THE WALKING DEAD #175 BY ROBERT KIRKMAN, CHARLIE ADLARD, AND STEFANO GAUDIANO
Plot 90%
Characterization 95%
Artwork 90%
Summary
THE WALKING DEAD #175 is the beginning of 'New World Order'. Robert Kirkman delivers fantastic characterization, and the artwork from Charlie Adlard and Stefano Gaudiano add even more to this characterization. After last month's stand alone issue, you can't miss this comic!
92 %
Excellent Beginning

THE WALKING DEAD #175 kicks off a new story arc: ‘New World Order.’ After a few months, Rick’s scouts have made it across Pennsylvania and to Ohio. Being so far from Alexandria, this new arc opens up a can of worms for our heroes. Will they make it back to Rick and company? Will this newly discovered civilization become a blessing or curse? And will we ever meet Stephanie? THE WALKING DEAD #175 questions all of this and more!

Always With The Questions

After delivering a stand-alone story in THE WALKING DEAD #174, Robert Kirkman continues the main story of Michonne and company. He left us with a cliffhanger, with guns and lights in our protagonists’ faces. This series is known for cliche cliffhangers, but this one, in particular, had me curious due to the nature of the situation. I knew the majority would survive, but would that entail the death of one?

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No, a death does not occur: instead, we meet Lance Hornsby, the leader of this commonwealth. Lance is eccentric and rather humorous. He questions the crew and ensures that the last thing he wishes to do is kill them. All the while Eugene is in a sort of fit: he wants to see Stephanie. Lance tries to explain that Stephanie wasn’t meant to contact them in the first place, but Eugene doesn’t listen. Eventually, the questions are squared away, and Lance invites the crew back to the commonwealth where he reluctantly tells them where Stephanie is located.

THE WALKING DEAD #175
Image courtesy of Image Comics

On the way, Lance passes out hilariously. Michonne looks gloomy until one of Lance’s accompanying soldiers assures her that while Lance is a prick, he’s good for the job. They’re all going to be safe and enjoy their stay. A brief zombie ambush occurs, but the crew makes it to the commonwealth, learning about the strong population of fifty thousand. But what’s most curious? There’s a billboard outside the city limits with photos of loved ones. It’s rather morose, but Michonne finds a photo that may change her character for the rest of the series.

THE WALKING DEAD #175
Image courtesy of Image Comics

The Reality of The Situation

There are many things about THE WALKING DEAD #175 that I love. Robert Kirkman is very true to his characters and adds depths to even the no names. Princess is comedically feisty; Eugene is a grouch; Michonne is stern but understanding. Then there are the nameless soldiers, dropping various curse words when the time is appropriate. Why do I enjoy this cursing? It’s accurate.

If a twelve-year-old girl were commenting on my uniform while guns were in her face, I’d probably drop an obscenity of shock. Or if a hoard of zombies bum rushed their way through my troops, I’d certainly shout out the Lord’ name in vain. These small touches are what makes this fictional apocalypse relatable.

And then there’s Lance, a politician who clearly is dirty yet has the smile to convince you otherwise. As mentioned, he’s quite funny in how he talks to others. Robert Kirkman times his panels well with his comic deliveries, allowing the art to speak for the work. All of this helps move the plot along. The pacing is great, and when we finally reach the commonwealth, it doesn’t seem rushed or dragged out. This is typical of the series as a whole, but it stands out well in this particular issue.

The Art of THE WALKING DEAD #175

THE WALKING DEAD #175
Image courtesy of Image Comics

And that’s where Charlie Adlard and Stefano Gaudiano come in. Their artwork is, as always, on point. But while in previous issues I complimented them on their depictions of buildings and monuments, it is in this issue that I must commend them on their facial expressions.

Just looking above, you see Princess deliver her insane spiel about her name. Afterwards, Lance has the look of annoyance, as if he’d never come across such a ragtag team of individuals before. It shows Lance is a man easily annoyed, but it also shows he’s willing to present that annoyance humorously; to me, it makes his political background that much more believable. He’s a jerk and an ass kisser.

Gaudiano’s dark inks are solid in this issue as well. Much of the issue takes place at night. Gaudiano gives just the right amount of light at the appropriate times: flashlights blaring through the darkness and gunfire raging through the emptiness of it all.

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Final Thoughts on THE WALKING DEAD #175

I genuinely don’t have any gripes with this issue. While I wasn’t blown away by a whole lot of it, I wasn’t left confused or disappointed. I wish Magna and Yukimo spoke more, but I foresee them conspiring in their own way as we enter the commonwealth in the next issue. And that has me so excited to say!

What will be inside the commonwealth? Lance claims the population is very high. He also claims they have organized sporting events and musical concerts. What!? Is this for real? Or will this be another Governor situation? Only time will tell.

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