If you’re watching The Walking Dead television series at the same time you’re reading the new comics, you will know that that the TV Rick was at a crossroads at the end of the season 4 finale, one that was the total opposite of the one Comic Rick was at. TV Rick vowed to leave his peaceful farming days behind him and do whatever necessary for his group to survive, no matter how many people he has to kill. At the end of All Out War, Comic Rick is ready to put all of the violence behind him and restore humanity and civilization. Thus A New Beginning.
This is by far the best issue in a very long time. Some time has passed (although we don’t know yet how much) since the big Negan showdown, Rick has almost recovered, and Alexandria is thriving in every way possible. Not only has Rick grown as a character, but others have as well, most notably Eugene. This guy has really become a cornerstone of Alexandria, a true leader. He always was a key member of Rick’s inner circle with his ammunition skills, but now, he’s also engineering orchards and small farms, and he’s devised a scientific approach to fighting and defeating large hordes of walkers. Plus, he and Rosita seemed to have grown closer. Rosita was supposed to talk to Eugene about something “before it’s too late” but we don’t know yet what it was. Could Rosita have developed the same feelings for Eugene that he has for her?
All in all, great issue. For the first time in a long while, there is now hope. No more violence, no more destruction — at least for the time being. But with the hell that the survivors have been through since they crossed paths with Negan, I’d take any hope no matter how small.
Critic Grade — A