The Walking Dead #177 hits your local comic book store today, and with it comes the introduction of the characters that will bring down the Commonwealth as ‘The New World Order’ reaches its midway point.
If you have not read issue 177 there will be spoilers ahead, you have been warned.
Sebastian and Mercer are on opposite ends of the trope spectrum. Mercer is an officer of the Commonwealth with a nice shiny ax, who might or might not be part of a coup to overthrow the Governor. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a spoiled brat that will get people killed and who just so happens to be the son of Pamela Milton (The Governor of the Commonwealth). These two storylines build a conflict in which several people will end up dead, as Michonne, Eugene, Magna, Yumiko, Siddiq and Juanita get caught in the crossfire.
The hot theory blowing up The Walking Dead Facebook Groups is that Mercer is Michonne’s ex-husband, but that seems too obvious for Robert Kirkman.
‘The New World Order’ Part 3 of 5 also gives some time to Rick and Maggie. Both characters are in the middle of a transition of character development, which adds to more tropes, as it is just a matter of time before Maggie’s new love interest gets killed off. Kirkman loves his tropes because he uses them to catch you off guard. Tropes are comfortable and familiar, but when you add a slight twist, it makes the situation uncomfortable and jarring. How is Kirman going to vary the trope when it comes to Pamela, Sebastian, and Mercer? This is why we continue to read.
Charlie Adlard does an exceptional job introducing Mercer. The ax design is something we haven’t seen before in the comic book. Mercer’s stoic face and swagger give the character presence and importance. Then the full-page reveal of walker carnage is what continues to remind readers why Adlard is perfect for this book. The use of ‘the rule of thirds’ on the splash forces your line of sight to move with the action. The heavy use of black and white on the page also helps to separate the reality of The Commonwealth and how it is not safe. It is only a matter of time before the walkers break through. Mercer and this page remind me of the Hound from Game of Thrones, a feared killing machine scarred by the world.
The Walking Dead #177 is a typical third issue of a six-issue arc, as the story starts to build speed towards the climax. Mercer is a welcome addition to the universe and after only a few pages, I can’t wait for the heal Sebastian to get killed off.
About THE WALKING DEAD #177:
Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn
Cover: Charlie Adlard, Dave Stewart
Letters: Rus Wooten
“NEW WORLD ORDER,” Part Three Meet Officer Mercer.
What did you think of the issue? Comment below.