The inevitable war between the Whisperers and Rick’s group in Alexandria has begun. Issue 158 continues off where Gabriel takes post at the watch tower as Dwight and his soldiers wait on the front lines. The hoard of walkers advance toward Dwight’s position, to mark the second part of “The Whisperer War”.
Title: The Walking Dead
– Issue 158: The Whisperer War Part 2 of 6
Author: Robert Kirkman
Publisher: Image Comics
Page count: 25
Genre: Post – Apocalyptic
Publication Date: September 7, 2016
Issue 158 of The Walking Dead is full of blood and action-filled carnage, as “The Whisperer War” shows its first clash. It becomes clear that the Whisperer army is like nothing Rick’s group has ever encountered before. The Whisperers strategically fight in the middle of a walker hoard as a stealth tactic to push in toward the enemy and kill them with their blade. Most of Dwight’s soldiers don’t even see them coming, because the Whisperer army blends in completely with the the walker hoard. This issue marks a handful of casualties, most notably with one key character who has been fleshed out in this series. Most of issue 158 is a grid-based layout, but toward the end of the issue it expands into a gruesome aerial view to show the battle transpire.
The grid-based layout allowed for Kirkman to jump between groups of characters and see how every faction within the different settlements are responding to the unfolding war. People within these groups are coming into conflict with one another, creating a tense atmosphere when cooperation is needed most. The Sanctuary settlement, previously led by Negan, turns down the request to send soldiers to help Alexandria. The war with the Whisperers initially seemed to be a big unifying point for all of the allied settlements, but now hostility is surfacing.
Issue 158 ends with Negan trying to establish trust with Dwight and in the midst of war, Dwight has no choice. Dwight’s troops are getting boxed in by the Whisperers and the walker hoard. Beta moves up toward Dwight for the kill, until Negan intervenes and wacks Beta down before he can attack. Negan now has Beta in a vulnerable position. Will Negan take down the Whisperers second in command, leaving them with no leader?
Kirman packs in many groups of characters perspectives during the beginning of “The Whisperer War” using the grid-based layout, then stunningly pans out a repulsive panorama view of the blood-filled war. Yet another war in The Walking Dead, that is executed so uniquely from the previous wars. I can’t wait to see what other sanguinary images Kirkman will depict in “The Whisperer War” and what key characters will fall victim to the Whisperers.