Two years on after the war, civilization has rebuilt. But when a new group of survivors arrive to Alexandria, they begin to question what the community is hiding.
*Two years after the events of Issue 126*
A group of survivors led by Magna walk through the woods, trying to be as discreet as possible to avoid zombies. This fails when a group of horse-riding survivors, led by a much different Paul Monroe, advances on them leading a gigantic herd of over a thousand roamers to an uninhabitable area. Magna and her group hides over their horse-transported container, but to no avail as the horde manages to topple it. They are saved just in time by strangers, including Heath, now wearing a prosthetic leg.
Away from the herd, Eugene Porter comments how they've successfully managed to steer the herd's trajectory away from The Kingdom, which is 10 miles down the road. They introduce themselves to the new survivors and invites them to Alexandria to talk to their leader, Rick Grimes.
In Alexandria, Rick wakes up, goes to the bathroom and puts on his prosthetic hand. He goes back to bed and is greeted by Andrea, and they both have a brief talk about their routine. When making breakfast, he is hounded by Carl, who wants to have a talk with him about something important. Rick dodges it, saying they'll talk later at night. He goes outside and sees an extremely different Alexandria, now completely rebuilt, with several new houses, buildings, crops, and farms.
Outside, Andrea greets Siddiq, who's working on some sort of pathway leading to the safe-zone for the upcoming fair, an event between the communities set to happen in two months time. She comments how she expected more progress. Siddiq remarks that Rosita took half of their manpower to herd duty, and mentions that they should be back in a day. Just as he says this, Rosita shows up, explaining how little progress has been made.
On their way back, Andrea asks Rosita about whether or not she has talked to Eugene yet, to which she says no.
At the grand hall, Rick greets the new survivors brought by Jesus. After a brief introduction, the new survivors led by Magna agree to stay. He then meets with Eugene, who reports on the munitions factory and the herd duty. He then says Eugene has become too valuable and won't go out on herd duty anymore.
After a long day, Rick returns home and is met by Carl, who takes the opportunity to finally have the talk. Carl states that he wants to be a blacksmith under Earl Sutton at the Hilltop Colony. After some convincing, Rick agrees to think about it. Later, Rick and Andrea have a talk about how he's growing up. Andrea says to Rick, "your boy is growing up". Rick replies, "our boy is growing up".
Later that night, Carl goes to the basement of an unknown house and talks to a figure in the shadows. He says that he, Mikey, and some other boys went to a girl's house after class, and she showed them her breasts. He says it was cool and all. He remarks that he had his affections her, but after this he's not very certain. Carl doesn't want to be with someone who behaves in that manner. The figure says that it's nothing wrong and the girl probably just wants some attention. He then says to Carl that he enjoys the talks, that it's good for him to keep track of time and days. Before Carl leaves, the figure asks him whether after all this time, all the things they've shared and the talks they've had, Carl still wants to kill him. He turns around and faces the person behind bars, and simply states:
"Yes, Negan. You know I do."
Negan is shocked to know that after all the things he and Carl shared with each other, that the latter still wants to kill him. The following day, Rick and Eugene visit the mill, they both talk about Eugene and Rosita's increasingly cold relationship. He comments how he feels she doesn't truly want to stay or him and fears they might split up soon.
Elsewhere, Andrea interviews Magna about what she and her group had to do to survive. She tells where she came from, the place they lived for a good amount of time, how it fell and how much time they spent in the wilderness.
In the Grimes' home, Carl takes Josh to his room, hoping to sell some carved items. Josh is impressed by Carl's carvings and asks him if he could make a unicorn carving for his girlfriend in return for a custom hoodie.
Back at the mill, Rick and Eugene greet Olivia who's baking bread. They briefly meet Mikey, who is now an apprentice under Olivia.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods outside the Hilltop Colony, Ken and Marco are off in uncharted territory when they come across a pack of wild horses. The man urges Ken that the two should head back, but Ken, eager to bring the herd back to the Hilltop, heads off in a rush to try and wrangle the horses.
As he does this, he collides with several zombies resulting in the horse giving way underneath him and crashing. As Ken struggles to lift the dead horse, who is on his leg, one of the zombies tries crawling to him but is killed as the other man catches up to him. He manages to get the horse off of Ken's leg as more of the undead begin to appear. The man helps Ken onto his horse and the two ride off. As they do so, Ken groans out how much his leg hurts to which the man responds that really he needs to worry about how pissed Maggie will be after finding out they lost a horse.
Back in Alexandria, Eugene arrives home and finds a letter from Rosita saying she'll be out late and not to "wait up".
Outside their house, Carl approaches his father, saying how he did nothing the whole day and that Rick doesn't know how it feels like to see everyone around you doing something. Before Carl can continue, Rick announces that the following day they'd travel to Hilltop. Before Rick can complete the sentence Carl gives him a tight hug.
Inside a house, Magna and the group discuss how the safe-zone is; debating whether or not they should trust them. Magna tries to remain optimistic about their new home but notes that when something is too good to be true... it usually is. She finishes off saying they'll find what Alexandria is hiding.
Andrea helps Carl prepare for the trek to the Hilltop. Carl comments on how much stuff he has to pack and says it is weird having to pack more than one bag's worth of belongings now. Andrea comments saying that he does not need to take it all, and that one day he might be back with his own family some day.
Rick is visiting Negan at his cell. Negan comments saying that the worst part of his day is when his shit is taken away in a bucket, but is also his favorite because Rick is the one to do it. He tells Rick not to discipline Carl for sneaking down and talking with him. Negan tells Rick that he and Carl are "friends".
Carl gives a carving of a unicorn to Josh, to which Josh promises Carl a red sweater when he returns. Josh then tells Carl that Anna is looking for him.
As Rick leaves Negan's jail cell, he runs into Magna who is confused about which buildings are actually houses. Rick tells her that this is the jail and that there is only one person who is residing within it. He tells Magna that she can meet him when Rick returns from the Hilltop.
Rick and Carl saddle up on horseback as Anna hands Carl a note. Rick teases Carl and says that it is a love note. Carl feels embarrassed and asks Rick to stop teasing him.
On the road, Rick and Carl pass by many people patrolling the area for roamers. They eventually stop for a lunch break when a few roamers begin walking out of the woods. Rick grabs his hatchet and tells Carl not to shoot unless it is needed.
Rick kills two roamers and then his body gives in, Carl having to shoot the remaining roamers as Rick nearly gets bitten from behind. A horseback rider in riot armor approaches Rick and Carl. The rider dismounts and apologizes for the area not being clear, as he had just cleared it 5 minutes ago. When the rider realizes that it is Rick he apologizes even more. Rick is angry and begins to beat the rider with his cane. Once he tries to protect himself in the fetal position, Rick stops. Rick asks the rider who he is and where he is from. The rider tells his name to be Benjamin, and he is from The Kingdom. Rick screams at Benjamin telling him that others would be grateful for this job and that he messed up badly. Rick says that he hopes this is is his first incident. Benjamin tells him that it is and that it won't happen again.
Elsewhere, Ken and Marco are riding horseback on a plain field. Ken appears ill and falls off the horse, claiming he cannot go on any further. Marco then climbs off of the horse to assist Ken. As they talk, the horse gallops away and roamers begin to close in. The duo attempts to catch up with the horse, as Ken wonders what the sound of the roamers really is.
Magna and her group decide to sneak into the jail. Once there, Negan grabs onto the bars of his jail cell in a frantic frenzy. He states that he must be freed from these horrible people and that Alexandria is a group of animals. Magna and her group appear shocked at what Negan has said to them.
The issue begins with Magna and her group speaking with Negan for the first time. He tells the group that he's being tortured by Rick. Negan claims that he's been in jail for so long, he doesn't even remember what he did wrong in the first place. Magna instantly tells Negan that she knows he's lying. She says that she knows what someone being tortured looks like, he then admits it, introducing himself as Negan and telling them he's been lonely lately, and asks if they want to talk. Magna and her group ignore him leave the jail immediately.
Elsewhere, Marco and Ken are struggling to get away from a herd of zombies. Ken is having trouble keeping up due to his injury. Marco, refusing to leave Ken behind, pulls him into a ditch, so the herd won't find them. As they are hiding, they hear strange voices among the herd.
Rick and Carl are still making their way to Hilltop. As soon as they get there, Rick is swarmed by admirers. Carl meets with Earl Sutton, delivering a carved boar figure, which Earl remarks that looks more like a pig. Carl also learns there's a boy apprenticing with Earl already, which makes Carl slightly upset.
At the house, Maggie takes Rick to see Hershel, Maggie and Glenn's baby. While they look at the baby sleeping peacefully on the crib, Maggie says that's only possible because of the sacrifices Rick made in the past, namely, the events of "All Out War".
Meanwhile, Marco is found in the woods nearby, being rescued by the guards. He is taken to the infirmary, where Dr. Carson says he is likely dehydrated and starving.
He wakes up, an extremely disturbed and terrified Marco wakes up, saying how he had to leave Ken behind. He then says that "there were whispers and he was afraid", in the end revealing he that what he heard was actually the zombies themselves whispering to him.
Marco yells to everyone that the dead were talking and they have to find Ken. Maggie along with Dr. Carson manage to calm him down. Although she and the others don't believe the dead were talking, she still sends a group to find the missing survivor.
Meanwhile, Carl runs into Sophia who is standing up for a boy, Brian who is being beaten by two bullies. Sophia accidentally hits Carl in the face and apologizes. After a friendly reunion, Carl asks Sophia where Alex lives, as he needs to deliver a letter to him from Jesus.
Elsewhere, Larry and Louie are showcasing what seems to be some sort of alcoholic drink, and a man named Dante, the one who found Marco earlier, tastes it, remarking that it is very good. Maggie arrives and orders him to go find Ken with a small search party.
Later during the community meal, Earl invites Carl to sit and eat with him and the other apprentice, an invite which he denies, starting to talk about how he moved to Hilltop hoping to become his apprentice, just to find someone else already apprenticing. Earl then smiles, asking "who said I can only have one apprentice?"
Elsewhere, Dante and the two more men ride through the countryside searching for the barn, and Dante talks about his feelings for Maggie, and the small chance he has with her. Eventually they find a barn and discover Ken's clothes, but before they can properly search for him, they are ambushed by a group of roamers.
After eating, Rick and Maggie have a talk about the past and how everything has changed, and how the world is much more peaceful, and that things are almost better than they were before the apocalypse. Rick remarks that he still misses some of it, also saying he misses Maggie and "even after all this time", he still misses Michonne.
Later, Carl is moving his bags to the Remington House. When asked by Sophia why there are so many bags, Carl reveals that he's moving in, which makes her quite happy.
Back at Alexandria after speaking to Eugene about Rosita, and how much she loves him, Andrea is ambushed and confronted by Magna and her group inside her house. They menacingly say she'll be the one answering questions now.
Magna tells Kelly to let go of Andrea, who then tells she can answer their questions. Andrea then informs if they hurt her in any way they will be dealt with.
Brianna brings Hershel to Maggie, as Rick and the two watch the sunset. Sophia and Carl join them later on.
Dante, guard named Doug and another one fight their way out of the barn. A roamer with knife stabs Doug in the back, and another kills the other guard. Dante, now only surviving member of the search party, fights the armed roamer. It informs Dante that the undead will not notice if one whispers, as Dante is surprised that the undead can talk.
Dante is able to kill the roamer, and finds out it is actually a disguised female survivor, who has a mask on her head. He is then surprised by a pack of other disguised survivors, one of them pointing a shotgun to his head, saying "Don't move."
- Aubrey (Confirmed Fate)
- Ted (Alive, Confirmed Fate)
- Michelle (Confirmed Fate)
- 1 unnamed Hilltop resident
- 1 unnamed horse
- 2 unnamed Whisperers
- Even though Stefano Gaudiano and Dave Stewart only originally signed up to help draw Issue 115 through to Issue 126, they became permanent artwork members as of Issue 127.
- This is the first volume to have its issues with an entirely new cover style.
- Even though the issues have a new cover dressing, the volume cover retains the original logo.
- The last issue of this volume and the first issue of Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams are both released in the same month.