Tag Archives: Rick Grimes

Spoilerific Review of Season 7 Premiere of The Walking Dead

 

landscape-1476100221-rick-negan-walking-dead-season-7After 6 months of speculation about who new The Walking Dead big bad Negan had chosen to kill after the creepiest game of “eeny meeny miney mo” ever, we finally got our answer Sunday night. Following a significant backlash from fans upset by the fact that Season 6 ended with no closure on who Negan’s victim was, producers promised that the fans’ patience would be rewarded with the premiere. Now that the show is back, can we really say that it was worth the wait?

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! If you have not seen the episode yet and don’t want to know what happened, now is the time to turn back.

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You’ve been warned.

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I’m not kidding.

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Seeing as how that victim turned out to be Abraham (a character already dead in the comics by this point), and a second victim, Glenn (thanks to Daryl lashing out for Negan taunting Rosita with the bloody Lucille), was the character that got the business end of the bat in the original story, it would be easy to say “No, it wasn’t worth the wait.” But I would disagree. As I’ve written before, I felt like Glenn NEEDED to die here. It couldn’t just be someone that was expendable like Aaron or Sasha, or even fan favorite Daryl. It HAD to be Glenn. So I’m not upset with him being one of the 2 that met their bloody end Sunday night, nor do I feel like it was lazy on the writers’ part as I’ve seen some suggest.

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With Abraham also falling to Negan, it did give the story on the show a twist that fans of the comic wouldn’t see coming. I’m sure the writers also felt like this would give even more gravity to the episode. But, knowing what I know about how the story progresses from here and how it affects those left alive going forward, I can’t help but feel that having more than Glenn die here kind of cheapened the moment. You couldn’t really finish processing or mourning Abraham’s death before you’ve been shocked further by seeing Glenn get very brutally and graphically beaten to death as well. But it’s not something that bothered me so much that I was unhappy with the final product.

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We also got to see Rick finally reach his breaking point when after repeatedly failing to convince Negan that he was in fact “his”, Negan forces Rick to choose between cutting Carl’s arm off with his own hatchet or watch everyone die. A sobbing Rick picks up the hatchet only to have Negan stop him at the last second, knowing that Rick is completely broken and subservient to his will. Man was it uncomfortable to watch. Rick Grimes is the baddest of badasses. He is the one for 6 seasons that we’ve seen give out orders and kill those that he deemed a threat to his people with little to no accountability. Now he’s the one groveling on his knees to someone else. I’ve read from some fans that this was so upsetting to watch that they claimed if it stayed like this for very long, they’d quit watching the show. *Insert eye roll*

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First off, fans threaten to quit watching the show all the time for really dumb reasons…and yet they continue to watch. Second, let the story play out before you start going to that point. Let’s not be so quickly reactionary. Third, the writers are painting the picture that Negan is a legitimate threat. They need you to see that Rick and his band of survivors are vulnerable and outmanned. They need you to believe that our group may not be able to win. That’s good writing and villain development.

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It looks like next week is going to be solely about Morgan and Carol being brought into The Kingdom. We’ll hopefully be introduced to the leader of The Kingdom, King Ezekiel and his pet tiger (yes you read that right) Shiva. I. Can’t. Wait.

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Who Negan Killed. And Why It Has to Be Glenn.

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“You can breathe. You can blink. You can cry. Hell, you’re all gonna be doin’ that.” With those words season 6 of The Walking Dead came to a violent close. Seeing the bat come down from the unfortunate soul’s point of view was a decision that intrigued some (like me) but infuriated most. But regardless, it had us all talking. We’re still two months away from finding who got the business end of Lucille, and the speculation is running wild about who Negan’s victim was.

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As fans of  AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama are known to be rather passionate, everyone seems to have an opinion as to who it was. I’ve heard from some disgruntled fans that feel like it was some minor character like Aaron (sorry Ross Marquand, I love your work, but Aaron could disappear from the show and I don’t think most people would notice). Others believe it will be fan favorite Daryl or our favorite wordsmith Abraham. I’ve also heard from some that think it’s sickly mother-to-be Maggie. But there are others, like myself, that believe it’s Glenn. I would go as far as to say that I would all but guarantee that it’s Glenn.

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Why the certainty? Several reasons.

The easiest and most obvious answer: he’s the one that dies here in the comics. Yes, I know that Scott Gimple and company play pretty loose with the story from the comic books on a regular basis. However, from the end of season 5 throughout season 6, the stories have lined up very closely. Pete’s demise, the herd breaking through the walls at Alexandria, Carl losing his eye, and Jessie’s death are all events straight from the comic with very little deviation. Of course that means nothing when it comes to this situation, at least on its own.

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When you pair that with the reprecussions of Glenn’s death in the comics, it really seals that is needs to be him. This is a moment in the comic that launches the story forward. Everyone is affected. Glenn getting bludgeoned to death wasn’t just for shock value (though there was plenty of it). It was a milestone in the series. It fed so many other threads…created so many plot lines…changed so many relationships. Not to mention it established Negan as THE big bad.

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Think about it from the show’s perspective. If Glenn dies, Rick has lost his oldest friend in the apocalypse, and the man that helped reunite him with his wife and son. Maggie loses her husband and the father of her unborn child. Also how will Maggie’s relationship with Rick change knowing that is was his hubris that led them to this point? Also will she blame herself for negotiating the deal with Gregory to take out the Saviors? Daryl loses a close friend, and some one that helped him overcome his own prejudices. Abraham would see up close what can happen in an instant in that world to someone you care about…after just starting to consider wanting to start a family with Sasha. Would he want to leave her in the same situation that Maggie would be in? The group as a whole would also lose their moral compass yet again (RIP Dale and Hershel). That’s heavy stuff. And much better story arcs than just about anyone else’s death could provide.

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Now let’s look at this from a technical standpoint. Very seldom on the show have we ever seen things from a particular character’s point of view. Yet, the finale opened with, and after every commercial break, returned to what turned out to be a character’s vantage point inside the van where Glenn, Daryl, Rosita, and Sasha were being held. If you look closely the view is from the very back of the van. Meaning it would have to be the person that gets out last. That would be Glenn. So if we hold to the idea that the POV shots were consistent throughout the episode, then Glenn’s view opened and closed it. It has to be Glenn.

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I love Glenn. As a fan, I don’t want it to be him. I would hate to see him go. But I just feel like all evidence points to his violent and bloody end. Am I right? We’ll find out in October.

In Defense of The Walking Dead Finale

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I know that this may seem a bit late to the party, but I wanted to let heads cool on the situation before commenting. After the final seconds of Season 6 of The Walking Dead (for my money, the best season of the series so far), the fan outrage was at DEFCON 1-level insane. Watching the debuting big bad Negan pick one of Rick’s group at random to kill, only to have it turn to a first person view of the victim as he’s about to deal out the bludgeoning sent fans into a fury. How dare they not show us who died! How dare they leave us hanging!

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But was it really that bad or even the wrong decision? I personally don’t think it was. Now before you start losing your collective sh*t all over again, hear me out. Do I wish that we knew who got acquainted with Lucille? Absolutely I do. But I also understand that the producers of The Walking Dead aren’t being paid to offer us instant gratification. Their job is to build a product that people want to consume (zombie pun intended) and come back to watch next time. And that’s what they’ve given us for the last 6 years. Have there been hiccups along the way? Sure. Large chunks of the first half of Season 2 and the back half of Season 3 are testaments to that. But overall they have delivered us what I still consider the best show on television. I fully believe that what they gave us in the Season 6 finale is in-line with that.

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The build-up to Negan’s appearance was incredibly well done. The tension of Rick’s group being outwitted turn after turn was something we’ve never seen on TWD. Our merry band of survivors have been shown to work like a well-oiled machine and are great strategists. But not this time. With every blocked route, you could feel the noose getting tighter around their necks. And just when they thought that they had their spot to slip out, the rug gets pulled out from under them and it is revealed that all they’ve done is play right into the Saviors’ hands. The demoralizing of Rick was apparent.

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And that, to me, is why this scene worked so well. Negan self-aggrandizing and threatening was truly something magical to behold. Jeffrey Dean Morgan played his part to perfection. I felt like I was seeing the Negan of the comics come to life. His performance alone would have made this episode special, but it wasn’t just about him. Nor was this episode about who Negan killed. It was about the fact that he was going to kill someone, and there was nothing Rick could do about it. It was about seeing Rick break. His kingdom crumbling before his very eyes at the hands of someone more cunning, more powerful, and certainly more dangerous. It was brilliant television. Let that be the lasting memory of that episode instead of the lack of confirmation on who’s head was bashed in by Negan.

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Now again, I totally wish we had seen who it was. And I have a pretty strong belief that I know who it is…but that is a topic for another day. But the makers of the show didn’t give us that. They wanted us to think about it for the next six months. They wanted us to talk about it for the next six months. They wanted us to debate it for the next six months. And you know what? They got exactly what they wanted. We were Rick to their Negan. We were their puppets and they were pulling our strings. But I for one am not upset by that at all.

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100 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time – Part 12

The countdown continues, with more cigars than a walk-in humidor.

45. Hellboy

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A Nazi-hating, monster fighting demon with a love for cigars and a right hand that is the key to the end of the world. Summoned as a baby during a thwarted Nazi occult ritual, he was discovered and raised like a son by the British Professor Broom. His power is matched only by his wit and a sense of responsibility instilled in him by his father.

 

44. Rick Grimes

Rick Grimes

The primary protagonist in Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic The Walking Dead. In a world of terrible violence and brutality, few have suffered as much as Rick Grimes. He lost his wife and newborn daughter and had his right hand cut off (all by psychopath The Governor), had to cut off his girlfriend’s hand and allow her to be eaten to protect his son, and has seen person after person who’s safety he was responsible for die often gruesome deaths. All the while he has shown himself to be a master strategist, a tremendous leader, and a bonafide badass.

 

43. Lucifer Morningstar

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DC Comics’ version of the Devil. Modeled heavily after the Satan in Paradise Lost with the face of David Bowie (may he rest in peace). Originally appearing in the pages of Sandman, he eventually went on to star in his own series. As one would expect from a character based on Satan, he is silver-tongued, charming, and seductive, but can be extremely violent and unforgiving.

42. Nick Fury

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The long-time director of spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury has stories dating all the way back to the second World War, where he was the leader of the special ops team the Howling Commandos. Upon suffering fatal wounds from a mine shortly after the war ended, he was healed using the experimental Infinity Formula which essentially stopped him from aging. Known for his ability to always think 2 steps ahead of his enemies and his devotion to secrecy (sometimes even from those he trusts most). While, in recent history, Nick Fury has rarely been the central figure of any particular story, he has been on the periphery of many of Marvel’s biggest story arcs, many times being a key figure in setting them into motion.

 

41. Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon

The police commissioner of Gotham City, and arguably Batman’s greatest ally in his fight for justice. With a history as long and developed as the Dark Knight’s, Jim Gordon is the greatest supporting character in all of comics. He is as complex as a non-primary character can be: willing to bend the rules to get things done in a city as dark and corrupt as Gotham, yet has a strict moral code when it comes to right and wrong (something the writers of the TV series Gotham seem to have missed)… is a paragon of virtue among the police force, yet hasn’t been an angel in his personal life.

 

Comic-Con Reflections

With the San Diego Comic Con taking place last week, let’s take a break from covering all the comic-y things that happened during my hiatus to discuss the geek avalanche of trailers and announcements from the weekend.

  • The Walking Dead

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We’ll start off with the thing I was looking forward to most: the trailer for Season 6 of The Walking Dead!!! I have to say that even with the high level of anticipation, the trailer did not disappoint. The new season looks like it’s going to be very interesting. Can we infer from what was shown that Alexandria is going to split into 2 camps: those that support Rick’s willingness to kill those that are dangerous, and those that side with Morgan and his conviction that “all life is precious?” Are these 2 friends about to rip their sanctuary apart? Also, for those of us familiar with the comic, there seems to be an allusion to a pretty major event coming. Will it remain true to the comic or will this be another case of misdirection by the writers? I for one can’t wait to find out.

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  • Deadpool

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What an absolutely amazing gift the world was given with the red band trailer for Deadpool. As a huge fan of the Merc with a Mouth, my excitement level for this movie was already through the roof. After seeing the leaked trailer, I can hardly contain myself. This movie looks fabulous.

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  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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As I’ve stated before, I will not be watching this movie. David S. Goyer (the writer for BvS) burned a bridge with me when he insinuated that Stan Lee was some kind of pervert for creating She-Hulk, and insulted comic book fans for caring about Martian Manhunter. I vowed that day that I would never again give my money to anything with which Goyer is associated. I didn’t watch a single episode of Constantine because he was the executive producer, and (sorry to all those out there that enjoyed the series) I was extremely happy that the showed got cancelled after only one season. With all that said, the trailer looks cool enough, though I can’t say I enjoyed the way Lex Luthor is portrayed in it.

  • Suicide Squad

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I’ve been pretty critical of the idea of this movie from the start. You’re asking a lot of the audience to be invested in a movie based around a bunch of former villains, none of which have ever been seen on screen as a villain, trying to gain some form of redemption by working for the government. Then came the leaked sizzle-reel. I admit I actually was intrigued by it and felt my excitement level for the movie rising. That was until the end where we see Jared Leto’s Joker for the first time. It turns out that the picture posted on Twitter earlier this year was not actually a gimmick, but is indeed the way the Clown Prince of Crime will look in the DCU. I can’t express how stupid this looks. The Joker is not a crappy hip hop artist like Wiz Khalifa or Lil’ Wayne. He should not be covered in, to quote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mickey Mouse tattoos…and he most certainly shouldn’t have a stupid grill in his mouth. No. Just no.

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  • X-Men: Apocalypse

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Yet another project that I was really looking forward to. Apocalypse has always been one of my favorite villains in the X-Men universe. And even more than that, I have loved the character of Psylocke from the moment I started reading X-Men comics. So when they announced that she would be in this movie, I was sold. Then Olivia Munn was perfectly cast to played her, and my little fanboy heart grew three sizes that day. Now that I’ve seen the leaked footage and the promotional photos from Entertainment Weekly, my excitement has leveled off a bit. On the one hand, Munn looks fantasic (big surprise), like Psylocke jumped off the page of the comic. But on the other, Oscar Isaac’s titular villain looks like a weird mash-up of Ivan Ooze from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie and the Djinn from The Wishmaster. Here’s an idea of how Apocalypse should look:

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There you have it folks. The biggest news from Comic Con. Some of it is very good. Some of it is very bad. But all of it is at least getting people talking about the world of comics. I’m out kiddos, see you next time.

The Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer

Well folks, after a week in Haiti, I’m back! And with Comic Con having taken place this week, there is much to discuss. I’ll try to tackle one thing at a time. First up:

The long-awaited trailer for the highly anticipated Season 5 of The Walking Dead is finally here. I’ve watched it several times now trying to piece things together. This of course is a fool’s errand, as there’s no context of a timeline for any of the clips shown. But the one thing I can definitely say about it: it looks action-packed, but they gave us WAY too much here. I don’t feel any sense of anxiousness over the plight of Rick & Company since it’s quite apparent that they get out of Terminus, and meet back up with Carol, Tyrese, and Judith. Way to take the suspense out of the season premiere AMC…

Well Played Kirkman…Well Played…

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Season 4 of The Walking Dead is in the books, and I can’t be the only one who left last night’s episode with a feeling of disappointment. I thought it was a good episode as a whole…and admittedly better than last season’s finale, but comic series creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman had built up the finale to be the most brutal, violent, and ambitious episode of the series. While the sequence with Joe and his group of marauders was undoubtedly brutal and violent, and probably a little shocking to viewers that aren’t also fans of the comic, the rest of the episode failed to meet those lofty expectations.

While part of me was happy to see Hershel again in the flashbacks, I had closure with his character. I was at peace with his being gone because of how much he had impacted the lives of those around him. In essence, Hershel lived on in the souls of those still alive. But to see him again just reminded me once more that he’s gone.

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We got to dig a little further into the past of Michonne, which was nice. Her character is so much deeper than just the BA black woman with a kitana, so I’m always happy when they give us a glimpse into her tortured psyche. They also continued to strengthen the bond between Michonne and Carl. I can’t really tell if he views her as an older sister or as a surrogate mother. Either way, I enjoy the pairing. It was also incredibly harrowing to see that Carl is starting to question his morality. It appears that some of Carl’s childish mistakes, like shooting that unarmed kid from Woodbury, are weighing on him a lot more than we thought. I would say that the fact that they are bothering him proves he’s not a monster, but I totally understand the terrible guilt he feels.

We were also teased with the “…Who Will Survive?” posters. With no major characters dying in this episode, the answer is: apparently EVERYONE!

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With all of that said, this didn’t feel like a season finale to me. But aside from Season 2, has any season ending episode of The Walking Dead felt like a finale? The “cliffhanger” that Kirkman stated would make the wait until season 5 practically unbearable, was just Rick and company finding out that Terminus isn’t what they thought it was and ending the season locked in a train car. But with the entire group minus Tyreese and Carol being reunited, and Rick’s proclamation that their captors are going to “feel pretty stupid when they realize that they just screwed with the wrong people”, they left the season with the idea that the inhabitants of Terminus are in danger from Rick’s group instead of the other way around. Not really much of a cliffhanger.

Obviously, Robert Kirkman’s job is to sell his product and build a buzz around it. He did just that. But unbeknownst to all of us was that we were being played. And we all fell for it. He tricked us all, and the ratings I’m sure will display just that. So Kirkman, I leave you with the immortal words of Michael Scott, “Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice…strike three.”

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