After so many months of complaining about The Walking Dead’s plodding pace and the lack of meaningful progression in the Commonwealth storyline, it’s a welcome relief to see the book finally addressing those concerns. Issue #186 serves as the adrenaline boost this comic has been needing for a long time. It’s not a perfect chapter by any means, but a huge step in the right direction.
Granted, early on there’s little indication that this issue will play out much differently than its recent predecessors. The early pages skip around a great deal, touching base with various characters and furthering minor subplots like Eugene and Stephanie’s blossoming relationship and Carl and Lydia’s flirtations. These are the sorts of lighthearted character moments the series needs to avoid becoming a dreary, depressing slog, but that material is less tolerable when the book as a whole is dragging.