Issue #163 is the biggest issue of The Walking Dead to date. With an extra 8-pages making it a 40 page issue, the book is selling for 25 cents and has been ordered by comic book stores more than any issue before it.
It's going to be big.
The Walking Dead set the stage for issue #163 to change the landscape of the series with its Whisperer War arc. While the Whisperer War arc itself wasn't exactly a gamechanger, its the aftermath which is going to have a lasting impact. The largest herd of walkers in The Walking Dead's history is looming over Alexandria.
The herd of walkers stumbling towards to the Safe-Zone might be the event which actually causes Rick and his group to leave the Alexandria Safe-Zone. The title of the issue is "Conquered" and sees Rick's hand reaching up among the zombies. Typically, covers of The Walking Dead are more symbolic than literal, possibly indicating Alexandria falling to the zombies.
The stage has been set for the group to leave Alexandria. Eugene has been in contact with a group which claims to be friendly and from Ohio. Whether or not they're going to help Rick's group, we may find out by seeing them head north in aftermath of Alexandria's destruction in issue #163.prevnext
Negan Goes Bad
Negan has shown signs of becoming one of the good guys. He laid Lucille to rest and seemed to accept that his actions over the past couple of years have been misguided and selfish.
However, with all of this setup for Negan to become one of the "good guys," it would be shocking and infuriating to see the almost-redeemed bad guy betray Rick for his own best interest. Let's hope this is not the case -- but be prepared for a horrible betrayal which could cost us Alexandrian lives.
On the contrary, Negan might come out of issue #163 a hero. If he shows off some heroics in rescuing Alexandrians who are falling to zombies, the town might have to accept him into their circle of trust.prevnext
A popular theory for issue #163 is the result of the cover's symbolism of Rick's hook hand reaching up among undead arms. The issue might be Rick's last. After all, Robert Kirkman has promised to kill the series protagonist "eventually."0comments
Making issue #163 and having over 700,000 copies ordered to shops gives the over 10-year-old series a stage to bring a major event to readers both recurring and new which will hook them for another run. Killing Rick Grimes and completely flipping the book upside down for a new story would change The Walking Dead like nothing else can. It would be one of the boldest moves in comic book history but also one of the smartest under the issue's buzzing circumstances.
In terms of the current plot, Rick is one of few people aware of the massive herd heading to Alexandria. He will be making every effort to protect the Safe-Zone which appears to be falling. Having shown signs of being willing to sacrifice himself in the past, Rick might just bow out in issue #163.prev