Robert Kirkman has been chatting about his upcoming status-quo-altering arc for The Walking Dead comics, which is going by the title “New World Order”. This new story will begin in January 2018, kicking off with The Walking Dead #175. This new arc, written by Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, promises to carry the much-loved series into its 15th year of publication.
Of course, The Walking Dead TV show consistently takes inspiration from the comics. The upcoming 8th season of AMC’s live-action zombie-infested drama will tackle the “All Out War” arc, which saw Rick Grimes battling Negan from issue 115 to 126 of the comics. That title has been borrowed in trailers, synopses and hype quotes for The Walking Dead season 8. And it seems safe to assume that, in a few years, “New World Order” will arrive on television, as well.
But, as ever, the arc will come to the comic books long before being televised. Kirkman has been speaking to CBR about “New World Order”, explaining that the gang will be “going to be getting to the Ohio colony that Eugene has been talking to on the radio for like 25 issues or so — it’s been a fairly long-running subplot.” Then Kirkman went into a bit more detail:
“Things are going to be drastically different. It’s a group of people living in a pocket of civilization that is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and will change the status quo of the book. It’s really going to ramp things up and move things into an exciting direction.”
Kirkman also commented on Adlard’s first cover for the new arc, which was released at New York Comic Con. Longtime fans will notice that this striking artwork echoes a cover from 2006. Those similarities, as Kirkman notes, were very much deliberate:
“You see on the cover, these soldiers are wearing this zombie-proof armor — we purposefully mirrored the cover to Walking Dead #25 where we introduced the riot gear from the prison. We’re kind of revisiting that concept, but on a much larger scale, because we’re encountering a group that has machining capabilities, and they can actually manufacture things. It’s going to be a real game changer for the series, and I’m really excited. There are going to be a lot of new characters introduced, and a lot of things going into a pretty interesting direction.”
Image and Skybound have already teased that this new arc will introduce “all new friends, all new enemies, [and] all new threats.” It’ll certainly be interesting to have some new players in the game, and to see how Rick and company will react to them.
However, the concept of manufacturing specialist walker-proof armor is sure to be the biggest new addition to The Walking Dead’s world. How can the stakes remain high when protective gear is so readily available? Fans will just have to wait and find out.
“New World Order” begins in January 2018 with The Walking Dead #175.