The Walking Dead: Volume 18, What Comes After, by Robert Kirkman et. al. ISBN 9781607066873
Five out of five stars
The world containing the vast numbers of the undead and those remaining alive has stabilized to a certain extent. There are enclaves of the living walled off from the undead that are struggling to survive, but have ceased wandering. Their goal now is to re-establish an industrial and agricultural base so that they have a sustainable existence and can expand their numbers.
Rick’s goal now is to establish trade relations with other enclaves, yet he is required to adopt a tactic right out of the lessons of Machiavelli. Negan is the leader of another group that exists largely by extortion of the other groups. He does offer some advantages in that his people do clear out large numbers of the zombies. Yet, the “taxes” he extracts in exchange for “protection” are high and people in Rick’s group object.
When Rick discovers the location of Negan’s group as well as information regarding the composition, he has the information he needed, so he then makes a move to make an alliance with another enclave. A battle for supremacy of the area is about to commence, setting up a cliffhanger for future episodes.