In this volume, Rick leads his newly formed "army" with the Hilltop and the Kingdom in an attack against the Sanctuary. Things go smoothly at first as Rick's forces manage to trap Negan inside the Sanctuary, but as they attack Negan's outposts many of Rick's closest friends begin dying and they wonder if their initial victory was just luck. Eventually, Negan mounts a counter attack on Alexandria and things go from bad to worse.
The volume starts with Rick waking up and going to the bathroom to wash his face. "So today's the day?" asks Andrea. Rick replies that it is and admits that they haven't been in any conflict like this before. He pauses for a moment before also stating they can't have a war without casualties. Andrea claims that they've "been at war since the beginning." Rick proceeds to tell her something he's never told anyone before: he's had doubts about himself and what he can do. Although people always have assumed that he has everything worked out, he almost got himself killed and feels burdened by Jesus' statement about being a leader people can follow, one who can rebuild the world; "I haven't done a very good job at that." Andrea reassures Rick that what makes him different is that he keeps trying despite everything around him and "whatever comes of this... it'll be worth it."
At the same time, Ezekiel gets up and thanks Michonne for letting him stay at her place. With a smile on her face she says this didn't mean anything, but, he replies that neither of them know that for sure. Michonne admits there is potential for something, but, right now, it doesn't. Ezekiel says that he can work with that. While they are downstairs having coffee, there's a knock on the door and Ezekiel's head of security, Richard, says that the men from the Kingdom have arrived and are ready to go.
Eugene is in the factory with some workers and tells Rick that two additional cases of ammo are close to being finished, adding to what they had already made. Rick thanks Eugene for all the work that he and the others have done in making the ammo to help them in the upcoming war.
Rick, Paul and Ezekiel call one final meeting to make sure all the details have been worked out. Both Paul and Ezekiel say their respective units are ready and the meeting adjourns. Rick assembles eveyone and requests that some of them come with him to the Savior's main base while the rest prepare to defend Alexandria when the Saviors come. Carl asks Andrea if she's going. She replies not right away and she'll be here to help defend the walls. Carl gets worried that she's going to take his spot, but, Andrea says that "it's his show." Rick hugs both of them, promising that he'll be back as soon as possible. As the fighters gear up, Paul tells Rick that he's "nervous as hell" about what might happen; Rick replies that he is as well and that for the beginning, they'll have to contend with snipers. Ezekiel arrives and says his men were reminded and are ready; Rick tells them to get into position.
After arriving at The Sanctuary, Rick fires two shots and demands for Negan to come out. Rick says that they will no longer give supplies to the Saviors and offers a truce between the Saviors and the three communities. Negan refuses and reveals that he has Gregory with him. Negan makes Gregory say that the Hilltop is not standing with the survivors, but, with The Saviors.
Gregory has told Rick's forces that the Hilltop stays with The Saviors. Eight men from Rick's group (including Kal) leave and apologize to Paul, but, Paul himself stays with Rick. Negan becomes furious that only eight men leave after being told by Gregory that the Hilltop Colony made up the majority of Rick's militia. Negan curses at Gregory for giving him false information, calling him "pathetic" before kicking him off the roof they are standing on. Negan turns toward the survivors and admits that he had hoped his "wildcard" would have saved more lives.
Rick requests a surrender once again, but, Negan refuses. Just then, two men from Rick's group are killed by snipers, and Rick orders the rest to take cover until Richard is able to kill one of them.
As the battle at The Sanctuary continues, the zombies become restless and yank at their chains, all according to Rick's plan. Negan orders Dwight to get The Saviors at the outposts to join the battle; Dwight tells Negan that he'll "get right on that", but, looks away as he does so.
More of Negan's men have arrived from inside the base and await Negan's orders. As Negan begins telling them what to do, he realizes that all of his snipers are in cover, and that Rick's militia is just shooting the windows.
Rick directs everyone to the buses as zombies begin to converge on the site. Paul asks him if what they've done is enough, and Rick points to all of the approaching zombies, explaining that the first one to attack wins. Ezekiel continues ordering everyone into the buses as the undead draw near. Eventually, Michonne grabs him and pulls him onto the bus. Rick is still absent. Holly leaves the bus to find Rick about to enter a truck meant to drive through the fence so the zombies can get inside.
Negan stares out at the incoming herd as Dwight approaches him. He asks why they have stopped firing to which Negan replies, "I hope you have your shitting pants on."
Holly volunteers to ram through the fence, but, Rick declines. He explains that, to Negan, this is all a game, and he won't kill him. He adds that he knows she is strong, but, he won't let her do it. Holly then knees Rick in the groin, takes the truck, and drives through The Saviors' fence. Holly crashes the truck and is injured before falling out. A zombie attacks her, but, she is saved by Negan.
The group starts celebrating about their victory. Michonne notices that Rick isn't around, but, Paul tells her that Rick had planned to stay behind. They are interrupted by none other than Rick, who tells them that the war is only just beginning.
Negan has captured Holly and believes that she is Andrea. Holly tells Negan that she isn't Andrea, mentioning her relationship with Abraham, but, Negan doesn't believe her.
Rick and Jesus are seen sitting by a campfire when Rick tells him that he is worried about Holly. Jesus tells him that he shouldn't be worried about her, and asks him to eat something. Meanwhile, Ezekiel and Michonne are clearing zombie from around the army camp's perimeter, they are also accompanied by Shiva who has torn a zombie in two and begins to eat it. Michonne asks Ezekiel if Shiva will get sick from the zombie meat. Ezekiel tells her that she won't and that tigers have been known to eat much worse. Rick then approaches them and asks Michonne if she can take a couple of men back to Alexandria to help fortify it from any Savior attack. Ezekiel tells her not to worry about him and she accepts Rick's proposal.
Aaron and Eric visit Heath to ask him how he feels about leaving Holly behind. He tells them he does not want to even think about it, Aaron then tells Eric to not stop thinking about it as it will help drive them in the coming battles. Aaron goes on to say that he can't wait until it is only the dead they have to worry about again, rather than the living.
Rick gives a speech to his militia and tells them that he plans to attack The Savior outposts as they are now cut off from Negan and the rest of The Saviors. He goes on to say that he and Ezekiel will be leading two separate groups to attack different outposts and that Michonne will be leading a small third group back to Alexandria as Negan will strike there first.
The next morning, Negan takes a group outside, hoping to clear out the zombies, but, soon they realize there are too many and retreat back inside. Negan orders his men to regulate shifts every two hours to clear as many zombies from The Sanctuary's courtyard as possible. Carson approaches Negan and asks him if he wants a meeting set up. Negan tells him that there are more "pressing" matters to attend with at the moment and he heads off to visit Holly.
Holly is tied up in the Sanctuary, until a Savior, David, shows up. After refusing to get her a glass of water, he rips Holly's shirt off and takes off her pants, leaving her in her underwear. As he attempts to rape her, he is interrupted by Negan, who is outraged at David's actions. He screams at David, reminding him of The Saviors' rule, 'We do not rape'. Negan proceeds to stab David in the neck. Negan apologizes to Holly for killing David in front of her and explains that he wants her to understand that The Saviors are not monsters.
Gregory returns to the Hilltop along with the Hilltop defectors, including Kal, and calls out for help. Maggie arrives and asks if the war is over and if Negan is dead. Gregory quickly denounces Rick as ruining everything that the community has worked hard for and that Negan can be reasonable and they can work with him. Maggie becomes enraged and hits him, telling him Negan killed Glenn as she then punches him in the face. Kal quickly restrains her and Gregory explains to her that violence is not necessary, calling her "ma'am". Maggie angrily exclaims to him "My name is Maggie Greene!"
Rick and his army start to fulfill their plan to attack Savior outposts. While in the midst of a battle over one of The Savior outposts (in which Eric is one of the casualities), Paul disarms a Savior and holds him hostage while Rick and the others finish killing The Saviors. Meanwhile, a retreating Ezekiel gets separated from his group after everything does not go according to the plan (they are ambushed and many, including Richard, are killed), and is soon grabbed by zombies as he tries to escape, and Shiva ends up saving him, sacrificing herself.
Ezekiel is then shown in a house in Alexandria with Michonne, having telling her the story, he tells her about how ashamed he feels and that he wishes he would've died instead of his men and that perhaps his death would've had some positive influence for his men and that they would have won and that his death would have been seen as a heroic sacrifice. He somberly adds that if he had died he wouldn't have to face the loss of his men, and he wouldn't have lost Shiva herself.
Rick's army is burning the bodies of The Saviors who died in the skirmish. Paul talks to Rick about how killing one another is making the zombies' job even easier and that if they could, the zombies would probably be laughing at them. On the way back, Aaron mourns over Eric, telling Rick he'll feel better only when "the last one of these motherfuckers [The Saviors] are dead".
In Alexandria, Michonne wakes up and finds Ezekiel sitting on the couch. He remarks how he never really had a family and that the ones who died in battle were practically his family. Ezekiel continues to blame himself for all the deaths suffered during the failed attack and says that he's no longer able to lead the Kingdom; Michonne then punches him in the face, telling him to quit being a pussy and do what he does best - Pretend he's not.
Rick's group arrive back in Alexandria, where Carl points how Rick is late; the latter then replies this is war and he won't be able to follow schedules every time he leaves. Michonne comes by and tells Rick what happened to Ezekiel's group. Alarmed, Rick calls for a meeting in the church. He tells the others that due to this development, the Saviors must have found a way to eliminate all the zombies that had them pinned inside Sanctuary and are most likely planning a counterattack on Alexandria. Suddenly an explosion occurs inside the walls; they all go outside to see Negan and a large group of Saviors outside. Negan threatens Rick by holding a handful of grenades. Instead of starting a conflict, Negan simply says he's here with a peace offer and pulls out a blindfolded and bound Holly from his truck. Negan then releases her back to Alexandria and Rick guides her with his voice. She enters the safe-zone without saying a word, and Denise leads her to the infirmary. She takes off the bag from her head and is shocked to see that Holly was killed and has reanimated into a zombie. Holly leans over and bites Denise in the arm. With Denise's screams diverting Rick's attention, Negan screams: "ATTACK!"
A zombified Holly continues biting Denise, as a terrified Heath runs towards her. Rick shoots Holly off Denise, as Negan begins to throw more grenades, and yells at Rick that the war could've been avoided by following his rules. Heath's leg is blown off in the process. Denise rushes over to Heath, taking him over to her house to stop the bleeding. Rick advises that they should amputate Denise's arm, but, she insists that it is "too late for her anyway".
Carl hears the grenades going off, and rushes outside to help his father. Andrea stops him before he gets himself killed.
Dwight leads a group of Saviors, instructing them how to attack Alexandria. Ezekiel and Michonne are almost blown up by a grenade, but, stay behind to help out residents trapped in their homes. Paul is running through the smoke looking for Rick, but, is sidetracked by a stray grenade thrown over the wall. He immediately jumps onto the grenade, throwing it back and killing a bunch of Saviors in the process. Dwight emerges from the aftermath of the grenade, instructing the remaining Saviors to throw more grenades over the wall. When they turn their back to him, Dwight unleashes and kills them all. Jesus sees this and Dwight reminds him that he is on Alexandria's side.
Rick emerges from the street, and grabs Carl and Andrea from their house. A grenade goes off behind them, knocking the trio to the ground. Rick calls for Carl in fear as he doesn't respond.
Negan gloats about how successful his bombing of Alexandria is and is stunned when a group of survivors start firing on The Saviors, and Negan orders them to escape immediately. Maggie, now the de facto leader of the Hilltop Colony, arrives with most of the community's survivors, repelling the remaining Saviors away.
Rick takes a conscious Carl to Denise for her to look over. Denise confirms with Rick that Heath will be okay. Maggie appears and tells Rick and Andrea that she has brought a whole lot of survivors down to help. Rick asks Maggie if she is in charge of the Hilltop, which she replies "I guess I am". Rick collapses from his injuries sustained in the bombings.
Whilst the Saviors escape, one of their trucks breaks down and one of them reveals that the gas tank has a leak from where it had been damaged, and then suggests piling into another truck so that they can retreat. Negan then shuts the Savior down and asks him whether or not he is aware of a nearby fire station or of the approaching sirens of a fire truck, pointing out that the burning smoke in the distance from Alexandria indicates that they have won the battle.
- Charles (Off-Panel)
- Betsy (Off-Panel)
- Mr. Orson (Off-Panel)
- Mrs. Orson (Off-Panel)
- Orson Children (Off-Panel)
- Numerous unnamed Kingdom residents
- Numerous unnamed Saviors.
- "All Out War" is the first story arc of The Walking Dead to be split in to two parts. This volume is the first part, the second part is Volume 21.
- This is the first volume where both Stefano Gaudiano and Dave Stewart are involved in the artwork and inks.
- This volume has the most deaths, overall, than any volume of The Walking Dead, followed by Volume 8: Made To Suffer.
- Most of the issues in this arc came out biweekly (2 issues a month) aside from October and December (where only one issue came out due to the holidays).
- The cover depicts the battle of the Sanctuary, the first battle of "All Out War".
- On the end of the paperback where it lists the advertisements for other Walking Dead products, it mislabels the All Out War TP as Volume 12 instead of Volume 20.