***Warning: There are spoilers in this Walking Dead 184 review.***
The Walking Dead is back with issues 184! Based on the cover I thought that this issue would be a temporary departure from the plot we have seen in the past few issues. I was wrong, I know that now. You would think after all of these years I would have learned to not judge a book by its cover. More importantly, I should know better than to trust a Kirkman book by its cover. I have many times been misled by the covers of these issues. However, I thought the scene depicted on the cover was awesome. Let’s get into it.
The issue picks up where it leaves off. Pamela and Rick have arrived at The Commonwealth mid-riot. Rick does not seem very happy. Mercer tells Rick that he has never dealt with a riot before. It has been a long time since the apocalypse started. Not having a revolt until now seems like The Commonwealth has kept things under control. Think of all the internal conflict and rebellions that our survivors have been through. It wasn’t very long ago that someone tried to gank Rick.
Michonne puts herself at risk for Jerome. While this is a great gesture, it is not uncommon. Michonne has always served as the protector and will do what she thinks is right. The people of The Commonwealth, in light of their pre-apocalypse-esque, want blood for blood. They want the mob to kill the officer just like the officers killed on their own. Jerome returns the favor by protecting Michonne when she becomes overwhelmed by the mob.
The riot is then broken up by Mercer and the rest of the soldiers. I loved the one panel where the background is filled with the sounds of machine guns. I have always thought that The Walking Dead did a great job with action text.
Pamela and Mercer tell the people that they will get to the bottom of the issue and that violence is not the answer. This is very similar to the way American society works. People who commit crimes must go through the justice system. Though we love super heroes, our society often frowns upon real vigilante justice.
Michonne defends the officers that beat the citizen to death. She blames the attack on emotional escalation and not purposeful murder. Michonne expresses that she loves The Commonwealth because of its dedication to law and order, even if it is imperfect at times. She asks the court to drop all charges in an effort to get everyone to move on with their lives.
Rick is skeptical of Michonne’s defense of the soldiers. Michonne replies that she agrees for the most part. She likes how The Commonwealth emulates pre-apocalypse society. The Commonwealth still has all the negative baggage of pre-apocalypse America, but all of the great aspects are intact as well.
Here comes my favorite part of this issue. Eugene is going to fix up some trains! This is a really exciting development in the world of The Walking Dead. Up until now it has been all horses and siphoning gas. We have never really discussed large-scale transportation in this series. I am excited to see where this is going.
If anyone can accomplish this it is Eugene. He has made bullets. He has fixed radios. Most of the major advancements in world building have been due to Eugene’s technological prowess.
Since Carl has trained as a blacksmith I am hoping he will team up with Eugene to start the Alexandria Railroad. I also hope they call it something different. That was just the first thing that popped into my head.
The creation of the trains would allow for better transport and trading between the communities, including The Commonwealth. This is a genius way to bring some of The Commonwealth’s big world to the smaller communities. I am really happy that there has been a lot of world building this far into the series.
Pamela is shocked to see Rick helping clean up the town after the riots. Rick shows Pamela what a compassionate person he is and even makes a joke about “lending a hand” (yuk yuk). Rick’s kindness toward the community pressures a reluctant Pamela to help clean up as well.
Then her jerk of a son walks up. As we know from the past, Pamela’s son enjoys being at the top of The Commonwealth’s hierarchies. They do a great job of playing up the “snooty rich kid” archetype. He does not want to help with the cleanup efforts, much to the dismay of Dwight. In fact, Dwight does not seem to like the class system of The Commonwealth at all.
Hubba Hubba! Princess and Mercer are getting it on! Jokes aside, I am glad that these two decided to be a couple. Even though Mercer is a strong authoritarian figure he seems like he is a great dude.
Princess is crazy, but in a good way. It was nice to see these two characters be vulnerable with each other. Though the zombies may not be much of a problem anymore, the world is still very dangerous. It is always nice to see a little love created in such harsh times.
Two Commonwealth citizens approach Rick. They seem to have interest in moving to Alexandria. They hint at The Commonwealth having dark features under the surface. What could they be talking about?
It seems that The Commonwealth is being built up to show the flaws of our society in real life. At the same time, characters keep talking about The Commonwealth’s darkness. Are we going to find out that The Commonwealth is doing something crazy behind the scenes?
I have a feeling that we are only seeing the upper classes of The Commonwealth. The story is playing up class differences and hierarchies found within the societies. My guess is that we are going to find out that there is a large lower class that lives in either extreme poverty or abusive conditions.
Regardless, I hope that the darkness is revealed soon. It has been a while since we have had a war. The Whisperer War seems like a distant memory. We have spent the last year learning about how big the world can be.
How did you like this issue? Are you excited for the television show to come back this week? I can’t wait to see The Whisperers and how Rick is going to leave the show. I know a lot of other people have had this idea, but I am hoping they give Rick the fence post treatment.