“Life and Death” – the 24th volume of The Walking Dead comics – certainly ended with a big shocker, and the first thing I have to say about “No Turning Back” is that, while parts of it were interesting, it felt way too repetitive at times.
To be honest, this is part of the reason I’m glad that I don’t have the time to buy the issues and review them one by one – because out of the five included in “No Turning Back” I would say that most of them were a lot of talk and not much action. Of course stories have to be developed and not every issue (or even every volume) can include a major event like twelve people being killed to stake out a border between Alexandria and the other communities and what the Whisperers deem as “their territory”.
I think the problem with “No Turning Back” stems from the fact that we don’t know much about a lot of the people who died – and even less about the loved ones left behind. Not to say that I didn’t care about their friends and families wanting revenge; it was a totally understandable reaction and I would likely feel the same way if I was living in that world and someone I loved was killed so horrifically. But after everything that happened when Rick seriously underestimated Negan and the Saviors, I was solidly on his side of things here – yes, something needed to be done, but they also needed to take stock of their situation first and not just blindly attack the Whisperers.
Speaking of the Saviors (though I suppose they don’t call themselves that anymore), wow was Dwight frustrating in this volume. I really thought for a moment that Laura would be able to drag him back from the brink, but he left their compound anyway. Which is cowardly on so many levels, due to timing and the fact that he left behind a bunch of angry people – people who didn’t get to see everything that went down with Rick in Alexandria.
Which was something, by the way. Even if it was dragged out, the fact that it included Rick going to Negan for advice and then nearly getting beaten to death by Morton and Vincent, was certainly nerve-wracking. Perhaps more so because Andrea wasn’t there, and knowing that she will be gone for an indeterminate amount of time makes me seriously concerned for both her and Rick. I know it’s probably silly, but I feel like as long as they’re together nothing will happen to them. (Ha, didn’t mean to make a reference to the show’s season six finale, but there ya go.) Obviously the comics have proven over and over again that no one is really ever “safe”, yet here I am feeling far more assured when Rick and Andrea are with each other and way more on the edge when they’re not.
Of course this meant that when Lydia pulled a gun on Andrea I had a mini freak out…especially when there were several panels in which we weren’t sure whether Carl was pointing his gun at Andrea or at Lydia. Thankfully he isn’t so head-over-heels that he would let Lydia threaten his mother, though. Couple of points for Carl, there.
Meanwhile, Andrea’s insistence that the few people who saw them along the way not tell anyone where she, Carl, and Lydia are seems like something that’s going to come back and bite her in the ass. And even though Rick had things in control at the end of “No Turning Back”, I’m still not too fond of him hitting Maggie, and while the military is a good idea, the final panel of this volume pictured Negan looking far too pleased…and Negan being pleased is not something I prefer to see. Especially in a volume that also featured Rick finding out about Maggie executing Gregory for attempting to poison her.
As you can tell, all of those repetitive pages were broken up at least a little bit by some interesting events. I think the storytelling in “No Turning Back” could have been truncated quite a bit, but in a comic series that’s run this long, eventually there will be filler issues. I just wish this volume hadn’t included so many of them.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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