This volume explores grief and fear and the consequences of those powerful emotions. After the disaster of the last volume people are scared and it threatens to tear everything apart. There is also a subtext about how leaders and politicians prey on these fears and Negan, who has become the devil on Rick’s shoulder points this out.
The art is superb. Many of the panels contain large amounts of black, highlighting the sadness and trauma being felt. There are some superb silent montages too as you see the different ways people try coping.
If there is one fault it is more the medium than the creators. Kirkman has people talk through important issues and concepts which leads to a lot of extended talking heads. There are some good glances and facial expressions but this is definitely drama around the kitchen sink.
Obviously it is a Thumbs Up!