A twist-filled finale for the most recent lull in the TV show has led fans of The Walking Dead to expect the unexpected in the series’ attempts to keep them interested. But in Robert Kirkman’s ongoing comics, the reveals are also alive and well — especially with the coming of the arc tantalizingly titled New World Order.
**Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead #175. Avoid if you want to read the issue**
The human survivors wandering The Walking Dead #175 are a jaded lot who’ve seen plenty of groups and communities come and go. Now they find one that isn’t as hardscrabble as the ragtag Sanctuaries and Hilltops of their past. In the Commonwealth, which the comic has been teasing for a while, Michonne, Magna, Yumiko, Eugene, Siddiq, and Princess find more than they ever bargained for. What once was a simple voice on a radio is now a huge, sprawling, well-populated reality.
Here the title of the arc gets plenty of play as the group meets Commonwealth entry head Lance Hornsby and his flanking of futuristic, stormtrooper-esque soldiers. They welcome the survivors into a community of (allegedly) 50,000 that has its own sports stadium and towering missing persons wall. The massive scale of this city residing in the heart of Ohio, along with the title, hints at some unseemly control over the survivors as well as the walkers -- though nothing of the sort has been seen in the comics yet. No, as of now, there’s trust and eased tensions thanks to the us-against-them mentality smoothing over all human relations in the zombie apocalypse.
Hardened riot police aside, as if fans could brush them aside when they’ve seen communities on much smaller scales turn sour, the wall of the lost also suggests a big change for the book. On it, among the thousands of hopeful pictures seeking lost loved ones, is a picture of Michonne. On it is written “Have you seen my mom?”, which means that her daughter Elodie, assumed dead, was alive within the Commonwealth -- at least at one point. Now -- with a daughter to find -- the scale of the city isn’t just daunting, it’s antagonistic.