. She is thrilled to hear he is interested, but he points out they have to survive the war first. They join the battle. Beta is killing men so they become part of their herd. He almost gets Dwight, but Negan comes to the rescue. He promises he is going to kill Beta.
Negan and Beta start to fight. Dwight tosses Lucille to Negan. Michonne, Jesus, and the rest of the group continue to fight the Whisperers. Lucille breaks and Negan is covered in zombies as Beta gets away with the help from other Whisperers. The Whisperers are held back, and Dwight is ready to regroup their own forces. The horde starts making its way out of the woods towards them. Meanwhile, a few Whisperers rest so they can get Beta to safety. One wonders what his face looks like and goes to take off his mask. Beta stabs him through the mouth. Dwight decides they will divide into four groups (led by Jesus, Michonne, Magna, and himself) and lead parts of the herd away and regroup at their fallback position. Lydia tells Carl the Whisperers have an advantage over their group because they don’t care about others. She tells Carl she doesn’t love him or think of him “that way.” He thinks she is only telling him this because she thinks the war will end badly. Eugene continues to teach people how to make bullets. Rick tries to feel useful by looking for some advantage over the Whisperers. Aaron ignores Dr. Carson’s bed-rest order so he doesn’t feel useless. IN the Kingdom, William threatens Zachary with a knife. He warns him not to threaten him again. The Whisperers are surprised when they find their herd separated. Dwight starts picking them off so they can strip them of their skins and wear them themselves.
Heath finds Vincent struggling onward and rides in to save him and take him home. Following Dwight’s plan, Michonne and her group wander into their piece of the herd and start quietly killing the Whisperers and the dead. Beta wakes up and demands to be taken back to the front lines. Vincent has been followed from the Sanctuary. William runs into Taylor while walking around the Kingdom. He is annoyed with the old-English speak and tells Taylor to knock it off. Aaron prepares himself incase something happens. Dante comes to talk to Maggie. Dwight’s group has taken out their part of the herd. He says they cannot use their flesh suits for a new defense system because it is disrespectful to the people the dead used to be. A Whisperer begs for his life and Dwight shoots him in the head. Dante expresses his interest in being with Maggie, but she tells him she will only ever love Glenn. Carl gets out of bed and starts walking around the Hilltop. Suddenly, flaming arrows start coming over the walls. The woman from the Sanctuary that stole Vincent’s horse, Tara, comes along claiming she wants to return it to him. When she still refuses to send men for the war, Heath tells her to keep it and sends her away. Carl calls out that they are under attack. The Hilltop gate comes down. Maggie gets shooters up on the walls to take out the archers. Dante lines people up to keep the Whisperers from advancing too far. When the house catches on fire, Maggie and Carl run inside to save Sophia and Hershel. Lydia stays outside convinced she will be more useful against the herd. One of the Whisperers says they are there to rescue her because they need her. She tells him their time is over and shoots him in the head.
Lydia fights off the Whisperers with the others. Carl and Maggie find Sophia and Hershel inside the house. Carl sends them out while goes around and finds more people. While helping Johnny and a women get out, he pushes them forward while he takes a piece of the falling house. They leave him there. Maggie and the others get out and Lydia warns them to move back because they are loosing ground. Aaron gets Carl out of the house. Dr. Carson tells Aaron to fight off the Whisperers while he artificially respirates Carl. As the group starts to get tired, they realize that they are only fighting the dead and the Whisperers are already gone. They have won the battle, but it seems hollow with the Hilltop exposed and on fire. Beta insists he is well enough to walk on his own. Heath tells Rick what happened to Vincent at the Sanctuary. Taylor runs to tell William that the Hilltop is under attack. The Kingdom prepares to send help. Magna cuts off Connie’s hand while Dwight mocks Negan for mourning Lucille. Beta watches Dwight’s camp from afar. They plan to return to their own camp so they can end the war. Eugene plans to take a cart full of bullets back to Alexandria. When one of his workers questions why he doesn’t wait until morning, Eugene explains that the bullets are their contribution to the people that are out there dying to keep them safe. Rick tells Andrea to watch out for Saviors while in the bell tower. Tara returns to the Sanctuary leader to tell her what happened and her misgivings about not sending help. The leader, Sherry, says she is depending on a victory from Rick Grimes so they can swoop in while Alexandria and the others are weak and tired and take over.
Negan mourns the human Lucille and gives her a new burial. William pushes to get to the Hilltop before sunrise and they see the smoke in the distance. William is surprised to see people are still alive when they arrive. Maggie says they will go to Alexandria for now and rebuild in the future. Lydia feels guilty about having been part of the Whisperers and the destruction they leave in their wake. Carl explains that he and his people have also had to do some horrible things to keep their communities in tact. He says they did what they had to do so they can live. She is comforted. Beta refuses to rest and has his men help him continue on. Rick worries that he is going soft from living inside Alexandria’s walls. Andrea points out that he just survived an attack. He wonders if the violent life is worth living. Eugene arrives with a cart full of ammunition and then passes out from exhaustion. Dwight arrives shortly after with his remaining men and Negan. Dwight tells Rick that Beta got away, but they kill almost a thousand dead and Whisperers. Rick explains he saw thousands of them and the job isn’t done. Beta reaches the rest of the group. The dead are being steered towards their enemies and he is going to let them finish the war for them.
VOLUME 28 (#163-168)
The herd can be heard approaching Alexandria. Andrea and Dwight immediately start getting things ready. Eugene insists on helping to redirect the dead. They leave on horseback and Rick says they can handle whatever can’t be lead away. Eugene plans to get the herd’s attention by riding past them and leading them east towards the ocean. The dead are bottlenecking into the street, so they have to go down an alley to try to lead some away. Rick takes charge inside Alexandria with Siddiq by his side. Annie keeps watch, but they don’t want to fire any shots until they have to. Negan comes out to see what is going on, but Rick tells him to get back inside. The trench with spikes fills up with zombies so the rest can walk right over it. Eugene points out they will only be able to lead away about a hundred dead at a time. Jesus and Michonne take the first batch and take turns leading and slicing through them with swords. Meanwhile, back in Alexandria, the dead have reached the gates. They start to kill them with knives, but it isn’t long before the gate comes down. Paula is overrun by zombies. Negan saves Rick from the same fate. John watches the demise of Alexandria with binoculars from a telephone pole.
Maggie, Carl, and Lydia arrive at Alexandria with the rest of the Hilltop group. Michonne comes to tell them they weren’t caught off guard, but Maggie points out the gate is down. Maggie goes to help lead the herd away. Carl and Lydia stay to watch Hershel. Negan gets Rick into a house. All the survivors in Alexandria are trapped inside houses. Negan asks Rick what is the worst thing he has ever done. Rick says live. Negan tells him how he couldn’t kill his wife after she turned and had to have someone else do it. He stopped seeing people as people because they were so weak. He started doing things like bashing brains in to scare people into living. Heath enjoys being on a horse since he lost his leg because it allows him to contribute. Eugene understands the need to feel useful. Dwight has his partner fire a shot to drive the herd away from Alexandria. He leads them to Andrea so he can go back towards the wall to help those inside. As the herd starts to thin out, Rick gets up to start killing some. Negan tells him to stay by the door while he goes out so that Rick doesn’t get them both killed. Carl gathers up the rest of the Hilltop people to go help the others. The Saviors are gearing up to attack Alexandria.
Negan is enjoying killing the zombies, but gets overrun quickly. Rick saves his life. They decide they will alternate going out the front and back doors until they are clear enough to get out. Siddiq finds Eugene’s radio and someone on the other end asks for Eugene. When Siddiq answers, the other voice stops talking. Kelly wants to go out of the house and help and Connie wants to go with him. The herd has stopped moving, but the group knows they have to get it further away from Alexandria. Eugene and Andrea watch the zombies fall off the edge of a cliff and into the ocean. Pete will have to be warned not to fish near there. They get the horses to drive a few stragglers back to the group. Everyone is working together to clear out the zombies. John and Sherry meet up with Dwight, Laura, and Heath. John is given no restrictions on what he does to them and immediately goes for Dwight. Andrea and Eugene’s group are trapped between two groups of zombies. Eugene sends the others to get out so he can keep them together and moving towards the coast. He gets boxed in and Andrea goes back for him. They make it out, but Andrea is bitten on the neck in the process.
Andrea insists they keep driving the zombies over the cliff into the ocean before they are all killed. Rick, Negan, Siddiq, and a few others meet up as they clear out zombies in Alexandria. Carl and his group join them. Sherry arrives with her group to make their point that they don’t want anything to do with the rest of them. She is shocked by Negan’s presence. Dwight arrives and jumps right in against the Saviors. Rick tells him to stand down and invites Sherry inside to discuss what she and her people want. Sherry explains her people don’t want anything to do with them. When Rick tries to tell her he isn’t a dictator, that they all work together, she attacks him. He ends up pushing her off him and she breaks her neck against a table. Andrea comes in and shows Rick the bite on her neck.
Andrea passes out. Rick and Michonne take her to her bed. Dwight upset about Sherry’s death. When Andrea wakes up, she tells Rick to leave the room because she doesn’t want the rest of her time to be filled with tears. Carl goes in and she tells him that no one is meant to be with a specific person. She is glad she got to watch him become a man and just wants him to be happy. Everyone comes by to say goodbye to Andrea. Dwight handles the Saviors and has them helping with cleanup. Eugene apologizes to Rick, but Rick knows it wasn’t his fault and tells him so. Rick is finally able to go in. Andrea tells him he has to go on because their little world won’t survive without him. If he dies, so will everyone else, and it will all be for nothing. He agrees. Andrea dies and Rick crawls into bed with her. At the last minute, he decides that he isn’t going to let her bite him. He puts his knife into her head and goes to join the others. He thinks about Andrea’s last words as he greats his friends and tells them they have a lot to do.
Dwight shows Rick the progress they have made. Rick thanks the Saviors for their help even though they didn’t help when it was really needed. John wants to know where Sherry is. Rick tries to explain what happened, but John is done being friendly. Negan steps in and asks John if he wants things to go back to the way they were when he was in charge. He also points out that Sherry wasn’t exactly a brilliant visionary. He tells him to go back to the factory. When they need help, Rick will provide it. When Rick needs help, they had better give it. The Saviors leave. The dead are buried. That night, Rick sleeps on Andrea’s grave.
VOLUME 29 (#169-174)
Carl is at Andrea’s grave with Lydia. He tells her about how he killed the kid named Ben that Andrea and Dale had adopted because he was a danger to them all and no one else seemed to be able to do it. After the battle against Negan and the Saviors, Carl admitted to Andrea that he did it. She told him she loved him and that was when he started calling her mom. Maggie expresses her anger to Rick about Negan roaming around free. Rick tells her Negan is leaving as soon as the conflict is over. Siddiq told Rick about Eugene’s radio and comes to talk to Stephanie. He tells her he will travel to a place of their choosing so their community feels safe. She thinks she can convince her group to agree. Eugene wants to be on the team that goes to meet them and Rick agrees to let him go. Dwight is working around the community and makes a comment about working too hard and Rick taking the credit. Rick says they will talk later and goes to find Jesus. Carl sees Maggie packing up the donations to take back to the Hilltop. He tells her he plans to go back, but hasn’t told his dad yet. Rick wants to send Jesus to Ohio, but Jesus is reluctant because of his new relationship with Aaron. That night, Rick confronts Dwight. Dwight says Rick’s time as leader is up because he is making bad decisions. He didn’t want to lead the Saviors because of their hate. The same hate he sees in Rick. Rick tells him he doesn’t have time for Dwight because of everything that is going on. He warns him that he is barely keeping his rage in check and doesn’t think adding Dwight’s grave to the list will really matter. Rick wakes up from laying on Andrea’s grave. Michonne tell him she is going to meet the new community and is taking Magna, Yumiko, and Siddiq. Carl comes to say goodbye before leaving to go back to the Hilltop. Rick tells Carl he is proud of him. Dwight watches Negan as he packs canned food and heads out the gate. Michonne and Maggie’s groups also leave. Maggie sends Dante to follow Negan so they don’t loose track of him.
Yumiko points out they haven’t been as far north as they are planning to go and have no idea what awaits them. Jesus agrees to keep an eye on Dwight for Rick. [dark hair pony tail] asks Rick to look after Mikey, who is having a tough time since losing Paula. Briana talks to Maggie, but Maggie is too distracted to pay attention. Dante follows Negan. Laura tries to calm Dwight down, but he believes there is no difference between Negan and Rick. Rick goes to comfort Mikey, who misses his mom. Michonne’s group talks to a bald guard from the Kingdom. He’s been a little out beyond the safe zone and everything seems quiet. No one really knows past that. William from the Kingdom meets up with Maggie to give her the materials they had been collecting for an expansion to be repurposed for repairs to the Hilltop. Negan goes to human Lucille’s grave and cries over the bat. Siddiq is on watch at night when Eugene gets up to urinate. Magna and Yumiko are making out. Zombies come out of nowhere and surprise them all, but they are able to dispatch them and no one is hurt. They pack up to move on. Jesus wants to go back to the Hilltop, but Aaron isn’t sure he’s ready. Jesus tells him he loves him. Michonne’s group comes to a city and they decide the population should have dispersed enough for them to go through it. They are surprised to find it empty. They find a building to stay the night in. Siddiq has been feeling guilty and admits that Rosita loved him.
Siddiq opens up to Eugene about Rosita. He thinks she loved him while Eugene is still convinced she loved him and Siddiq was just a mistake. Eugene calms his anger and comforts Siddiq. In the morning, the group gets ready to leave the city. Yumiko points out the empty buildings could be full of useful supplies, but Michonne reminds them they are on a deadline to meet people. When they get to the edge of the city, Michonne yells out to see if anything happens. One lone woman comes out of hiding. Michonne immediately takes a defensive tone, but the woman points out she came out with her gun pointed at the sky, not at them. She introduces herself, Juanita Sanchez, but she wants to be called Princess, the Princess of Pittsburgh. Eugene reminds them to keep their voices down and Princess confirms the city isn’t completely empty. A few zombies come towards them, but Princess kills them quickly with her automatic rifle. She asks to join them, but Michonne is suspicious. She points out she is grossly outnumbered and Eugene agrees it would be suicidal for her to try anything. They agree to follow her to get her things, but put her own gun to her back along the way. She takes them to a building and calls out to a group of people. Michonne is furious. Princess reveals she was only joking and goes to get her stuff.
Yumiko and Magna like Princess, but Michonne has her doubts and is ready to leave her behind when she takes too long. Princess comes out with a spear and they take off. Michonne decides not to give Princess her gun back yet. Rick worries about Michonne and the rest of the group. He helps teach Mikey how to plant crops. Michonne’s group continues on. Carl helps Maggie and the others rebuild the Hilltop. Rick is still sleeping on Andrea’s grave. Aaron and Jesus decide they are ready to leave Alexandria. Lydia thanks Carl for all the help he has given her. She is starting to feel like she belongs. Sophia watches them while she sits with Hershel. Michonne and Princess go to kill off a group of zombies. Yumiko tries to convince Magna to come out of the closet. Yumiko tells their group, but none of them make a big deal about it. Aaron and Jesus head out and Rick tells them to let him know what Maggie needs for the Hilltop. Neither Carl or Sophia is able to sleep. She tells him she misses him as her friend. He agrees they can spend more time talking. Maggie can’t sleep. Rick tries to tell Andrea’s grave that things are getting back to normal, but breaks down crying. Jesus and Aaron rest for the night. As Aaron is sleeping Beta comes up behind Jesus.
Jesus and Aaron are attacked by Beta and the Whisperers. They are able to kill the attackers and Beta's mask comes off as he dies. They realize he was a famous basketball player. Dante goes into Maggie's tent to talk to her about all the progress that has been made at the Hilltop. She is looking at a map and wondering why Negan gets to live like nothing ever happened. Carl feels guilty for taking a lunch break while everyone else is working. Lydia points out that he is working too hard. Sophia drops what she is carrying and Carl goes to help her pick it up. Lydia is not amused. Michonne's group is getting close to the meeting place. The Whisperers are recruiting, Mike's family (wife and son Josh) are not willing to wear zombie masks. A Whisperer threatens to kill Mike, but Jesus and Aaron come along and kill the Whisperers. Aaron starts to tell them about their home and Jesus says they can talk as they travel. Laura tells Dwight she is done with him until he gets over his hatred. Michonne's group arrives at a train yard. Eugene points out Stephanie's group should be waiting for them. They debate whether to set up camp or look around. A group shows up with weapons ready and tells them to drop their own.
Negan finds a sunflower and digs it up while talking to it about how gorgeous and big-dicked they both are. A couple of zombies come after him and he pushes them over thinking they could kill someone that is coming after him. He puts the potted sunflower on Lucille's grace and goes home. A dog has gotten into his things, so he kills and eats it. While searching for supplies, he decides to stop into a barn. There is a bat there, but he leaves it there. He talks to Lucille's grave and says a bat can't replace her. He goes back for the bat. Shortly after, he happens to be walking along a barbwire fence and takes some to wrap around it. As he is finishing his new Lucille, Maggie and Dante arrive. Maggie has a gun and tells Dante to wait outside. Negan says he regrets what he did, but at the time he thought it was necessary. He explains that Rick showed him there can be life in the new world. Maggie says when she pictures Glenn, it is when Negan killed him with a smile. He begs her to kill him and offers her his new bat. She refuses to give him what he wants. On her way out, she kills two zombies to ensure his survival in his misery. She kisses Dante and they start heading home. Negan burns the new bat.
VOLUME 30 (#175-180)
Michonne’s group is taken inside a building and introduced to Lance Hornsby. Eugene demands to speak to Stephanie, but Lance has the advantage with his armored soldiers’ guns pointing at them. He wants to know where they are from, but Eugene insists they will only trust Stephanie. When asked, Michonne says they are all united in the decision. Lance thinks this is a good sign, but has his men keep aim at them. After his men search around for any surprises, he starts asking questions. He tells them he will take them back to the Commonwealth, which is where Stephanie is. Lance sleeps in a wagon on their way back while Michonne’s group follows behind on their horses. A soldier next to Michonne tells him there is nothing to worry about and they will get used to the Commonwealth’s ways. As they approach, they see a stadium. Lance explains that is where they have concerts and football games. The population is around 50,000 people. There is a giant board for people looking for people to leave messages for lost loved ones. Eugene points out a picture that Elodie is looking for her mom, Michonne.
Michonne demands to be taken to her daughter, but one of the guards points a gun at her and Lance explains some of the pictures are old. There is somewhere they need to go for answers. Michonne agrees to follow and they start through the city. Stephanie calls out to Eugene because she wants to apologize for not being there to meet him. Lance yells at her reminding her that her radio usage was unauthorized, but forgiven. He tells her he will reassign her to something unpleasant if she doesn’t get to work. They are brought into a large building where Maxwell Hawkins welcomes them to the Commonwealth and asks about their previous professions. He takes them to meet Governor Pamela Milton. She introduces her self and claims she is the solution they have been looking for. She starts her audition, but Michonne lets her know it is two way. As Eugene and the rest of the group wait out in the hall, a group of exhausted soldiers return. Mercer is mentioned as the person that trained them. Pamela gives Michonne a speech about how they are engines and need to work together in the same direction. After a while, Michonne gets inpatient and tells Pamela she’ll only believe it if she hears it from her daughter that is alive and in the Commonwealth. Pamela agrees to find Elodie right away. They go to the bakery and Michonne and Elodie are reunited.
Mikey shares with Rick a poem Annie told him to write to work out his feelings. Rick reminds Mikey he shouldn’t ever be afraid to share his feelings. Mikey suggests Rick does the same with his feelings about Andrea. Eduardo is relieved from a boring day on watch duty an discovers Maggie and Dante having sex in the shed. Maggie is ashamed and leaves. Pamela’s son, Sebastian, is in a field trying to have sex with a girl named Kayla. They are attacked by a zombie and Mercer saves them. Kayla is mortified someone was there to watch them. Sebastian yells at Mercer for not keeping out of site. Sebastian doesn’t see the line of zombies Mercer did kill to keep them safe. Michonne and Elodie arrive at Elodie’s apartment and fall into hugging and crying. Michonne apologizes for how it all happened and that she couldn’t get to Elodie’s father’s house in time. Elodie explains Colette didn’t make it when they were trying to follow her dad’s plan of going north from Kentucky. They were in a group of bad people that protected them from the dead, but expected sex in return. Colette refused and they killed her. Elodie killed the entire group and that is what really haunts her. Pamela asks Michonne’s group to give her time to reconnect with her daughter before their weapons are returned and they are given the chance to stay or leave. Sebastian comes along and complains about Mercer like a spoiled child. After Sebastian storms off, Mercer tries to explain what happened and Pamela reprimands him for letting her son get himself into danger. In the locker room, George sympathizes with Mercer and says the troops are just waiting for him to make his move. Mercer thinks the leaders will kill themselves off and he won’t have to do anything. Siddiq walks in on their conversation.
Mercer explains he and George were just blowing off steam. He tells Siddiq that Sebastian is a pain, but he should be lucky enough to avoid him. They all agree that everything is fine and Siddiq leaves for the bathroom. Dante starts kissing Maggie and Sofia bursts into the room and starts yelling at Maggie before storming off. Maggie catches up to her and explains the situation. They make up. Elodie doesn’t know how she feels about Michonne, who is willing to wait for Elodie as long as it takes. Carl jokes with Sofia about Maggie and Dante, which helps her feel better. Michonne declares she trusts the people of the Commonwealth because her daughter does. Pamela wants to visit Alexandria and they agree to leave in a few days. Pamela leaves them with Stephanie to show them to their rooms at the Whitmore and then around town. Michonne is curious about Pamela and her lack of questioning. Sebastian comes along and forcefully hits on Yumiko. Magma steps in and he knocks her down. Princess takes out her spear and knocks all the guards down. Mercer throws his axe to get the spear out of her hands. Sebastian wants them all arrested. Elodie tries to apologize to him and he hits her across the face. Michonne is enraged, but Elodie warns her that they need to know their place.
Mercer steps in and scars Sebastian away after he has made his hollow threats. When the group gathers together, Elodie and Stephanie explain that the Commonwealth works on a class system. What you did before the apocalypse determines your status. People are evaluated once a year to try to move up. Magma is outraged by the idea. After a few days of special treatment, the Michonne’s group prepares to escort Pamela to Alexandria. Lance asks Michonne to consider staying behind with her daughter. Sebastian is whining while his mom leaves and she tells him not to cause any trouble while she is gone. Michonne gives Eugene her sword to give to Rick. Eugene is excited about the start of his friendship with Stephanie since they are so like-minded. He mentions that people will need to start having babies to keep their lifestyles sustainable. Princess is excited to finally be going to Alexandria to meet Rick and that she will have options about where she will live in the future. After a few days, they arrive at Alexandria. Eugene is able to space out the massive number of walking troops so they get get ahead and give Rick a heads up.
Lance Shows Michonne her new apartment and says Elodie can help her with her law office rather than working at the bakery. Michonne thinks it is too good to be true. Dwight apologizes to Laura. He knows his negativity is not a good quality. He asks her to go with him while he apologizes to Rick. They hear the arrival of Eugene and the others and has Laura help him round up the army to be on the safe side. When they arrive, Pamela gives Eugene leave to warn Rick. Rick greets Pamela and Dwight shows up wit the militia. Rick has a few of Dwights men escort Mercer to meet the rest of the Commonwealth platoon to have them staged at the watch tower rather than in Alexandria. He offers Pamela a tour and she decides to go with him alone. As they talk, Pamela is not impressed with Rick’s idealistic view on equality. She believes people need the world to be like it was before while he thinks it needs to change for the new world.
VOLUME 31 (#181-186)
Pamela is impressed with the view of the Ocean as Rick shows her around. Michonne tells Elodie she has decided to stay and become a lawyer for the Commonwealth. She has some time to get reacquainted with the processes and has time for a trip. Carl introduces himself to Joshua, a new kid whose family was traveling with the Whisperers. They were too scared to leave them. Maggie talks with Jesus and Aaron about the new family. They believe they are good people and are letting them stay. Jesus tells Maggie that Rick has requested for Carl to come to Alexandria for a visit along with a list of what the Hilltop needs. Maggie agrees and asks if they are sure Beta is dead. They agree if there are any whisperers left, they are not a threat. Princess thanks Rick for allowing her to come along on the tour of the surrounding areas of Alexandria and the boat. Dwight points out a horde of zombies in their path. Rick decides they will have to drive the herd away from Oceanside and enlists the help of Mercer and the guards. Princess is a bit nervous, but Mercer tells her to stick with him. Pamela decides to break off and causes issues. Princess gets surrounded and falls off her horse. Mercer jumps in to save her, but there are too many. A guard goes in depending on his armor to protect him from bites. Laura comes with reinforcements to clear our the zombies. Once they survive, Princess kisses Mercer. Rick is not happy that Dwight pulled people off of lookout duty to follow them thinking the entire situation could have been avoided entirely. Pamela comes out of her carriage to give praise to Mercer. He was expecting an apology for what she did to make things worse. She wanted to show off Mercer’s abilities.
At the Sanctuary, John is teaching Christopher about growing crops. When Christopher complains about not liking tomatoes, John gives him a speech about how life is about need rather than want. The more they can produce over their need, the more they have to trade, and the better life will become. Rick and Governor Pamela arrive and talk to John about the communities needing each other in order to take back the country. She is not impressed with the Sanctuary and asks Rick about Negan. They go to the Kingdom next. The next day, they go to the Hilltop. The rebuilding process is much further along than expected. Rick is able to spend some time with Carl, who apologizes for leaving Alexandria. Rick admits he needed the alone time. Maggie is suspicious of Pamela, but says she will trust Rick’s opinion. Eugene gets the Commonwealth soldiers into wagons to speed up their trip. Rick rides with Pamela in her carriage. She wants to make the collection of communities a part of the Commonwealth. Rick isn’t quite convinced it isn’t their way of thinking that needs to be brought around.
Elodie is excited to be taking advantage of Michonne’s perks. A soldier named Jerome is escorting them to Greenville when they are attacked by a few zombies. Jerome gets off his horse to take care of them, but quickly becomes overwhelmed. Michonne goes to help and ends up saving him. When they arrive in Greenville, Elodie expects they will stay in a hostile, but are offered a large cabin on the lake. They enjoy their stay. A woman named Cloris brings them a bag of food for their return trip and is upset when Michonne gives it to a hungry family that can’t afford food. They return with a new guard. On the way, They see a crowd gathering because the guards are beating someone, Anthony Keith, that supposedly assaulted officers. Michonne stops the guards. Later at home Lance comes to tell Michonne the beaten man is in bad shape. Lance tells Michonne she is going to defend the officers in the case against Anthony. Defending the officers is not sitting well with Michonne. Lance comes to tell her Anthony has died. The public is giving her guff for defending the officers and a riot breaks out. Jerome helps Michonne and Elodie escape the law office. Rick and Governor Pamela arrive to fire and chaos in the Commonwealth.
Michonne and Elodie try to get out of the riot, but they see Jerome being attacked by an angry mob. Michonne promises to save him and tells Elodie to run, but Elodie tries to stop the people from hurting him. Michonne jumps in to help Jerome and her daughter and the crowd turns on them. Jerome uses himself to shield Michonne. Mercer arrives and breaks up the crowd with his guards. Pamela tells them they need to let her govern rather than turning violent. Michonne has some bruises and bumps from the riot, but still gives her statement in court. She asks the judge to drop the charges against the guards that killed the man in order to let the community go on in trust and goodness. Later, Rick asks if Michonne believes in her own words. She partially does. Having Elodie back is very important to her and she values having a community that feels like the zombies never came. Eugene and Stephanie take a look at a train. Eugene wants to restore it to give quicker and safer transportation between communities. Pamela scolds Lance for letting things get out of hand while she was away. She is disgusted that Rick is helping clean up the streets after the riot. He asks if she has better things to do and she starts helping as well. Dante is disgusted that the citizens of the Commonwealth are eating at a restaurant rather than helping clean up their streets. Laura makes a comment about cleaning the people up afterwards. Mercer and Princess sleep together and decide it is not just a casual fling. A couple of people approach Rick impressed with how he has been helping. They ask if there is room for them in Alexandria and Rick tells them it isn’t as nice as the Commonwealth. Dwight asks Rick to leave him at the Commonwealth to save them. Rick denies his request.
Dwight wants to go back for his army to take over the Commonwealth. Rick says no and is disappointed that Dwight hasn’t learned anything from their previous wars. Carl is a little worried about his Dad, but Lydia is sleeping and doesn’t hear him talking. Carl starts to go back to his own room and runs into Sophia. She complains about not having anyone to have sex with and Carl tries to recommend people. Yumika finds Magma on a watch shift at Alexandria. Magma is wondering when the next war is going to start because the Commonwealth is completely rotten and she knows Rick will see through the glitter of it. Rick eats at a restaurant with Michonne and Elodie. He is overcome with emotion wishing Andrea could have seen the peacefulness of the Commonwealth. Eugene is impressed with the condition the train is in. Stephanie gets excited and kisses him. Pamela reprimands Lance and demands increasing the number of guards on patrol to remind the citizens they are in control. Rick comes in and Lance leaves. Pamela asks him if he is okay because the rumor of his crying at breakfast with Michonne has spread to her. He explains he was just sad his wife didn’t survive long enough to see the Commonwealth. Pamela sympathizes; her daughter didn’t make it either. Dwight goes out into the streets and picks a verbal fight with a guard to cause a scene. He is happy that the people are upset with the guards, but ends up surrendering. Rick comes to visit Dwight in jail. He explains he knows that the way the Commonwealth does things is wrong, but starting a war isn’t the way to fix things. Dwight is making everything worse. Mercer overhears the conversation and tells Rick the Commonwealth needs him as their leader.
A boy new to the Hilltop asks to sit with Sophia to eat. Carl smiles at her, but Sophia rolls her eyes. Eugene wakes up to Stephanie pinning her wig back in place. He thinks she is beautiful without it, but she wears it to make herself feel better and insists he leaves the room while she gets it reattached. Rick tells Michonne about Dwights actions and Mercer’s words. Michonne knows the Commonwealth needs change, but points out they need Rick’s mind, not his guns. Elodie’s friends are worried she has switched side since she has found her mom. Magma warns Heath that something might be coming. She doesn’t want Alexandria worried, but ready. Rick and Dwight meet with Michonne. She is glad to hear that Rick wants to solve the issues reasonably and Pamela allows herself in with her guards. Michonne is upset that Pamela brought guards. Dwight is upset Pamela is there. He knows she will never relinquish her power and holds his gun to her head. Rick shoots Dwight in the head. Pamela thanks Rick. Laura mourns Dwight. Rick is furious with Michonne for backing him into a corner rather than trusting him not to be pushed to violence. Michonne thinks Rick just avoided a war. Rick wonders if he joined the wrong side of one.
VOLUME 32 (#187-193)
Governor Pam address the Commonwealth to explain there was an assassination attempt and Rick saved her life. She introduces him and he tells them he is looking to help find the peaceful solution to their issues. Mercer goes home to find Princess has broken into his apartment to get her stuff. She doesn’t want to be there when things get bad. Before the zombies, her mother remarried a man with a grown son. Princess would act out and they would lock her in a closet and beat her. She has to keep a positive attitude and she can’t do it with everything falling apart around her, so she is leaving. Magma asks Siddiq to go to the Hilltop and grab a few people to go to the Commonwealth with him to check on Rick. He agrees and leaves right away. Sophia is walking around with the new kid, Josh, and they are sharing their life stories. Carl is happy to see Sophia enjoying herself, but Lydia gets jealous. Carl tries to reassure her that Sophia is just a friend. He wants to be with Lydia because she is like him - a monster. Lydia is upset that he calls her that and storms off. Mercer goes out to blow off steam by killing zombies. Laura joins him and suggests they are frustrated about the same things. Michonne finds Rick at a table at a coffee shop and apologizes. She points out that Dwight has a history of pulling guns on leadership and that his death was inevitable. Rick apologizes as well. They both agree they want to help fix the Commonwealth without ruining it. Siddiq arrives at the Hilltop, but the guards have gotten too relaxed from all the quiet they’ve had lately and almost don’t hear him coming. Once inside the Hilltop, Siddiq talks to Maggie. She agrees it is odd Rick has been gone so long with no word. Jesus, Aaron, and Dante all agree to go with him. They plan to check it out from a distance. As they are getting ready to leave, Carl comes up and is ready to go. He refuses to not go if his dad might be in trouble. He is able to explain himself to Lydia - she helped him get past his injury and act normal again. She understands and is glad they help each other. Mercer talks to the other guards in the locker room. He points out they are all frustrated with Governor Pam and the other high ranking officials. He says they can peacefully change the leadership because they hold the power. Lance walks in during the speech.
Mercer is hoping for backup from the other guards, but he doesn’t get their support. George just turns away from him. Maggie has a bad feeling about the Commonwealth, but she couldn’t leave Hershel long enough to go with the men she sent to check out the situation. She admits to Brianna she isn’t sure if she should have sent an entire army. Brianna tells her to go with her gut. Jesus’ group runs into Princess on their way to the Commonwealth, but she runs away from them. Jesus chases after her, but runs into a horde of zombies. Carl rushes in to save him. Princess saves them both, but they lose two horses. She shows them where they can hide while Aaron and Dante drive the zombies away. Governor Pam goes to visit Mercer in jail. He is furious that she constantly used him and risked his life to be a queen. He doesn’t want her son to take over the Commonwealth. Eugene is working on the train engine when Stephanie tells him the guards are being sent back to the Commonwealth because of Mercer’s attempted mutiny. Rick goes to Michonne to tell her about Mercer being put into jail. She already knows the Commonwealth is splitting into two sides. He knows their presence is fueling the fire because there were not other options for leadership before they arrived. He knows Laura is egging on the revolution. The guards start pressuring George to join Mercer’s side. He leaves and is confronted by Laura. Princess tells Jesus and Carl that things are escalating at the Commonwealth. She tells them she left because people are dangerous. Carl points out how she saved them. She agrees to go back to the Commonwealth with them. Meanwhile, a group of zombies are sneaking up on Eugene and Stephanie as they work on the train.