'The Walking Dead' Issue 169: A Filler Done Well

'The Walking Dead' Issue 169: A Filler Done Well

The Walking Dead's comics have had their fillers, but this one does it well.
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The latest installment of "The Walking Dead" comic was just released on July fifth, and what it lacked in action it made up for in plot. Although the whisperers have been taken care of as of now and Alexandria is being rebuilt (again), there are other communities just states away, and Negan is let out for good. Let’s get started!

With that said, this is a non-spoiler free review and also highly opinionated. Proceed with caution.

In the beginning of the issue, and in the sneak preview released earlier this week, we see Carl and Lydia sitting around Andrea’s grave. Carl reflects back on the first time he started to call Andrea ‘mom’, which was after he had come confessed to killing Ben after Ben had murdered his brother, Billy, both deaths of which happened in issue 61. He says that Rick had once told him, “ your parents love you no matter what. They can be ashamed of you or disappointed in you, and they can even not like who you are in the moment, but they always love you.” And so, in response to his confession, Andrea cries, and says that she loves Carl, and thus the beginning of their familial relationship and the ending of the scene.

I thought this story telling of Andrea and Carl’s relationship was very well done and solidified their relationship and why Carl was accepting of Rick and Andrea’s relationship- he is a teenager after all. The only complaint I have is why he had to tell Lydia. I still do not understand her character completely, or what she has to offer to the story, and every time I see a scene with her it does nothing to tell what her character has to offer. She also just recently broke up with Carl, which was the most character development she has had in some time since she was taken from the whisperers in the first place. I hope that Kirkman can make her interesting or else she will always just be an excuse for Carl’s hormones to make an appearance in my eyes.

The next scene Maggie finally confronts Rick about letting Negan go free. Rick stands his ground on his decision on letting Negan go free because he seems a lot of similarities in the way the two have handled the apocalypse itself. He states that Maggie should sleep soundly because Negan is going to be leaving to handle his own outpost.

And remember Eugene's radio? Remember when Siddiq found it when he was alone in the house? Rick knows about it now! And he’s not entirely opposed to it. Eugene tries to get Stephanie on the radio to talk to Eugene, but it proves only a little difficult when she states she only trusts Eugene on the other end. Eugene ends up convincing Stephanie and she has a conversation with Rick which eventually leads to a mutual agreement. Rick agrees to send a few of his men to Ohio on the grounds of no weapons, but if her group does not approve, they do not have to make contact. Stephanie agrees to speak to her leader about the possible meet up. Truth be told, it is hard to be excited for the new team when a girl who we presume to be Stephanie is pictured on the cover of 171 looking like she just escaped an 80’s rave, but we will see how this pans out.

Carl approaches maggie about how he wants to go back to Hilltop despite only just arriving to Alexandria because of Andrea’s death and because Hilltop needs to be rebuilt after the recent fire.

Rick then approaches Jesus about going scouting in Ohio for the new group, but Jesus confirms all suspicions about his relationship with Aaron when he tells Rick that neither of them would like to go because Aaron is his special “someone”. Personally, I think this pairing was a cheap shot just because they are now the two main gay characters because both of their boyfriends are not in the picture for one reason or another.

Much like the Maggie/Rick confrontation, after Sherry’s death in issue 167, Dwight and Rick had not discussed Sherry’s death in a detailed manner up until issue 169 when Rick tries to convince him to go to Ohio. As can be expected, Dwight has bitter feelings towards Rick despite Rick telling him it was self defense. Dwight tells him that it would be best if Rick stayed to hold down the fort in Alexandria. What I found interesting about Dwight’s reasoning is that for the past couple years, I have been saying the same thing- Rick acts too impulsively, and it ends up hurting people.

The fact of the matter is, the conversation between Dwight and Rick is intense in a way that makes me wonder who is right and who is wrong. On one hand, you have Dwight, who has had his wife killed and can see through Rick’s impulsive ways, and even references them to just the issue before when Rick tried to start confrontation with the Saviors who had gone rogue.

Then you have Rick, who the audience knows as the main character and we are suppose to root for, who has built communities from shambles and has worked to gather more alliances, and who somehow always manages to win in the end. As much as I love Negan and believe he changed his ways, it does make me question whether letting Negan leave his cell was another impulse decision, and if the group is just one more.

Michonne confronts Rick in front of Andrea’s headstone about needing people to go to Ohio, and despite Rick telling her to stay, she insists on leaving. She mentions that Rick has Jesus and, of all people, Dwight in Alexandria to keep control, and Rick agrees to let her leave. Carl then shows up, and explains to Rick because (or in spite of) the good memories Alexandria holds, he wants to go to Hilltop and have his own life. Surprisingly, Rick does not argue, and allows him to go on his own.Something about everyone leaving Rick and the mention of Dwight gives me an odd sense of foreshadowing conflict.

And finally, everyone is leaving. Negan leaves to go to his outpost, which he says is in the neighborhood around where he buried his baseball bat. Maggie and the Hilltop gang head to rebuild their home, and Michonne, Eugene, Magna, and Siddiq head out for Ohio, and Dante is sent by Maggie to keep an eye on Negan.

Overall, I felt this issue was a filler, but one that also moved the plot along. It set up all the locations for the characters, as well as curiosity and doubt for where the road may lead. I am interested to find out what all the characters are planning, because with all of the conflict brewing between former allies it makes me question just how much longer until we finally reach the breaking point.

Issue 170 is called On the Road, and the cover shows the team headed towards Ohio, and is set to be released on August 2nd.

Cover Image Credit: readcomiconline.to

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...

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I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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