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Volume 25: No Turning Back

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Volume 25: No Turning Back is the twenty-fifth volume of Image Comics' The Walking Dead that includes issues 145-150. It was released on March 30th, 2016.

After a devastating act by Alpha and the Whisperers, Rick must decide his next move as residents of the communities demand retaliation and some even begin to question his leadership. Rick declares yet another war and must turn to a former enemy as a last resort.

Plot

The group is in shock. Michonne is distraught as she threw away her chance with Ezekiel and now he's gone forever. She pulls out a knife to put down Ezekiel's severed head but Rick stops her and offers to do it instead, Michonne angrily refuses and pushes Rick before turning back around in tears and hugging Rick tight while apologizing. Andrea takes Michonne's knife and puts Ezekiel down while asking the others to help her get the rest of the reanimated heads. Michonne tells Rick she threw it all away and there's something wrong with her, to which Rick replies "There's something wrong with all of us."

The group, except for Michonne and Rick start putting down the reanimated heads. Suddenly, Michonne tackles Lydia to the ground and demands to know if she knew Alpha would do this, and whether the Whisperers have done this before. Carl pulls his gun and Dante tells Michonne not to do this.

Michonne is on top of Lydia holding her to the ground when suddenly Lydia puts a knife to Michonne's throat. Lydia tells Michonne that she knew nothing about it, and her old group have never met survivors that outnumbered them like this. She tells Michonne if she doesn't get off her, she will have the knife halfway through her neck before she can do anything about it.

Michonne realizes she is being unreasonable and gets off, helping Lydia up. Lydia tells the group she thinks Alpha is scared of them. Michonne tells Carl to holster his gun and he does.

Carl asks what happened to their bodies and Lydia tells them they were probably skinned. Rick asks if they should take the heads back with them to bury, and Michonne says that they will bury them here.

Rick tells Michonne that's fine, but they leave the poles exactly where they are as that's the territories boundary. Michonne is not happy that Rick seems to not want to cross the line and kill these people for murdering their friends, and says it would be a different story if it had been Carl or Andrea. Rick agrees with her.

Michonne storms off to the woods to think. Rick asks Andrea what they should do. She tells him that if it was up to her, they would ride back and kill them all. Rick confides in her that that may not be possible, but it's understandable that their people will want revenge for these murders. Rick tells her that the Whisperers could ruin everything.

Andrea hugs Rick and tells him she won't let that happen and Rick tells her they will get through this. Lydia sees Carl crying as he has found Josh's head. He explains that he was a good friend and it's been a while since he lost one of those. Lydia hugs him and apologises. Dante walks over to check on Michonne and she reacts angrily, then tells him to help her dig the graves.

Back at Alexandria, Eugene is fixing the radio excitedly. Maggie and Jesus knock the door and explain they thought he was missing too. When he tells them Rosita isn't with him, he rushes outside quickly and calls her name. Jesus comforts Harlan and tells him they will find his brother.

At the fair, Rick and Andrea address the crowd that has gathered, and tells them that he has terrible news.

After Rick reveals the horrible losses, the people of all the communities go into shock and depression over the deaths. After a funeral service is held for all those who were lost, the close friends and family of the deceased go to Rick and begin to yell at him, demanding war and retaliation. Some are even willing to go after the Whisperers themselves, including Josh's father and Magna. However, Rick argues that they shouldn't rush into anything and should think things through before rushing into battle and putting everything they've built at risk. A distraught Marco yells at Rick, claiming that he is a coward and that Maggie should be in charge of all the communities. He states that she knows how to take care of a problem.

Rick then questions Maggie about what Marco had said, and she reveals to Rick that she had Gregory executed. Rick becomes enraged with Maggie, saying that she ignored everything he's said and that they shouldn't go back to the way things were before. Paul attempts to calm Rick down, but he claims that Maggie is ruining everything he's built and that she is putting everyone in danger. Dante steps in to stop Rick but is pushed aside. Jesus tries to hold Rick as Maggie claims that he's snapped, and she questions whether she has to follow him; causing Rick to punch Maggie across the face. Maggie then retaliates and beats Rick to the ground while explaining her actions of killing Gregory.

Jesus pulls her back and she snaps out of her anger, seeing what she has done. They then apologize to each other, hug, and everything calms down. Jesus tells everyone to go home and they all do so.

On his way home, Rick is scorned by the people of the communities. When he arrives at his house, he sees Andrea with Eugene, who is devastated by Rosita's death. He reveals to them that even though Rosita was pregnant with another man's baby, he would still have raised the child as his own so that he could try to make their lives simpler. He tells himself this but reveals that, in reality, it was actually so he wouldn't feel embarrassed. He reveals his anger at her for cheating on him but also says how much he loved her, how much he cared for her and how much he needed her.

Eugene states that he knows the people are screaming for war and that they will get themselves killed because they aren't smart. He says that he is intelligent, and understands that this will take time and planning; but he says that in the end he wants all the Whisperers dead. Both Andrea and Rick reveal that they feel the same way and that they need to plan out what happens next.

Eugene reveals that he understands the fact that the Whisperers have a massive advantage over them as they do have an entire herd under their control. But Eugene points out that they, too, have an even bigger advantage over Alpha: they have her daughter.

Eugene pitches Rick the idea of using Lydia against Alpha as a form of payback for the recent massacre of the colony members. He argues that Lydia has killed people as well and has lost her innocence, even going so far as to say they would kill Lydia if the Whisperers call their bluff. Rick dismisses the idea several times saying that the girl is still a child, and she will not be put in any more danger. Andrea asks Eugene to leave, and he storms out of the house.

After Eugene's departure, Rick and Andrea speak about how Lydia will not be safe as long as Eugene and the other survivors have the same idea in their heads. Andrea agrees to escort Carl and Lydia to the Hilltop until the hostility blows over and they can form a more concrete plan.

Sometime in the night, Andrea wakes Carl and has him get prepared for the trip to the Hilltop, explaining the situation and that Lydia is downstairs and ready. Carl asks his father if they'll be safe at the Hilltop seeing as Alpha killed some of their residents, but Rick assures him that he will have a word with Maggie about the matter. Andrea, Carl and Lydia begin their trek in the night.

After they leave, Michonne is shown stealthily sneaking into the Grimes house, katana drawn, and sneaking up the stairs. When Rick pulls a gun to the back of her head, she explains that she was only trying to find Lydia and get her to safety. She fills Rick in with how Eugene's words are getting around town, and that tomorrow will be a very rough day for Rick. They go to the kitchen and talk over drinks.

Rick breaks the ice and asks Michonne how she has been holding up since Ezekiel was killed. She begins to cry and explains that she is upset and angry, then tries to dismiss it and leave, but Rick tells her to wait. He explains that she needs to stop pushing people away.

Rick begins to open up to Michonne, telling her about how he had started to grow distant towards Lori when he was still a police officer. His work brought to him experiences that Lori would have a hard time sharing even if he wanted to, making his emotional reactions increasingly inescrutable to Lori. When he found out about her and Shane, he did not really blame either of them, but he was still hurt. By contrast, Andrea and Rick have lived through a lot of significant experiences together. They understand each other and have no secrets from each other. They have bonded and grow together to an extent that he did not even think possible before. Rick feels closer to Andrea than he ever was to Lori.

Rick goes on to speculate that perhaps Michonne has a bad habit of feelling undeserving of happiness. Rick feels that Michonne let her ex-husband have the custody of her two daughters and pushed Ezekiel away from her life because at some level she wants to punish herself for no good reason.

He goes on to offer that Michonne is likely to move on and learn to live and be happy despite her losses and guilts, yet deep down she will hate herself for that. Rick himself feels that he would not manage to be quite as happy as he is now had Lori and their daughter Judith not died. He would still bring them back if he had any means to, but the fact of the matter is that there is nothing he can do to advance such a goal, so he has to accept reality for what it is and go on despite all the conflicting feelings, and Michonne should do likewise.

Michonne asks him if the pain will never go away, and he answers point-blank that no, it will not, prompting a rare emotional outburst from Michonne. She begins to cry openly and admits that she never stopped missing Ezekiel, but at the same time felt that she was punishing herself properly for having failed her daughters. But now she sees that this is just a sick, pointless game of imposing needless guilts on herself for no good reason.

Rick encourages her to perceive the current situation as "being even": she lost Ezekiel, so she can allow herself to let go of the guilt over her daughters as well. Now she better let go of all dark feelings and pursue happiness as opposed to punishment. In a nice moment, Michonne cries a bit more, wipes her tears and smiles at Rick, telling him that he is messed up yet she loves him.

Well on their way to the Hilltop, Andrea, Carl and Lydia meet Gus, a patrolman. He asks if things are alright, and Andrea pleasantly asks him to not let anyone know that he'd seen her. He obliges. Lydia start questioning Andrea for asking Gus to lie for her. Out of her growing suspicion, she starts asking why anyone wants to hurt her. Andrea and Carl try to get her to realize that people will want to blow off steam in any way that they can without thinking clearly. Lydia, still refusing to believe this starts become irritable, explaining that her mother doesn't care about her, and the plans Eugene's made wouldn't work. Andrea tries to deny this and respond that her mother does care about her, and Carl even tell her that Andrea can be trusted. Lydia finally speaks her mind, asking if they had Gus lie because she was being taken back to her mother. Pulling a gun on Andrea, she demands that they tell her the truth. Lydia keeps pointing her gun at Andrea. Carl starts to point his gun at Andrea as well, and then he quickly aims to Lydia, and tells her she will not hurt his mother. All three lower their weaponry and sort the conflict out.

Alpha cries next to a tree, until is greeted by a fellow Whisperer. The whisperer tells her that he won't tell the others that Alpha cried, and Alpha cuts his throat open. Another whisperer greets Alpha, and she tells him that the another whisperer tried to cross her.

Dwight returns to the Sanctuary, and tells his fellow Savior he doesn't want to be the leader anymore, since he is under a lot of stress due to breaking up with Debbie and the deal with the Whisperers. The Savior tells him they need a leader, and he can not quit now.

At Alexandria the citizens are furious to Rick because he won't strike back at Whisperers. Everyone starts to fight each other, until Rick pulls out his gun and tells the Alexandrians to go home or he'll shoot at them.

At night, Rick goes to Negan and states that he needs his help.

Negan has a grin on his face. Negan becomes delightful as Rick states he need his help. However, Rick says he will never unlock his cage, which makes Negan feel embarrassed.

Dwight is greeted by his fellow savior, Laura, after giving a speech about the Whisperers to the Saviors. Dwight is strongly convinced that he isn't the leader for the Saviors, but Laura strongly disagrees. She also reminds Dwight that the Saviors do not trust Rick, and still want the leader to be Dwight or Negan. Dwight's keeping them from stroming to Alexandria and putting Negan in charge. Laura then realizes that Dwight still yearns for Sherry. She tells Dwight she was a "cunt" and that she never cared about him. Laura then kisses Dwight, and tells him everyone appreciates his efforts. Dwight apologizes to her and leaves the room.

Carl, Andrea and Lydia arrive to the Hilltop, and are greeted by Eduardo. Andrea quickly informs him that no one can know Lydia is in the Hilltop. Lydia apologizes to Carl for pulling a gun on Andrea, and Carl apologizes to her as well. The two hug and Lydia states that Carl is the best, which Carl responds that he is being good to everyone because of his father. Elsewhere, Maggie, Hershel and Brianna are hiding in an apartment from the angry citizens, and Eugene tries to operate the radio, in vain.

Rick informs Negan about the Whisperers, and Negan asks Rick are they "us" or "them". Rick is about to leave, but Negan convinces him to stay. Negan gives him advice about him being the leader, and tells him that he has to lie to keep people alive and happy. Rick leaves and Negan starts to smile.

Vincent and Julia mourn for Josh. Vincent states he is full of anger, and that all he wanted was to keep Josh safe until he was an adult. The family is greeted by Morton and his son.

Rick greets Eugene, who tells him that the radio is working but there is no one out there. Rick tells Eugene he wants to form a military and train people to use guns, and be prepared for the war with the Whisperers. At the Sanctuary, Dwight takes Lucille out of the closet.

Dwight leaves the Sanctuary and is followed by Laura, who Dwight interprets is coming to ask him to go back; however, she is actually going with him.

Back at the Safe-Zone, Eugene and Rick are having a conversation about forming a military and that they will start the next day.

Later that night, Rick is walking around Alexandria. He is suddenly confronted and pushed to the ground by two hooded men. One of the hooded men proceeds to beat Rick while his hood happens to fall down, revealing him to be Morton. He is then told to stop by the other hooded man, who is revealed to be Vincent, and is subsequently tackled to the ground. Morton fights back against Vincent and then leans in to pick up Rick's walking cane. Rick intervenes by biting into Morton's neck, in which he dies in the process due to blood loss. Rick succumbs to his injuries and falls unconscious.

At the Hilltop mansion, Andrea is walking around and finds Carl having sex with Lydia, who appears to be feeling his eye. A stunned Andrea doesn't intervene and decides to walk off.

Rick, after being found by a panicking Maggie, is taken to Dr. Carson's house where he is surrounded by Jesus, Maggie, and Michonne. Rick tells Michonne to go find "him", in which she is then seen chasing after Vincent.

Rick walks outside to see his people while Maggie is convincing him to go back in and get cleaned up and recover. Rick states, "They need to see me like this."

Rick proceeds to give a speech and talks to his people about how he was attacked by "two of our own" and that he is "scared of things going back to the way they were." He goes on to say that he "doesn't want to return to those days", in which he lost the ones he cared about, especially Lori and Judith. Rick states that they need to "Move forward. Don't go back." During this, Dwight and Laura walk in. Rick says that "out of frustration we attacked ourselves" as a retaliation to the "multiple heads on pikes" incident in Issue 144. He informs them that an army is being formed so that they can "wipe the Whisperers off the face of the Earth." Vincent is then brought up to the podium in which Rick forgives him for his actions. Everyone is seen chanting "Rick Grimes" and Negan's cell is shown. Negan smiles while saying to himself, "'atta boy."

Credits

Deaths

Trivia

  • This volume marks the beginning of Compendium 4.
  • This volume contains issue 1 of Outcast as a free bonus.
Comic Issues
Volume 1: Days Gone Bye Issue 1Issue 2Issue 3Issue 4Issue 5Issue 6
Volume 2: Miles Behind Us Issue 7Issue 8Issue 9Issue 10Issue 11Issue 12
Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars Issue 13Issue 14Issue 15Issue 16Issue 17Issue 18
Volume 4: The Heart's Desire Issue 19Issue 20Issue 21Issue 22Issue 23Issue 24
Volume 5: The Best Defense Issue 25Issue 26Issue 27Issue 28Issue 29Issue 30
Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life Issue 31Issue 32Issue 33Issue 34Issue 35Issue 36
Volume 7: The Calm Before Issue 37Issue 38Issue 39Issue 40Issue 41Issue 42
Volume 8: Made To Suffer Issue 43Issue 44Issue 45Issue 46Issue 47Issue 48
Volume 9: Here We Remain Issue 49Issue 50Issue 51Issue 52Issue 53Issue 54
Volume 10: What We Become Issue 55Issue 56Issue 57Issue 58Issue 59Issue 60
Volume 11: Fear The Hunters Issue 61Issue 62Issue 63Issue 64Issue 65Issue 66
Volume 12: Life Among Them Issue 67Issue 68Issue 69Issue 70Issue 71Issue 72
Volume 13: Too Far Gone Issue 73Issue 74Issue 75Issue 76Issue 77Issue 78
Volume 14: No Way Out Issue 79Issue 80Issue 81Issue 82Issue 83Issue 84
Volume 15: We Find Ourselves Issue 85Issue 86Issue 87Issue 88Issue 89Issue 90
Volume 16: A Larger World Issue 91Issue 92Issue 93Issue 94Issue 95Issue 96
Volume 17: Something To Fear Issue 97Issue 98Issue 99Issue 100Issue 101Issue 102
Volume 18: What Comes After Issue 103Issue 104Issue 105Issue 106Issue 107Issue 108
Volume 19: March To War Issue 109Issue 110Issue 111Issue 112Issue 113Issue 114
Volume 20: All Out War - Part One Issue 115Issue 116Issue 117Issue 118Issue 119Issue 120
Volume 21: All Out War - Part Two Issue 121Issue 122Issue 123Issue 124Issue 125Issue 126
Volume 22: A New Beginning Issue 127Issue 128Issue 129Issue 130Issue 131Issue 132
Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams Issue 133Issue 134Issue 135Issue 136Issue 137Issue 138
Volume 24: Life And Death Issue 139Issue 140Issue 141Issue 142Issue 143Issue 144
Volume 25: No Turning Back Issue 145Issue 146Issue 147Issue 148Issue 149Issue 150
Volume 26: Call To Arms Issue 151Issue 152Issue 153Issue 154Issue 155Issue 156
Volume 27: The Whisperer War Issue 157Issue 158Issue 159Issue 160Issue 161Issue 162

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