Back story: Rick's new love interest Jesse was holding hands with the kids Ron and Carl while trying to escape a zombie attack. Rick had to cut off her hand to free Carl, but Carl still got shot in the head in the chaos. The previous leader of the settlement, Douglas died.
Abraham with a big biker mustache. Was with Rosita (hoop earrings), but she left him after realizing he's been sleeping with Holly (white blonde, short hair). Rosita left to stay with Eugene (thick neck, white guy, had a big lie he kept).
Nicholas (white big, mustache, but not as big as Abraham's, has a hoodie up) wants to revolt and kill Rick. Almost killed Glenn when Glenn walked in on a discussion about it.
Doctor Denise Cloyd (white, big glasses).
Spencer (pudgy white guy) interested in Andrea (usually in fisherman's hat, has a long scar on her cheek, excellent with a gun). There's a history, and Spencer made a selfish decision with which Andrea disagrees.
Glenn (Asian) and Maggie doing well. Maggie's having a hard time with Glenn in constant danger.
Michonne (black girl with katana) mourning Morgan.
Ending: Andrea and Rick get together. Holly tempts Abraham with the idea that he should take over the group. Pressure is getting to Maggie.
Rick's potential love interest is Andrea. She's willing, but he's afraid of losing her like so many of the others he's loved.
Eugene (white guy, 40s-ish, little overweight) thinks he can create more bullets. They're running low.
Jesus (real name, Paul Monroe) scout who took Rick, Carl, Michonne, Andrea and Glenn to The Hilltop. Their leader is Gregory. He got stabbed.
Rick want to cut a deal with the 200 people at The Hilltop to get rid of the murderous gang led by Negan in exchange for the normal life they seem to have at The Hilltop.
On their way back from The Hilltop, Rick's convoy killed a small contingent from Negan's gang.
Rick and Andrea begin to sleep together.
Eugene (unofficially with Rosita, who used to be with Abraham (who's with Holly)) and Abraham go looking for machinery to make bullets. Abraham gets ambushed (shot through the face with a bolt) by Negan's thugs. A thug with a half-scarred face takes Eugene hostage and takes him to Rick's settlement, but his crew mostly gets gunned down.
The next day, Rick decides to go to The Hilltop for supplies or assistance before Negan's gang regroups and returns. Maggie and Glenn want to move to The Hilltop right way and join Rick. Maggie's pregnant.
At night, on Rick's watch, Negan himself ambushes them, and brains Glenn. At the same time, the settlement was attacked, but the settlement held.
Rick, his son, Michonne and Maggie make it to The Hilltop. Jesus joins them on their way back. The settlement had captured the half-scarred face thug, but Rick says the settlement would lose the fight with Negan, and will give over half of what they have. They release the thug.
Secretly, Jesus will follow the thug, Dwight, back to gather intelligence on just how big Negan's gang is.
Rick lets Andrea in on the secret about following the thug to Negan's, but not his son, Carl.
Negan comes to Rick's camp and takes his half-of-everything tribute, include all the abusable drugs. Carl sneaks in Negan's truck with the matresses and a machine gun. He guns down about five henchmen, but Negan gains control of him.
At Negan's camp, Amber was caught cheating on Negan, so her lover (former husband?), Mark, had the side of his face ironed.
Jesus finds his way back to Rick's and reports on the condition and location of Negan's camp. (10 stories high, has a killing field around it.) Negan intercepts Rick on Rick's way to Negan's camp, and returns Carl unharmed. (But baited Rick, and caused Rick to attack him.)
Eugene found everything they need to make bullets. Rosita told him “good job” (they shared a moment), and after that Holly didn't look like she liked it. Michonne is struggling with being sociable, but wants to be so.
Carl almost gets bitten (blind side), but Michonne saves him. Jesus takes Rick to meet King Ezekiel, who has a pet tiger named Shiva. Ezekiel is ready to take on Negan, and has Dwight (who we thought was Negan's, but Dwight didn't appreciate having half his face ironed off by Negan for what his own wife did) on his side… Hopefully.
Maggie lives at the Hilltop, and mourns Glenn at his gravesite. Brianna, black, 30ish, tries to make friends, seems to like Maggie. Gregory, the leader of The Hilltop continues to be weak and skeevey.
Rick surreptitiously forms a party to go and attack Negan after they meet up with King Ezekiel's group and a group from The Hilltop that Jesus puts together. While he's out, though, Negan comes to Rick's settlement, and makes like he's going to wait for Rick to return with a tribute. Negan also kills Spencer, after Spencer so much as asks Negan to kill Rick, so Spencer could take his inheritance as the leader of the group.
Eugene has been asked to make bullets as quickly as possible.
As Negan leaves the camp with his tribute, Rick tries an impromptu attack on Negan, but is foiled as Negan had snipers encamped outside the area. Things get dicey, Andrea almost dies in the bell tower, but manages to throw her attacker out. Rick almost dies at Negan's hand (but not necessarily really, as Negan would rather break him than make a martyr out of him.). King Ezekiel and Jesus arrive on the scene and cause enough havok to get Negan to retreat.
On all sides, it looks like war is looming.
Rick says goodbye to Andrea as he heads out to war against Negan and the Saviors. King Ezekiel stayed with Michonne, something might be blooming between them. Eugene is making bullets. Jesus is ready, everyone is in.
Andrea stays back with Carl as most everyone else heads to Negan's camp.
Rick offers peace (in vain). Snipers shoot some of Rick's team, they shoot back continuously until all the dead within earshot surround the camp. Rick retreats. His tactic worked. Negan is trapped.
Negan wrongfully thinks Holly (who is his captive) is Rick's lover. She explains that he's wrong, she was with Abraham. He's still intent on using her to his advantage, even though he stops a minion from attempting to sexually assault her by killing him. “We're not monsters.”
Eric and Aaron. The last gay male couple. (Eric dies.)
Gregory thinks he's appeased Negan, and the hilltop won't fight with Rick against Negan. Maggie gives him a severe lecture and a punch or two. “I believe in Rick Grimes.”
Ezekiel took one team to one of Negan's outpost, but lost, they got lured in and picked off. Shiva died, too.
Rick took one team to another outpost and won. But when he heard the other outpost beat Ezekiel, he knew they'd free Negan and he'd come after Rick.
Negan comes after Rick. With grenades, which they throw into the camp. He pretends to return Holly safe and sound but with a bag over her head. Turns out Holly had turned and bites Dr. Denise Cloyd on the arm.
Dwight turns on his team of saviors. Jesus sees this and Dwight says to make sure Rick knows.
Snipers eventually get Negan to retreat.
Denise manages to save Heath, black male, had glasses, dreadlocks tied behind, who had a leg blown off. (Even though she's bit!) Rick collapses just after seeing Maggie's returned from the Hilltop. She's brought some other dissenters.
Negan says he's not retreating. The camp behind them is burning down. “That smoke means we just fucking won.”
Eugene gets flushed from his factory, and Negan and the Saviors capture him. Rick wakes from a concussion. The fight at Alexandria (below the Hilltop) draw a bunch of undead, and now Rick's side is locked in.
Negan does a good job threatening Eugene, trying to convince him to make bullets for him, but gives him a day to decide. Dwight reaches out to Eugene, but gets caught. Turns out the guy who caught him is willing to join Dwight's side, and says there are more who would, too.
Negan devises a strategy of tainting all their weapons and projectiles with zombie flesh when they attack Rick.
Rick and Ezekiel combine forces up at the Hilltop. Negan attacks, and their tainted weapons take their toll. Dwight shoots a bolt into Rick, but it secretly wasn't tainted. Negan thinks Rick's destined to have a Zombie fever and die. Negan retreats after getting trapped chasing some of Rick's team to a house.
The next day, Negan comes back, is surprised to see Rick come out to talk with him, and try to get him into building a better world. Rick lightly slashes Negan's throat, “Surrender and allow us to take him and save his life. Appoint a new leader and return home.” Negan fights back and snaps Rick's leg, but still loses. Dwight steps up as the new leader of the Saviors.
Rick won. He's considering returning to Alexandria. He refuses anybody the chance to execute Negan. He wants a better start to the new future. He wants Negan to rot in jail and see a better future without himself in it.
A new group of people (Magna the leader, Kelley bald and black, Luke brunette, white, Connie, black tough-ass, and Yumiko) get overrun by a huge herd of zombies. It turns out the herd was being steered by Jesus, who helps to save them (once he realized he'd accidentally steered the zombies to them). He offers to take them back to Alexandria if they give up their weapons.
Rick and Andrea are still together, and Carl asks if he can move to the Hilltop to be Earl, a blacksmith,'s apprentice. Rick eventually says OK. Alexandria seems great, people are living in harmony and rebuilding. They're even building lodging for a fair and have a windmill for making bread.
Carl still talks to Negan, who's in prison.
Ken and Marco on horseback encounter zombies and lose their horses. Ken is injured.
Magna and her crew secretly visit Negan in his cell, but he can't fool them.
Rick and Carl visit the hilltop to drop Carl off. Carl sees his old friend Sophia at the hilltop. She's happy he's moving in.
Maggie sends Dante to go find Ken, after Marco is discovered. Marco talks about “whispering” from the zombies. Dante and his crew get caught at a barn by some zombies, and some are whispering and wielding weapons. They're people in sewn-up zombie skins. Wolves in sheeps' clothing. One has Dante at shotgun-point. “Don't move.”
Carl reads a letter from Anna where she admits she has a crush on him. Andrea fills in the newcomers (Magna, et al) on life at the hilltop. After a good day's work with Earl, the blacksmith, he cleans up and eats with Sophia, blonde and with freckles. They get attacked by two boys. Carl nearly kills them once he gets a shovel to defend Sophia.
Eugene wants to stay with Rosita even though she's carrying Abraham's baby. She hugs him.
The rest of the patrol (incl. Darius) goes on the search for Nathaniel, who's late in checking in. They get overrun by the Whisperers (humans who integrate into Zombie herds). After suffering losses, Jesus (with a Japanese top knot thingy) comes back with a Whisperer, Lydia, a 16yo, for interrogation. Lydia explains their group is huge, and Maggie realizes that Marco (and Ken, who died) must have encountered the Whisperers.
Dante's group is two days overdue. Gregory, the previous leader, urges Maggie to send a patrol. She refuses.
The families of the boys Carl almost killed are outraged and plot against Maggie. Gregory suggests killing Maggie. The father with the curled baseball cap insists the boy needs to be murdered, too.
Carl, in trouble for going overboard with the violence, befriends Lydia and gives her his (dad's) hat. He's allowed to take her out under observation. She has sex with him, and convinces him she wants to stay. She'd been mistreated and raped as a part of the Whisperers.
Rick returns to Alexandria and Andrea's delighted to see him again.
Gregory poisons some wine for Maggie. She gets very sick. Jesus arrives in the nick of time. The poison doesn't work. Gregory is imprisoned.
The leader of the Whisperers, Alpha, Lydia's mom, comes to the Hilltop to exchange two prisoners for Lydia. Maggie (and Lydia) agrees. Carl protests. The prisoners inform Maggie it sounded like there were thousands of Whisperers.
The next time Sophia comes to check in on Carl, he's not in his room. He's out afield, apparently looking for Lydia.
Ezekiel joins Rick on the way to the coast to pick up supplies and see Michonne for the first time since she went to sea. Michonne apparently still has feelings for Ezekiel, and cares to see Rick and Carl again.
Maggie calls off the search for Carl, it's been days, and he's into Whisperer territory.
Gregory tries to frame Maggie, unsuccessfully. Maggie struggles with imprisoning him and executing him. She chooses to execute him, after interviewing the families that were under his sway, to show the severity of the crime. She tries to explain that they all have to work together, “we cannot be killing each other.”
Carl is captured by Alpha, and she shows him how they all intentionally live more like animals.
Dwight meets with Rick, and tells him that he's done being the leader of the Saviors. Rick suggests that they have elections for the next leader.
Negan is accidentally left in an unlocked cell by Olivia. He stays put, and says it was to build trust with Rick. Rick explains to Andrea how he's the leader because he forces himself to rise above the instinct to kill people like Negan. He's leading them forward, to a more civilized future.
Rosita announces that she and Eugene are going to have a baby. (Even though it's actually Abraham's.)
Alpha appears at the fair, which seems to be going well. She's blending in, and talking to people there. Apparently spying and gathering intel.
Maggie tells Rick that Carl went chasing after Lydia, and Rick goes after Carl with Michonne, Andrea, and Dante, who likes Maggie. Alpha intercepts the party and brings them to the Whisperer's domain. Alpha shows Rick that she's got a fenced off section of thousands of walking dead. Carl explains to his dad that he's not leaving Lydia, because she's the only one that looks at him with his missing eye, and doesn't flinch. Carl and Lydia also describe the fact that Lydia gets raped at the Whisperer's camp. Alpha pretends to defend the natural animalistic behavior, but secretly tells Rick to take her back to protect her.
Alpha also warns that she put up a boundary marker that should not be crossed again. It turns out to be a fence of heads on spikes. People from the fair, including
Rosita and Ezekiel.
While Rick falls to his knees at the scene, Andrea asks, “Rick… What do we do now?”
Ezekiel's head on the spike is still animated, in zombie mode. Michonne starts to kill it, but Andrea does the job. They kill and bury the heads. Michonne wants to fight back, accuses Lydia, the daughter of Alpha of knowing about the boundary markers. Lydia says she didn't.
Eugene's apparently working on a radio, but it's not working yet. He learns that Rosita's missing. Rick addresses the fairground, and tells everyone that 12 people were murdered by the whisperers. The people demand action, but Rick wants to gather intelligence first. Rick learns that Maggie executed Gregory and confronts her about it. They trade blows but somehow snap out of it and reconcile.
Eugene proposes they use having Lydia against the Whisperers. Rick thinks the Whisperers might call their bluff. That night Andrea secrets Carl and Lydia away to the Hilltop, since there have been other rumbling about using Lydia against Alpha. (Michonne snuck into Rick's house too, but it turns out it was to protect Lydia, not do her harm.
On the way to the Hilltop, Lydia panics and pulls a gun on Andrea, suggesting that Andrea's returning Lydia to Alpha. Carl pulls his gun on Lydia. Alpha was caught crying by a tree by one of her minions. She kills him, but when asked what happened, she said that the minion had challenged her.
Rick consults Negan about what to do, and Negan thinks it's every leader's wet dream to have an enemy like the Whisperers to galvanize the community. Rick decides they'll create a militia.
Dwight decides to leave the Saviors (Negan's group), and Laura joins him. She chastised him over pining for Sherry.
Vincent and Morton attack Rick to teach him to be more aggressive against the Whisperers. Morton takes it too far, but Rick kills him in self-defense. Rick gives an impassioned speech to the community about sticking together (he forgives Vincent) and starting the dedicated force with the eventual goal of going after the whisperers.
Negan hears the crowd approving of the plan and smiles.
Dwight and Rick train the villagers for war. Ricks sees himself as a liability on the field with his disability.
Eugene's radio works, and he's made contact with someone who's very guarded. Eugene reveals a lot of information about the village. Eventually the woman on the radio reveals her name, Stephanie.
Rick tries to meet Brandon, son of Morton, who Rick killed in self-defense (in Volume 25). Brandon attacks Rick, but Rick gets the upperhand, and proves capable of savagery, “Maybe I'll just choke you the f*ck out instead”. Rick banishes Brandon to the Hilltop (to travel with Maggie and her crew on her way back).
Gabriel the priest signs up as a soldier, and proves to be a good killer.
Brandon releases Negan on the pretense that Negan's going to go with him to the Whisperers, and warn them about Rick's offensive. Negan double-crosses Brandon and kills him. Negan meets up with Alpha and pretends to want to join the whisperers. In a moment of vulnerability after Negan sees how the whisperers tolerate sexual assault, where Alpha admits she let her daughter go so she wouldn't be assaulted by the male whisperers, Negan kills and beheads her. Admiring her decapitated head, he says, “Wait until Rick gets a look at you.” (The next up in line is Beta, a huge man who wields two huge knives, and who'll probably blame Rick for sending Negan.)
Paul shoots Marco, thinking he's a whisperer infiltrating the village. The pressure and propaganda “Silence The Whispers” may be getting to everybody.
Rick send Aaron and Michonne to track down Brandon and Negan. Across the Whisperers' border, Aaron gets stabbed by Beta, and Michonne is saved by Dwight and his crew. She bring Aaron back to the Hilltop.
Heath's scout team spots Negan returning with Alpha's head, Dwight wants him shot on sight, but they keep him alive for Rick.
Beta intends to follow Alpha's orders, Rick's people crossed the border, now they must all die.
Alex really wants to see a romance blossom between Jesus and Aaron. It might.
Rick sent teams out to gather forces. The Hilltop offers what it can. William, new leader of the Kingdom offers some troops, because they'd be the next target if Rick's home, Alexandria, falls. Tara at The Sanctuary (the Saviors' place) refuses any help, and takes Vincent's horse.
Eugene tells Stephanie (on radio) that he's outside Washington D.C., and Stephanie says she's in Ohio.
There's a huge battle between whisperers leading hundreds of dead and the others. Dwight eventually give Negan his bat, Lucille, back. Negan almost kills Beta, but Lucille breaks. Negan buries the bat, and we learn it's named after a real woman whom Negan loved.
Rick's soldiers infiltrate the hoard led by the whisperers and take out the whisperers.
The hilltop gets sieged with flaming arrows. It burns nearly all down. (Carl almost dies saving people in his house.) But Maggie's and Rick's forces think they eventually win the way. Eugene nearly knocks himself out delivering ammo for the way.
Rick lets everybody know that that couldn't have been the whisperer's main hoard. There should've been thousands of them, not hundreds. Rick was right, Beta unleashed the main hoard to level Alexandria.
Eugene, Andrea and Heath ride horses to try and divert sections of the horde of thousands of dead to the ocean. The main throng presses itself into the gates of Alexandria until the gates collapse.
Michonne and Jesus are on horseback, and cooperate with Eugene, Andrea and Heath. Eugene falls from horseback, and Andrea saves him, but she's bit on the neck. She keeps working, knowing she'll eventually die.
Negan and Rick duck into a house inside Alexandria waiting for the horde to thin out. They both admit to feeling bad that they've lived when so many others have died. Negan talks about his pain at letting his wife rot. Negan and Rick get to work killing walkers near the front door, then near the back door, and then repeat.
Siddiq and (Rosie?) hide in Eugene's home and discover he's got a radio, they hear a woman's voice over it.
The new leader of the Saviors, Sherry, shows up at Alexandria after watching them slowly fight off the horde. She threatens them and says they “want out” of their relationship. She attacks Rick, but he defends himself and accidentally kills her.
Negan comes to Rick's defense in explaining why the Saviors should cooperate with Alexandria.
There's a long, touching parade of friends visiting Andrea's deathbed. Rick kills zombie-Andrea, but had a hard time doing it. He muddles forward. The last page is him sleeping over her grave, though.
Maggie grills Rick about allowing Negan out. Siddiq tells Rick about Eugene's radio buddy Stephanie. Rick talks to Stephanie and sets up a meet. It's a few days' travel for Michonne, Siddiq, Eugene, Yumiko and her female lover, Magna.
Dwight is really unhappy with Rick's leadership, and wants to replace him with himself.
Jesus and Aaron come out as a couple, and that's why neither joins Michonne on the journey. But they do go on an excursion and get attacked by Beta, the Whisperer leader. They kill him.
Carl leaves to help out at the Hilltop. He does great work there. His girlfriend, Lydia gets jealous when he talks to his old girl friend.
Maggie has Dante (White, medium build, 30s, black hair, stubble) watch Negan as he goes into exile. Negan begins to make a new bat, Lucille. But Maggie confronts him, and in the end does not kill him, and he burns his new Lucille in a change of heart. Maggie unexpectedly kisses Dante.
Siddiq tells Eugene that Rosita loved Siddiq. Eugene knows better but is gracious about hearing the confession.
Michonne's crew meets Juanita Sanchez, aka Princess (20s, wild purple hair, goggles) in Pittsburg. When they get to Sephanie's meeting place they're ordered at weaponpoint to drop their weapons. They do.
Lance Hornsby (White, 40s, Dark hair with wave to his left) interviews the travellers. He insists on a rigorous process before taking them to the Commonwealth almost 50,000 people big. Stephanie was not allowed to be at the meeting place, but Eugene meets here in the Commonwealth. Maxwell Hawkins (White, 40s, bald), interviews them and chooses Michonne when she says she was a lawyer before. He introduces her to Pamela Milton (White, early 40s, blonde), the Governor of the Commonwealth. Pamela takes Michonne to see Elodie, her missing daughter. Pamela's son Sebastian is an entitled jerk, and Mercer dutifully protects him. Siddiq overhears Mercer and another soldier conspire(?) about letting the upper class die.
Maddie is having an affair with Dante. Sophia learns about it and doesn't take it well at first.
Sebastian makes a move on Yumiko, but Princess defends her. She does well in a fight until Mercer puts an end to it. Everyone learns how stratified the system is in the Commonwealth. Michonne gets a very nice house, being a member of the upper class.
Pamela goes to see Rick in Alexandria. Michonne gives Eugene her katana to give to Rick to show she trusts Pamela.
Dwight makes up with his tattooed girlfriend, then pre-emptively assembles warriors when he sees Pamela's caravan. Pamela arrives and things are cordial. (Princess is colorful.) Rick asks Pamela's soldiers to wait a mile outside with some of his soldiers. Rick shows his house is the same as everyone else's. They're equals. Pamela says that's not the world order. Ricks says maybe they need a new world order.
Rick take Pamela on a tour of Oceanside, Alexandria, the Sanctuary (whose leader is John, black bald with a fake eye), the Kingdom (where Maggie was skeptical of the Governer's always smiling) and Hilltop.
Mercer and Princess help in directing a herd away from Oceanside. She kisses him. Dwight (and the soldiers he brought) save them when the Governor's carriage distracts the herd. They later sleep together, back at the Commonwealth.
Speaking of sex, Carl's sleeping with Lydia, and Sophia's getting frustrated.
Hilltop has rebuilt faster than anybody expected.
Michonne demonstrates how badass she is (saving her guard Jerome) in front of her daughter. But shortly after that, a man, Anthony got beaten to death by soldiers, and Michonne has been assigned to represent the soldiers. There's a riot at Michonne's place, and the Governor returns to the Commonwealth to see the riot. Michonne gets injured trying to protect someone. At a later hearing, she asks that all charges be dropped so everybody can get back to normal.
Eugene thinks he can get a train's engine car back to working condition. Rick helps with the riot cleanup. People notice. Mercer says the people need a leader like Rick.
Dwight thinks Rick should overthrow the Governor. Michonne invited Rick and Dwight over to talk, but also invited the Governor who brought guards. Dwight revealed his position, and is ordered arrested. Dwight pulls a gun on the Governor, but Rick shoots him from the side. Rick blames Michonne for boxing him into a corner like that.