Written by Donny Cates and Robert Kirkman
Art by Geoff Shaw, Phil Hester and Klaus Janson
Colors by Dee Cunniffe
Letters by John J Hill
The Rundown: Negan pays a visit to his creator and Donny Cates hatches a plan to get the story back on track.
Negan decides to pay a little visit to the home of Robert Kirkman. When he sees how the man lives, he decides that he is absolutely right to want to kill him and every other comic book writer. Kirkman decides that before he does the deed he’s going to do what he does best, tell him a story. Unfortunately, even after learning the truth about his own existence and what it means to his creator, Negan decides to let Lucille do the talking.
In the aftermath, Cates is confronted about what he knows about the Negan situation. Unfortunately, his actions don’t get the reaction the man keeping him wants, but Cates decides that it’s the perfect time for some payback and an escape. After making a style change, Cates decides to free Ellie and Ryan so that the story can continue as intended. Starting with a confrontation with Negan and Ryan’s father.
The Story: Cates and Kirkman deliver some great meta moments in this issue. I love the self-deprecating moments between Kirkman and Negan on the page and that my expectations of how the conflict would end were both confirmed and upended in ways that made me smile. I love how Cates takes control of the story as well and his explanation for why. It’s a great moment that continues to some even better moments to come. I continue to be impressed and delighted by this series and this issue had one of the best cliffhangers I’ve read in a while. A consistently fun read from cover to cover.
The Art: All of the artists deliver some beautiful visual thrills to every page. The art is brilliantly detailed and visually engaging.