As the fair opens at Alexandria, old friends return from afar and new adversaries make their introductions.
So it seems my hope that the Whisperers could find a way to be amicable with Rick and the rest of the colonies was short lived. It’s hard to describe them, because at times they almost seem savage-like. But when you take another look, you realize they live a more simplistic life and a judgement like that is like the European settlers’s idea of Native Americans. Regardless of how you want to look at them, they are extremely hostile and even barbaric in their practices. The idea that it’s okay for any man to rape a teenage girl is really hard to swallow. It’s even worse when the leader of the group is Lydia’s mother and she isn’t helping to protect her. An interesting thing that was said by Alpha, is that they are animals and that Rick and the other survivors are still pretending they aren’t.
It still doesn’t excuse any of the savagery that’s occurring within their camps, but in this world, it’s not that surprising. After all, we’ve dealt with madmen, zombie fighting pits, cannibals, a harem… so is a group living among the dead and viewing themselves as the enlightened ones so far-fetched? Not at all.
After several volumes, we finally got to see Michonne return to the picture. Of course, she’s having trouble coping with the idea that she deserves happiness with Ezekiel. Now, when I first saw her in this volume, I couldn’t help saying “Argh.” I’m sorry, but she looks like a pirate. I’m not entirely surprised by emotional issues or even that she ran away, but it was hard to keep a serious face as I was reading because I kept saying her lines out loud like a pirate.
The great thing about these new volumes is the fact we get to see what’s happening in different communities. This particular one had issues dealing with those who were viewed as threats to the communities and the leaders. In Alexandria, Rick and Andrea argue about whether he should or shouldn’t have killed Negan. Truth is, his reasoning is solid. By not doing so, he’s been able to establish himself as a beacon of hope for a better future. This has inspired the communities to work together, hence the huge fair they are having.
Meanwhile, on the Hilltop, Maggie has to deal with the prospect of executing Gregory. The difference in her decision rests on the fact that Gregory has connections within their community (while Negan was in control of the Saviors and has no ties in Alexandria). He’s persuasive, manipulative and at times pitiful. This makes him a larger threat to Maggie and the community. A man like him could get enough people to see his point of view and all hell could break loose. Her decision, ironically, is just as sound as Rick’s in this matter.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, in case there’s someone who will want to read this volume after reading this review. What I can tell you is to be prepared for a shock at the end. I knew Alpha was up to something throughout the book. I knew she was dangerous. But I never would have guessed things would have turned out the way the did and for no other reason than she wanted to mark her territory.
Great volume and can I just say, I can’t wait for volume 25 to come out in March!
Pick up your copy on Amazon: The Walking Dead Vol. 23: Whispers to Screams by Robert Kirkman