The Walking Dead #167: A Certain Doom Recap and Review:
With a cliffhanger of an ending that had many fans on edge, issue #166 left us with the death of Sherry, who had taken over The Saviors, and the lingering question of the fate of major character, and my personal favorite, Andrea. Do we finally have the resolution to that burning question? No more suspense, let’s get into the recap, and as always: READER BEWARE!!! There will be SPOILERS AHEAD! So, if you haven’t picked up the latest issue yet at your favorite comic book hangout, or digitally yet, what are you waiting for? Here we go:
When we last left Rick and Andrea, she had collapsed from the injuries she suffered just after the accidental death of Sherry. As we open on the first few pages of this issue, Andrea is apologizing to Rick for messing up and getting herself hurt. As Andrea tells Rick she’s sorry for what happened, she collapses into his arms, and Rick screams out for help. Michonne rushes in to see what’s happening, as Rick holds Andrea close to him, tears streaming from his eyes. Michonne thinks the worst, but Rick reassures her that Andrea is alive, and has only passed out. It’s at this point, three pages in that we learn Andrea’s fate from Michonne, she had been bitten. She tells Rick that Andrea wouldn’t leave until the job of forcing the walkers into the ocean was done, regardless of how injured she was.
As the two talk, in walks Dwight, who sees Sherry lying on the floor dead. He picks her up, and asks Rick what she did. Rick tells him it was all an accident, and as he and Michonne carry Andrea out to her bed, Dwight looks at them in anger. Lying comfortably in bed as the virus starts to take hold, Rick asks Andrea how it happened, and she explains to him that as Eugene got surrounded, she got careless and rushed into save him, however she lets Rick know that he saved them. Rick can’t seem to handle the fact that he knows he’s going to lose Andrea, and she tells him not to cry until she dies. As Rick leaves, Carl walks in and Andrea asks if he is still with Lydia. Carl says he is, and Andrea, who Carl calls mom, explains to him how relationships are what the person makes of them. She tells him, no one is special, and what is most important in any reationship is being happy. She let’s Carl know that after she dies, he’ll be fine and he knows it.
Outside the room, Michonne comes up to Rick who is sitting on the floor, his head down thinking. He let’s her know that he is barely keeping it together, and Michonne tells him that he has to keep living. She reminds him of the time after Ezekiel was killed when he told her, “There’s something wrong with all of us.” and that that’s how they keep going. Michonne lets Rick know that she’ll always be there for him…until she won’t. As she lays her head on Rick’s shoulder, Eugene approached crying, saying it was all his fault. Rick tells him it wasn’t and that he shouldn’t be sorry.
What follows on the next page is one that no character in The Walking Dead comics has ever had. Every character in the town comes into the room to say their most heartfelt goodbyes to Andrea, the last one being Rick who looks at her. He tells her that after everything he sacraficed and learned , everything they did as a group to try and fix things, the one thing he couldn’t do is protect her. She tells him she’s not special or immortal, and she let’s him know that people die, and that people will always die no matter what. She tells him that at least she’s not out in the woods somewhere being torn apart by a walker, or bleeding to death, that she’s in her bed surrounded by the people she loves and then goes on to joke, saying Rick is going to miss their little pep talks.
As day turns to night, Rick wonders what is going on with the Saviors who are still in the town, and what’s going to happen when they find out about Sherry. Andrea says Dwight is handling it, as Carl is laying his head on the bed next to her. He wakes up and Andrea tells him to go to sleep in his room, and that she’ll see him in the morning. Rick lets her know, she means the world to him and Andrea tells him nothing needs to be said. As the virus coninues to take hold, Rick tells her he can’t do it anymore, he can’t go on. Andrea tells him, that he’s the one who built a community and brought people together and that makes him strong. He has to keep going because that’s what the people need. As he tells her he loves her, she replies, “Yeah you do”, as tears flow from her eyes. Rick takes her hand, and as he does, Andrea dies.
Through his tears and grief, Rick picks up the gun he had with him and points it at her head to stop her from turning, but he can’t do it and throws the gun on the floor. He climbs into bed with her, holding her lifeless body tight and says he can’t go on without her. He says he can’t go on anymore, that he won’t, when Andrea comes back as a walker and grabs his shirt. He fights her off, but she fights harder, knocking Rick to the floor and climbing on top of him. She moves in close to bite him, but he grabs the gun and puts it to her head. As tears stream from his eyes, the gun is knocked from his hand as walker Andrea continues to fight him. Rick finally knocks her off of him, and pulls a knife from his pants and sticks it into her head, killing her once and for all. He grabs a towel and puts it to her head where the wound is, and then collapses on the side of the bed, crying. He walks downstairs looking for Carl, who is outside with the rest of the survivors.
Carl tells Rick it’s alright, and Rick grabs his son. Rick falls to his knees as everyone looks on, and in a moment of solidarity for their leader, they put one hand on each others shoulders. Rick stands up, and tells the group to follow him, that they have a lot of work to do.
The final page of the issue is a letter written by Robert Kirkman, that is very genuine and heartfelt. He explains why Andrea had to die, and that he even cried when he was writing it. Just as she was my favorite character, you can tell that she was his also. As he says, “Andrea is dead and the story moves on.” That’s all we can hope for. Even though our favorite characters may die, sometimes it just has to be that way. I know a lot of the fans will miss her, but the story will continue, and hopefully for many years to come.
One last thing, I just want to say that this is the first time a comic has actually brought a tear to my eye, not only in the fantastic way it was laid out and written, but also the letter from Kirkman to the fans at the end. Andrea was one of those characters that everyone could associate with, and to watch her grow from losing her sister Amy, to becoming the total badass that she did, was a joy. It seems just when he can’t top himself, Kirkman pulls the rug out from under you and we get one of the best issues of The Walking Dead ever in my opinion. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. Though we do know what the cover to the next issue looks like, and it may be the return of Negan to his former glory.