I've only read one book this week. That book, The Walking Dead #100, made this a different kind of new comic day. Admittedly, I've been caught up in the hype of the series reaching triple digits and the multiple variants (the Quitely, Silvestri, Ottley, and both Adlard covers came home with me), but that's only part of what set this Wednesday apart.
Kirkman and Adlard have been absolutely firing on all cylinders with this book for quite some time, but recently, with the "Something to Fear" arc, they've had me salivating for the next issue before I even reach the letters page of the one I have in-hand. If you were a fan of Lost when it aired, you might know the feeling – nervously glancing from the TV to the clock during the last 5 minutes of each episode, just hoping they squeeze out a little more story before it ends.
Ever since the heroes of Walking Dead took out the cannibals way back in the "Fear the Hunters" arc, they've felt strong. They've felt like they can handle anything that is thrown at them. Unfortunately, the stories eventually became less interesting because of this empowerment. It felt as if the deck was no longer stacked against them. In "Something to Fear," Kirkman gives us just that and restores that dread these characters once felt. With issue 100, he's given us a reason to fear for the characters he's made us love.
That's why I have a pile of what looks to be really, ridiculously fun comics just sitting on the table next to me. I'm in no mood for fun. Not after what Kirkman put me through this afternoon.
If you're reading this before you've read issue 100, I implore you to stop here. Kirkman crafted an excellent, emotional story in this book and you shouldn't allow me to ruin it for you with a cheap spoiler. Go buy the book. Don't flip through it. Just buy it. Buy it, and read it straight through, then come back. You'll thank me later. Spoilers below.
The brutal killing of Glenn by the group's newest adversary, Negan, left me with a sinking, sick feeling in my gut. The brutality of the killing itself is bone-chilling. To see something so awful happen to the series' most likable character, in front of those who care for him the most (yes, that means Maggie and Sophia), was the Walking Dead's most powerful scene to date.
In Glenn's death, Negan reveals that our characters are once again vulnerable in this world and that the hurt is only just beginning. The issue left me choked up, shaken, and a little reluctant to see what happens next. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to read the next issue, but I'm terrified for our protagonists and that makes this series everything it should be.
So, sorry Spidey. Sorry, Bats. Sorry, Bloodshot. You've gotta wait. Tonight, I mourn my good friend, Glenn, and I reflect on how effective the comic book medium can be.