As Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comics keep shuffling through the zombie apocalypse, the cover for Issue #176 teases a new leader and a new chapter for Rick Grimes and company.
Since premiering back in 2003, The Walking Dead has brought to life Kirkman's twisted reimagining of the end of the world, featuring kata-wielding badasses, bat-swinging psychos, and even pet tigers. At the focus of it all has always been rugged sheriff Rick Grimes, and it looks like he is about to meet a new friend/enemy to share the end of days with.
While AMC's show of the same name is slipping in the ratings game, Image Comics' world of the undead is going great guns at 173 issues (and counting). Looking ahead of the release of Issue #176 on February 7, artist Charlie Adlard's cover showcases a mysterious new leader as its focus.
Issue #176 is the second installment in the "New World Order" chapter of the ongoing saga, which will see the Atlanta survivors moving toward Ohio in search of help against the zombies. The cover of #175 deals with the arrival of some Stormtrooper-esque soldiers who look perfectly armed to take on whatever onslaught of Walkers were coming their way, and it looks like #176 will meet their leader. Promising to introduce a new group called the Commonwealth, Image Comics says that the next volume will kickstart another six-issue arc of human and zombie enemies.
"This jaw-dropping new story arc of the bestselling THE WALKING DEAD will feature all new friends, all new enemies, all new threats, and will appropriately be called, New World Order."
Promising an audience with a "new kind of Governor" in Issue #176, it remains to be seen whether this conservative looking woman will be a friend or foe to Rick's group. She may have a warming smile on her face, but given that The Walking Dead is currently in one of its limbo periods without a big bad to butt heads with, the woman could be primed to take over where the likes of the Governor, Negan, and Alpha left off. However, with Eugene having spent recent issues speaking to a friendly voice named "Stephanie" on the radio, this could easily be who the blonde bombshell is.
Given that The Walking Dead is particularly good at crafting hardened female survivors like Andrea and Michonne, the latest leader could nestle in among new arrival the Princess who debuted in Issue #171. Who knows, if the TV show will make it that far, but we could even see #176's Commonwealth leader make her way onto our screens in the future of The Walking Dead. Either way, there is still a long wait until we find out who this woman is or where "New World Order" will take Volume 30 of the comic book bloodbath.
“New World Order” begins in January 2018 with The Walking Dead #175.
Source: Image Comics