Gabriel became the first casualty in the Whisperer war in last month’s issue. The Kingdom settlement sends their strongest soldiers to help Rick’s group in the war, while the Saviors continue to refuse. Dwight’s army faces off with the first wave of walkers as Michonne and Jesus arrive as reinforcements. Beta catches Dwight off guard in a stealth attack and Negan comes to the rescue. The Walking Dead continues the Whisperer war in issue 159 with a showdown between Negan and Beta.
Title: The Walking Dead
– Issue 159: The Whisperer War Part 3 of 6
Author: Robert Kirkman
Publisher: Image Comics
Page count: 26
Genre: Post – Apocalyptic
Publication Date: October 5, 2016
Issue 159 of The Walking Dead starts off strong as Negan continues to prove himself an important asset in this war by rescuing Dwight from Beta. Dwight repays him by returning Negan’s signature weapon, a barbed-wire bat named Lucille, back into the hands of her owner. Negan’s face when he grasps the base of Lucille and proceeds to beat the guts out of Beta is a face of pure blood-lust. This moment of triumph is immediately shut down when Lucille breaks in half on Beta’s back. If you have followed That Walking Dead comic until this point, this inanimate object is more so a character, and Negan has an emotional connection with.
Despite this setback, Dwight’s group wins victory over the first wave of walkers and the whisperers retreat into the forest. During their retreat, the whisperers begin to question what is under Beta’s walker-skinned mask. One whisperer is ballsy enough to lift Beta’s mask to reveal his face, but Beta quickly shuts the whisperer down by stabbing him through the mouth. The whisperers send another wave of walkers towards Dwight’s group leaving them with no choice but to split up. Dwight’s group splits up into four as he leads one group, while Michonne, Jesus, and Magna lead the other groups.
Carl and Lydia reach a pivotal moment in their relationship as they begin discussing who’s group will win. Lydia is convinced that the whisperers only know survival and “have no sense of self”, which is why they wear masks. Carl insists that the whisperers have never faced a group as strong and organized. This debate ends with Lydia telling Carl she doesn’t love him, but Carl thinks she is bluffing as a way to avoid the inevitable misfortune that is going to overcome them. This segment ends with Lydia leaving Carl, and his good friend Sophia stares up at him in his grief.
The turmoil in the Kingdom is subsiding as William asserts his leadership and insists that the Kingdom will help Rick’s group in the war to help themselves as well. The Walking Dead issue 159 ends fervently as Dwight wields his crossbow (Daryl much?) and puts an arrow through one of the whisperers heads, peels the walker skin off the whisperer face, and puts the skin on his own face. The next issues of The Walking Dead should present Dwight’s idea to go undercover as a member of the whisperers.
This was another great segment of The Whisperer War packed with blood, death, and uncertainty. Will the death of Lucille push Negan back over the edge? Will readers get to see who is under Beta’s mask? Will the love story between Lydia and Carl come to an end, maybe leaving an opening for Sophia? Robert Kirkman has so many layers of this war brewing, leaving readers eager to read the next issue.