Has Negan finally won the war? Rick gets shot with an arrow covered in zombie blood in The Walking Dead #123.
Rick and his allies are hold up at the Hilltop colony after abandoning Alexandria in a war with the Saviors. Negan and his men attack the Hilltop but they’re short on bullets so he comes up with he ingenious plan to coat their weapons in zombie blood.
“We’re going to have space-aged zombie bacteria weapons at our disposal,” he explains in The Walking Dead #122, marking the first time they’ve been referred to as zombies.
But is Rick dead or just wounded?
The arrow was shot by Dwight, who serves as Negan’s right hand man but not by choice. Negan added Dwight’s wife to his harem, then burned his face with a hot iron for sneaking around his back and continuing to see her.
Dwight has been working from the inside to help Rick. He reveals his intentions to Eugene, who is being held captive by Negan to make more bullets. Eugene doesn’t buy it and accuses him of playing both sides.
“I’m not trying to say I’m a good man, or that I regret anything I’ve done or that I’ve changed.” Dwight admits. “I’m saying I want what you want — right now.”
Dwight may be a backstabber (literally) but he hasn’t necessarily betrayed Rick. While the rest of the weapons were clearly mucked up with blood, the panel with Dwight is obscured and he specifically corrects Negan by pointing out that the tip of an arrow is called a bolt. The arrow that hits Rick doesn’t appear to have a bolt, which could mean that it was removed before he took the shot. It also seems to have missed any vitals, which is peculiar given the short distance it was shot from as well as Dwight’s apparent knowledge of archery.
“Sometimes you have to let a page speak for itself, and I think this issue clears up, at the very least, the issue of Dwight’s loyalty… and to say where we go from here will be quite monumental…” editor Sean Mackiewicz wrote in the letters page.
“Yeah… let’s just leave it at that,” chimed in creator Robert Kirkman without confirming or denying Dwight’s allegiance.
Don’t worry about The Walking Dead ending anytime soon. The book will continue regardless of whether Rick pulls through. Kirkman says he has “a rough outline for the next 200 issues or so.”