The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 1 Review

 

Fresh out of New York Comic Con, the latest episode of The Walking Dead just aired and this one was a massive episode. Not only because it’s the season premiere, but also because it’s the first episode for a new arc after the massive All Out War arc we had which was great in my opinion. I was so excited to see what Season 9 of The Walking Dead would bring us and how things with Negan no longer in charge would go for Rick and his group.

The name of this episode is called “A New Beginning” which also takes the name of volume 22 of the comic series, and the subtitle of Issue #127. The episode started off quite strongly with all of our core main characters working together to pull an old wagon out of an old museum. It was nice to see Rick, Daryl, Rosita, The King, Carol, Maggie and everyone else from the core character set share a single scene with one another. It does seem a long time since we’ve seen them all work together on something as they’re often separated and in different locations. They all went to a museum in Washington, D.C to retrieve supplies, such as plows, canoes, seed samples, and a covered wagon. I loved the dialogue that was exchanged between the characters. I also wondered if anyone noticed the bloody handprint on the “Civil War” part of the large artwork Michonne was looking at. The group almost lost Ezekiel as he fell through the glass floor while there were walkers under beneath but the group saved him just in time.

But as the episode progressed we could see that our once close group of friends who we know work together well, are actually having a lot of issues.

For the most part, the struggle for our group at the moment post Negan is with leadership and the limited resources available. There just isn’t enough to go around and people living under Rick’s leadership are getting annoyed.

Further tensions occur on Maggie’s side of the group which she now leads after winning an election. Gregory is still alive and is stirring dissent among the ranks and gets quite a bit done after ken dies on the wagon mission. This gives Gregory a chance to build up an assassination attempt on Maggie during a brief period of severe unpopularity. Gregory fails though and Maggie ends up having him hanged. It’s quite brutal really, but it represents a shift in Maggie’s character to a more ruthless side, which I think might develop further if her character doesn’t have anyone to counter balance what she’s doing. This moment on the show also happened on issue #141.

We see a conversation in this episode between Maggie and Rick where they talk about building a broken bridge and the resources involved. Between the two groups, it’s tough to organize and Maggie’s unpopularity at the moment makes it tough for her to commit strong resources to help Rick. I feel that going forward, we will probably see some tensions between the groups for resources and it might strain the Rick and Maggie friendship quite a bit, but it’s just a theory.

The thing I’m most sad about at the moment is that if you’ve been reading up on Andrew Lincoln news lately you’ll know it’s his last season. I really don’t want him to go and the actor, particularly in this episode had so much screen presence that it’s hard to imagine the show without him in it. It’s going to be a tough season to watch but I’m happy with this premiere episode. I’m looking forward to seeing how both Rick and Maggie develop as season 9 progresses and how they handle leading both their groups Also interesting is where some of the other characters are heading right now such as Daryl and Carol who both had a few interesting moments in today’s episode and I’m keen to see both those characters develop.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @julianexcalibur

 

New York Comic Con 2018 Recap of the Week

This year for the 7th year in a row, I covered New York Comic Con as part of the media. The show has grown very large over the years and it will keep getting bigger for years to come. Everything on the show was flooded with attendees going to different vendors to get their favorite comic book or piece of exclusive merchandise. It was massive and the crowds are as huge as a group of zombies on The Walking Dead. The Funko booth has been the busiest line all week from what I have seen and i can see why since that is the hottest brand of the entire show. You however, needed to enter a lottery and win in order to even get in the line of the booth. I have also seen various lines at the booth of writers, artists, and various celebrities and professional wrestlers such as Sting, Lita, Trish Stratus, Finn Balor, Bayley, and much more. There is a fandom for everything at this show every year and I love seeing it being showcased. My experience as press this year has been at the level of San Diego Comic Con as i went from one place to another inside the convention center and I connected with different writers and journalists that I have meet previously and for the first time such as Brandon Davis of Comicbook.com, Kirsten of INSIDER, and Linda Marie of Fan Fest. We have all connected during different times of the show to talk about various things about the show.

My press days started on Day 0 (I would like to call it) at the Titans red carpet event and screening. The red carpet event featured the cast of the show as they were there for flash photography and interviews. I liked that this was done outside because it would have been very hot and muggy if it was done inside. There were big white couches on the floor for press members and they were much more comfortable than the hard chairs at the Hammerstein Ballroom (I have been there before for wrestling events. Trust me, those seats are painful). We were shown the first two episodes of the show and It is largely watchable for the most part. The SDCC trailer received a huge amount of backlash from fans, but for the screening, the reception was mostly positive. There was also a Q and A panel afterwards along with a teaser of the Doom Patrol series. We also were shown another teaser of the Harley Quinn animated show as well and then it was announced that Titans will be renewed for a second season. I had my worries of the show (and I still do), but I think that it can be better on the long run in the future.

Day one was Thursday and the show felt like a Saturday with all of the people there in different areas of the convention center. I meet with Ray Flook of Bleedingcool.com to discuss the podcast plans as I was also recording the 200th episode of my show. I also seen that the E! Network had a small truck outside the convention center as they were giving away free donuts to everyone as long as you voted on the selected category of the People’s Choice Awards. I came back there about 3-4 times per day to get some donuts. TruTV also had an area inside one of their panels where they were giving away free bagels as well. These two networks really wanted to have all of the attendees fed very well.

I ran into Kasey Pierce at her booth at Source Point Press as we talked about the show and the stuff that was going on at SDCC since I planned on stopping by her booth at that show originally but it was way too busy for me over there. I picked up a few of her comics that she and her team has produced (also if you are reading this, thank you for signing them). I wanted to stop by more booths during the show but my time at the press rooms overlapped too much so I could not see them along with a few panels I missed out on.

I meet up with my friends and also fellow podcasters Jason Solomon of the Solomonster Sounds Off, John Draper of Wrestling Soup, and Shaheen of THT (The Hot Tag) as I also recorded part of my 200th episode with them one by one. It was Jason’s first time and I gave him most of the rundown on what to avoid during the show. It was great seeing all of them including Fred Richani of The Sports Courier as we talked about our predictions of the UFC 229 show.

My first press room of the week was at The Man in the High Castle as the cast talked about the show in roundtable interviews. My second press room was TruTV’s Jon Glaser Loves Gear as I interviewed Jon Glaser himself as he talked about the upcoming season with me and a funny story about working with Amy Schumer.

My final press room of the day was at Crackle’s Supermansion. I interviewed the creator and producers of the show back in C2E2 earlier this year so it was great to see the entire cast talk about the show at the press conference including Bryan Cranston himself.

Friday’s press rooms featured the Amazon Prime exclusive TV series Lore as I was part of the Roundtable interviews with Alicia Witt. This show is developed by the creator of the podcast of the same name, Aaron Mahnkle. I also spoken to Gale Anne Hurd who is also a producer of The Walking Dead and other movies such as The Incredible Hulk, Armageddon, and The Terminator. I asked her about when she found out about Andrew Lincoln’s departure of the show. My next press room interviews was the 25th Anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series as I spoken to Kevin Conroy and Tara Strong about the Blu-Ray release of the show and their memories of the show.

Saturday, my time was mostly away from convention center after i covered the Legacies press room. I spoken with Danielle Ross Russell, Matthew Davis, and Jenny Boyd and they talked about the upcoming show and it’s ties to The Vampire Diaries. After that, I attended the Paleyfest red carpet event of The Walking Dead. Cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Melissa McBribe, and Norman Reedus were therefor photos and interviews along with show runner Angela Kang. I was very surprised that Jeffrey remembered me as he looked at my direction and said “Hey I remember you from San Diego, how are you doing man” as we shook hands. This followed by a screening of the first episode of the 9th season of The Walking Dead with a discussion panel after the episode finished screening. I did not go to the Madison Square Garden panel later that night, but the news of the passing of Scott Wilson happened while the event was going on. It was sad for everyone to find out that this happened especially if you are in that building where other people in the same room are talking about it.

On Sunday, Me and Ray Flook recorded part of the podcast as we talked about the show in general and this was after I covered the press room of FOX’s The Gifted. The cast only had a few minutes at a time for interviews since they all had to go to the panel right after it but i was happy to meet the entire cast!

Overall, it has been a great show for press coverage this year. I am always looking forward to the show every year. Next year, I will return again to bring you more coverage of the show. With that, check out some of the photos I have taken of cosplayers.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @julianexcalibur