Warning: MASSIVE SPOILERS for The Walking Dead‘s final issue
The final issue of The Walking Dead has finally arrived, bringing the story of the Grimes family, the Walkers, and the fate of the world to an end.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, issue #193 — which releases on Wednesday — will be the final issue in Robert Kirkman’s long-running zombie saga. That outlet reports The Walking Dead #193 will be an extra-large edition and serve as an epilogue to Rick’s story.
The issue begins by jumping decades into the future, in a twist that Kirkman admits in the final letters pages was kept secret from readers, down to cover art released in solicitations to suggest the series would chronicle the death of Carl, right after his father. Thankfully that is not the case. Instead, Carl grows into a man fittingly similar to his father, residing on a farmhouse with his wife Sophia, and their daughter Andrea. The only distinguishing detail is his eyepatch, now worn to keep the darkness of the past hidden from his six-year-old girl… who has never even seen an undead ‘Roamer.’
Years in the future, things are quite different. Walkers are hardly a threat and killing them is apparently a crime in the new and civilized post-post-apocalyptic world. When Carl kills a walker which frustratingly wanders onto his farm, he is put on trial because it belonged to the now-grown Hershel Rhee. Overseeing that trial is none other than Michonne, whose last name is finally revealed when she is referred to Judge Hawthorne. Maggie, the leader of the now much more advanced Alexandria Safe-Zone, and Judge Hawthorne ultimately elect to spare Carl Grimes of any punishment. Instead, he has to replace the walker for Glenn Rhee’s traveling walker show because that is a thing now.
Carl, like his father, believes in swift action to protect people from threats. The new generation is unaware of the treachery him and his family endured before the world was rebuilt. Michonne, however, is very much aware of this struggle which influences her ruling.
The book ends on a single image of Carl and Andrea, together and happy, having survived for the world that comes after. In other words, the very future that Rick Grimes was always fighting to make possible.
The Walking Dead #193 is available now at your local comic book shop, and direct from Image Comics.