MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW
“All Out War” is finally over. The heroes have won, Negan’s been imprisoned by Rick, and Dwight has taken control over Negan’s group and promises to make things better. I’m actually pretty happy that there were no major deaths, and it’s nice that Negan is still out there, but unfortunately that doesn’t excuse the sloppy writing and poor dialogue. The ultimate conclusion of the war was extremely rushed and awkward, and it just overall wasn’t a very satisfying conclusion to a generally pretty entertaining story arc.
The finale of “All Out War” had me flashing back to the finale of Season Three of the television show, I feel like the ideas were all there to make it a good ending, but the execution itself was just very sloppy(Oh Andrea, she has staring contests with Milton in heaven now, that stupid, stupid girl). The final fight between Rick and Negan is superbly conveyed by Charlie Adlard, who has been killing it issue by issue despite the limited time he has to do the work with the bi-weekly schedule. He does a great job of conveying that “Oh fuck” look on Negan’s face, and I also enjoyed the way he drew Rick’s face in that panel where he’s telling that one dude to save Negan’s life.
The dialogue is really bad, it’s all just very stiff and robotic, which is surprising because even with the most absurd storylines Kirkman usually still manages to show off some great dialogue. That scene where Carl goes to kill Negan and Rick persuades him against it was ridiculous, it takes about half a panel till Carl’s just says “Okay.” and decides not to do it. I was getting a very Andrew Lincoln-y vibe off of Rick in this issue, one has to wonder if this is intentional and Lincoln has inspired the way Kirkman’s writing Rick here.
There isn’t enough Ninja Jesus in here either, I hope that he starts to get some more focus because he really is my favorite character, no doubt. Maggie has a nice little scene where she agrees that Glenn would like keeping Negan alive, even if it did feel a bit convenient. Rick’s final “You’re fucked” to Negan was one of the few satisfying parts of the issue, it was a perfect way to end the issue.
Overall, the finale was incredibly disappointing. Kirkman’s heart was in the right place, but the issue itself was poorly done, and felt rushed. Still I’m excited to see what next issue has in store, as there seems to be some sort of time jump taking place. So yeah.
ISSUE GRADE: C 75%
STORY ARC GRADE: B- 83%
+ JESUS LIVES
+ CHARLIE ADLARD
+ SOME OF THE IDEAS WEREN’T HORRIBLE BUT…
-…MOST OF THE EXECUTION WAS