A fortnight ago we summarised volumes 1-12 of The Walking Dead comics in the wake of the season 6 finale. Now we’re following through (take note, AMC) and finishing this series with volumes 13-24!
Abraham joins the work crew and saves a fellow worker, Holly, from certain death. In doing so, he highlights Alexandria’s naivety when it comes to the walker threat. The crew chief, Tobin, suggests to Douglas that Abraham replace him.
Rick becomes increasingly concerned that the residents can’t protect the town. Meanwhile, Gabriel tells Douglas that Rick and the group are bad and should be kicked out. Douglas, understanding what they had to do to survive, refuses.
Rick violently confronts a man called Pete after learning he is abusive towards his wife and son, even though Douglas tells him to let it go because of Pete’s role as doctor. Rick pulls a gun on Pete and Michonne knocks him out. He is detained but soon released with Douglas’s trust.
Soon after, Pete threatens Rick’s life and when Douglas’s wife tries to intervene, Pete slashes her throat. Rick pulls a gun on him and Douglas tells him to kill Pete.
Hundreds of walkers are soon attracted after a shoot-out between Alexandrians and bandits who have arrived after hearing Rick’s gunshot. Douglas confers leadership to Rick, seeing him as the leader the group needs.
The survivors regroup and try to contain the walkers that have amassed outside the walls, and Rick passes new rules for Alexandria; people can now be armed, housing will be consolidated to conserve power and the walls must be checked and patrolled.
A weakness in the wall, which was being dealt with by Rick and Abraham, allows walkers to get inside and a survivor is torn apart. Morgan gets bitten while helping Rick and Michonne amputates his infected arm, though he later dies.
A group of survivors are holed up in Rick’s house and they cover themselves in walker guts to escape the swarmed town. Jessie’s son, Ron, panics and yells which causes the walkers to attack.
Douglas shoots at the walkers but Ron is devoured. Jessie refuses to leave her son but won’t let go of Carl’s hand and, as she is eaten, Rick is forced to cut her hand off to free his son.
Chaos ensues and, in one of the most iconic scenes in the series, Carl is accidentally shot in the eye by Douglas. Denise helps Carl while Rick, along with the rest of the survivors, decimate the walkers.
The group burn their dead and Rick admits he was wrong to avoid large groups and that the key to surviving is to band together. Carl is in a coma and Rick expresses remorse over his past decisions to Andrea. After he has dinner with her, he goes home and uses the phone to ‘talk’ to Lori, who blames him for her and Judith’s death and Carl’s gunshot wound.
Carl wakes up and asks where his mother is, revealing that he has amnesia. Rick decides to tell him the truth and fills in his memory.
Three original Alexandrians, Nicholas, Olivia and Spencer, decide Rick is dangerous and has to be killed. Glenn overhears this and pulls a gun on Nicholas, who starts beating him. The situation is soon defused when Rick and the others show up, but tensions remain high.
Rick and Andrea kiss after he admits he feels like he died a long time ago and she tells him to come alive.
Although Rick and Andrea shared a moment in the previous volume, he rejects her, believing that everyone he gets close to dies.
Finding food soon becomes a major problem for the group. A man soon appears at the perimeter and outsmarts Michonne and Abraham, forcing them to take him to their leader. When Rick arrives, he introduces himself as Paul Monroe, or Jesus, his nickname. He tells them of his community, Hilltop, twenty miles away of about 200 people. He suggests trading, as they do with two other communities.
After some initial shock, Rick leaves for the community with Glenn, Andrea, Michonne and their prisoner, Jesus. After discovering Carl has snuck along, the group is attacked by walkers and Jesus disables them while still tied up, impressing Rick.
They arrive at Hilltop and are introduced to Gregory, the leader. Ethan, a community member returning from a trip where his partner was taken hostage by a man called Negan, stabs Gregory. Rick tackles him and when Ethan threatens to kill him, he uses his knife to slash his throat.
Jesus explains that Negan is the leader of a group of bandits called ‘The Saviours’ who demands the Hilltop give him half of everything they have or he’ll kill them. A plan is made for Rick’s group to be given supplies in exchange for stopping Negan.
On their way back from Hilltop, the group is surrounded by men on motorcycles, demanding their supplies as tribute to Negan. Rick believes them to be most of Negan’s forces and refuses. All but one are killed in a fight and Rick tells him to bring a message to Negan: the Hilltop is under Rick’s protection now.
In Alexandria, Maggie reveals she’s pregnant. Rick makes his case to the community and says they have nothing to offer except protection. Eugene and Abraham soon leave Alexandria to find equipment to make their own ammunition but Abraham is shot through the head with an arrow, killing him.
The Saviours, led by Dwight, take Eugene hostage and bring him to the gates of Alexandria, demanding to be let in. The residents open fire and Rick and Andrea attempt to chase Dwight, but turn back because of walkers.
Glenn and Maggie decide to move to Hilltop with Sophia, thinking it safer. Rick, Michonne, Heath, Glenn, Maggie, Carl, Sophia and a few others head for Hilltop and are surrounded by Negan and a large group of Saviours when they camp overnight. They force everyone to their knees.
Negan tells them Alexandria is his and he says he will execute someone to reinforce his point. He picks Glenn and the group is forced to watch as Negan beats him to death with a barb wire-wrapped baseball bat called ‘Lucille’. He then says he’ll visit them in one week to take half of everything they own.
They drop Maggie and Sophia off at Hilltop and Rick and the group arrive back at Alexandria to find it attacked. The gates held and Andrea and the residents managed to capture Dwight and kill a dozen Saviours before they left. Rick decides to let him go, wishing to live in peace. He tells his people Negan is too powerful to fight but secretly sends Jesus to trail Dwight back to Negan’s base.
Andrea is upset with Rick about freeing Dwight, and questions his plan. He tells her he is only acting frightened. Negan shows up and Rick lets him into the town. Carl confronts Negan and sneaks onto the Saviours’ truck to ride with them back to their compound.
Jesus is captured by Dwight after he discovers him following him, but he escapes. Carl shoots at a few Saviours and is brought before an amused Negan. He shows Carl his living area, which is full of women that he sleeps with. He makes Carl sing to Lucille and demonstrates his power by pressing a hot iron to a man named Mark’s face, claiming ‘Rules keep us alive’.
Jesus takes Rick, Andrea and Michonne to the Saviours’ compound to find Carl, and they run into Negan on the way, who teases that Carl is dead. Rick lashes out and Negan tells him he was just trying to get a rise from him.
Jesus shows Rick a place called The Kingdom where a man called Ezekiel and his tiger, Shiva, rule. Dwight shows up and tells them he can help them take Negan down, but Rick punches him in the face, thinking him a liar.
Gregory meets Ezekiel and voices his concerns about him. Jesus assures him he is pivotal to bringing down Negan. Michonne is also introduced to him and she does not get along with him at first, although warms to him after a while. A feast is held to celebrate the alliance.
Jesus, after a run-in with the Saviours, demands Gregory give him 20 able fighters to battle them. After calling him a coward for refusing, Gregory agrees.
Negan arrives at Alexandria and demands to be shown the best house so that he and his men can stay there. Spencer approaches him and suggests Negan kill Rick so Spencer can be leader. Negan, offended by this ‘no guts’ proposition, slashes his stomach and kills him.
Rick confronts Negan on their agreement and he is reminded that he didn’t kill Carl, so Rick backs down. As the Saviours load the supplies, Rick tells Andrea to head to the watch tower. As they leave, she takes out the truck driver.
Rick tells the Saviours to put down their guns but the Saviours hidden around Alexandria open fire. Carl shoots at Negan but hits Lucille instead and he threatens to kill Nicholas and Holly if Rick doesn’t hand over Carl. A Saviour called Conner brawls with Andrea in the watch tower and she throws him off it.
Before Negan can kill the Alexandrians, Jesus and Ezekiel as well as their fighters show up and force he and his forces to retreat.
Negan tells the Saviours they’re going to war.
In All Out War Part 1, Alexandria prepares for war with the Saviours. Rick hatches a plan to bring the fight to them.
Gregory declares the Hilltop is siding with the Saviours, causing a few of Rick’s men to leave, but not enough to have the impact Negan wanted. Frustrated, Negan kicks Gregory off the roof. This escalates into a shoot-out and Negan tells Dwight to get the Outpost Saviours to join the battle. Walkers soon surround the area and Rick’s group retreat, but Rick and Holly stay behind.
Holly overpowers Rick, jumps in a truck and rams it into the Saviours’ wall to help the walkers get in. Negan captures her, thinking she is Rick’s woman.
Ezekiel explains Shiva is not affected by the virus as they camp out that night. Rick says they will split into two groups to take out the Saviour outposts.
One of the Saviours tries to rape a tied-up Holly and Negan stops him, lecturing him on morality. He stabs him and apologises to Holly.
Rick’s group takes out the Saviours’ outposts and Ezekiel ends up surrounded. Shiva saves him but is devoured by walkers in the process. He opens up to Michonne about his losses and she punches him, reminding him he has people to lead.
Rick prepares for a counter-attack as Negan and his men attack the gates. Rick demands he give a hooded Holly back to them and Negan agrees, but she is revealed to be a walker. She bites Denise and hell breaks loose. Heath has his leg blown off by a grenade and Jesus kills some of the Saviours.
As Alexandria burns, Maggie and the Hilltop crew show up and start shooting at Negan and his men. Rick collapses from exhaustion as Negan declares victory outside the wall.
In Part 2, walkers overrun the ammo factory and Negan questions Eugene what he’s doing there.
Rick wakes up in the infirmary back in Alexandria where a new doctor, Harlan, has been monitoring him. He asks for Denise but is told she is in the final stages of the fever.
Rick plans to move everyone to the Hilltop after assessing the damage. Jesus tells him Eugene has been taken. Denise turns and attacks Heath and Michonne puts her down. Negan taunts a tied-up Eugene at the Sanctuary and says he must produce ammunition for the Saviours or he’ll lose his genitals. After he leaves to be with his wives, Dwight comes in and tells Eugene he plans to break him out of there and overthrow Negan. Harlan overhears and volunteers to join.
The Alexandrians, having left their home, arrive at Hilltop and settle in, with The Kingdom troops arriving soon after. Negan orders his followers to modify their weapons by smudging them on roamers, implying the slightest touch will cause a fever to set in.
As Negan and his followers prepare to attack, Harlan frees Eugene. They are caught by two Saviours but the duo join them instead of ratting them out. Negan arrives at the gates of Hilltop and demands to speak to Rick. The Saviours swarm the area and Negan and Dwight soon find themselves behind Rick. Negan orders him to shoot and, hesitantly, Dwight skewers Rick’s stomach, intentionally missing.
Negan and his men soon retreat as Andrea and the sharpshooters above start pelting them. As Rick is not suffering from a fever like some of the others cut with tainted weapons, he concludes that Dwight is an ally.
Negan arrives back at the Hilltop gates and is surprised to see Rick is still alive. Rick slashes his throat with a knife after Negan starts to come around to his way of thinking, and he attacks Rick, breaking his leg before passing out. He wakes up later and Rick tells him he’ll be locked up for the rest of his life.
This volume represents a time jump of several years and we now see the communities are thriving. The opening shows the survivors directing a herd and, after horse riding survivors disrupt their efforts, are saved by strangers led by a woman called Magna. They invite them to Alexandria.
In Alexandria, Carl demands to talk to Rick about something important, but Rick dodges it and says they’ll talk later. He goes outside to see a changed Alexandria, now completely rebuilt with several new buildings, crops and farms.
Rick greets the new survivors and after returning home, Carl takes the opportunity to have the talk with him. He wants to be a blacksmith under Earl Sutton at the Hilltop colony and, although Rick initially refuses because of his age, he agrees to think about it.
Later that night, Carl goes to the basement of an unknown house and talks to a figure in the shadows. He talks about a girl he thinks he has a crush on and the figure says that he enjoys the talks. Carl says he’s leaving but the figure asks if, after all this time, Carl still wants to kill him. Carl replies: “Yes Negan. You know I do.” This shocks Negan.
The next day, Carl confronts his father about feeling useless and doing nothing all day, to which Rick says he can go to Hilltop to become a blacksmith. Meanwhile, Magna and the other new arrivals don’t trust the Alexandrians and vow to find out what they’re hiding.
On their way to Hilltop, Rick is nearly bitten while fighting walkers, and a member of The Kingdom is beaten by Rick for not clearing the area. Magna and the other arrivals sneak into the jail at Alexandria and encounter Negan, who attempts to manipulate them into opening the cell. It doesn’t work and they leave hurriedly.
A duo from the community, Ken and Marco, head out to uncharted territory and are attacked by walkers who whisper, which terrifies them. Marco is found some time later dehydrated and starving, saying he had to leave Ken behind. Maggie sends a group including a man called Dante to find Ken.
At Hilltop, Rick is surrounded by admirers. Carl finds out Earl Sutton already has an apprentice, which upsets him, but Sutton takes him on anyway. Rick meets Maggie’s baby, Herschel, and she thanks him for his past actions.
In Alexandria, Magna and the survivors threaten Andrea. Dante and the search party are ambushed by walkers and after a fight which leaves several Hilltop people dead, Dante kills a roamer only to find out that it’s a female disguised as a walker. Before she died she said that the undead don’t notice whispers, which teases the introduction of the Whisperers.
In Alexandria, after defusing hostility between Magna’s group and the Alexandrians, Andrea fills them in on the events of the past few years. She reveals The Saviours are still active as part of the communities and are led by Dwight. Meanwhile, Rick leaves Hilltop.
At Eugene’s house, it is revealed that Rosita cheated on him and is pregnant with the other man’s child, but Eugene agrees to raise it as his own. Jesus is informed that a patrolman has gone silent. While rushing to investigate, a ‘herd’ of people disguised as roamers follow.
The roamers following Jesus and other community members attack and all are killed except Jesus, who manages to take one of them prisoner as he fights his way out. Dante and his deceased group have been gone for two days and Gregory confronts Maggie at Hilltop, telling her to send out more people to find them, but she refuses.
Carl is put in a cell after defending himself and Sophia against bullies in the community who severely beat them, almost killing them in the process. The parents of the attackers do not agree that they would have killed Sophia and Carl, which causes problems in the community. Gregory plots to kill Maggie and seeks the parents’ help, but they refuse. However, one of the parents changes his mind and agrees to help kill Maggie if Carl is killed too.
Jesus questions his prisoner, 16 year old Lydia, who reveals the Whisperers try to co-operate with walkers and that they don’t kill them. She soon bonds with Carl, who tells her about Hilltop.
Sophia wakes up and tells Maggie what happened. Maggie vows punishment for the boys who attacked her daughter and lets Carl out of his cell. He in turn convinces Maggie to let Lydia out too, on the condition that she is his responsibility.
Gregory attempts to poison Maggie but Jesus witnesses it and attacks him. She recovers quickly and says that he would make a terrible leader seeing as he can’t even poison her correctly. He is locked up.
Carl shows Lydia around Hilltop. She takes off his glasses and licks the hole where his eye used to be, saying it is sexy. She then asks him if he has had sex before and tells him she can show him how. Afterwards, she reveals that she was regularly raped and that sex was different with Carl. She says she wants to stay.
Soon a group of a dozen or so Whisperers land outside the gates and the leader, Alpha, says they will trade Ken and Dante for her daughter, Lydia. Although she expressed a wish to stay, Lydia decides to go back to her group to avoid conflict.
Carl soon leaves Hilltop to chase Lydia and the Whisperers, leaving his hat and glasses behind.
Ezekiel and a group from The Kingdom meet Rick and a group of Alexandrians at the coast to greet Michonne. Ezekiel, nervous to meet her again, says he was keeping her katana warm for her. Rick talks to her and she reveals she left because it didn’t feel right being there, happy with Ezekiel after all that she’s done. Rick tells her she deserves happiness.
At Hilltop, Maggie and the others discover that Carl is missing and presume he went after ‘the Whisperer girl’. After a brief rest, Carl wakes up to find Alpha and the Whisperers right in front of him, who demand to know if he is following them. He says he just wants to make sure Lydia is okay and they invite him to come with them.