The Walking Dead’s Abrupt Ending Was Perfect
It’s been a little over a week since The Walking Dead ended its sixteen-year run in emotional fashion. Some of the shock felt after the comic’s abrupt ending may have subsided in favor of debating how Kirkman chose to end readers’ time among the dead or celebrating the beloved work. But it is hard to imagine that the surprise will ever be completely separated from issue 193.
That’s for the best though. There really was no other way The Walking Dead could have closed its doors. Robert Kirkman built his apocalyptic tale on the back of a constant tension that was only possible by creating characters to whom fans found themselves emotionally attached. Everything important about the series’ power boils down to emotional response bore out of shock, so it only makes sense that its finale would offer one final subversion.
The issue itself delivers a proper, satisfying ending to the book’s various plot lines. But Kirkman’s own sendoff to his seminal work in the issue’s letter column similarly pulls at the heartstrings. Because, in some ways, the end snuck up on him too. His world finished before he was ready to let it go, but he had to do so. No one likes having a soulless husk shambling about, reminding you of something that was once so special. The creator did what had to be done. We’ll always have the story.