The latest series of titles (New World Order) in the long running The Walking Dead comic has opened up a much broader world, and perhaps the beginning of an end game. It seems like eons ago that Eugene fixed up his transistor radio and reached out into the dark airwaves. He found a woman named Stephanie and they began a tentative friendship and a plan for cooperation, even though they were separated by a lot of dead infested miles between Virginia and Ohio.
After the Whisperer war, the gang decided to travel out to find these Buckeyes. In issue 175, the groups found their Ohioan counterparts and are getting set to travel to their community. Eugene demands to see Stephanie, but she is just a cog in the machine and has no real power. Everyone in this community has a job assigned, and diplomat was not Stephanie’s role, but since the group is here, no harm no foul.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing to every happen to these bleakest of bleak world is Issue #176. Michonne, the fiercest of warriors at the end of days, discovers a poster on the Ohio groups “Wall of the Lost” from her presumed dead daughter with a photo of Michonne asking “Have you seen my Mom?” Hope. Hope in the face of endless hopelessness. Michonne meets with Pamela, the leader of the community which is over 50000 strong, and gets the long-awaited reunion with her daughter. Somehow, in different regions of the former USA, two survivors are reunited after years apart. There is nothing more heartwarming than this.
This brings me to the end game. Even if this group is not perfect with their assigning jobs to all, they are doing something right with their 50k population that grows daily. They have really reestablished society, and not the war faction society that Rick Grimes and his merry band of weirdos have created, but a real civilization. I know, it can all come crashing down next episode, but I don’t think so. I foresee Rick being challenged once again, but I really think that he loses this time. The time has come for the human race to rise again, and I am afraid that Rick has outlived his usefulness. The Walking Dead just might have a happy ending after all.