After issue upon issue of buildup, NWO has finally started within The Walking Dead. Following several days of traveling Michonne’s group has finally arrived at the meeting place only to be met with guns and orders to surrender their weapons. This was all done under the guise of protection by Lance Hornsby, who is responsible for determining risks that new people bring to the Commonwealth. Her group eventually passed his test and he begins to take them to the commonwealth, which is revealed to be a much larger network of communities then anyone could have imagined.
For the first time in The Walking Dead we are seeing how another group of communities operates when they come into contact with another group of people. The Commonwealth has developed a strict but effective way to assesses threats to their communities. This is done by taking away the weapons of Michonne’s group along with asking them a series of questions about who they are and their life style. While these questions and actions are strict, they are similar to what Rick and the four communities have done in the past to new members of their communities. This revealed it shows that people are interested in maintaining order and restoring civility instead of killing one another in the post-apocalyptical world. Furthermore, the book expands the world of The Walking Dead as it hints about how large the Commonwealth is. In particular, Lance Hornsby, who is responsible for assessing threats to the Commonwealth, reveals to Michonne that 50,000 people live there and that they enjoy using a former football stadium for recreational uses. This establishes how large the Commonwealth is along with the power that they possess. It also shows how reasonable the Commonwealth is as they understand that conquering the four communities, which can be easily done, would not be beneficial to them in anyway. Finally, the comic reveals that Michonne’s kid, Elodie, is looking for her and is in the Commonwealth. This sets up, what appears to be, a nice story for Michonne who has been through several trials to finally have something good occur in her life.
Despite all of the hints and teases the comic suggests about the Commonwealth it is only that. As we know nothing of how their communities are set up, the type of government they have, and the type of people who live in these communities. Furthermore, all of the information that has been revealed relies heavily on Lance, who appears to be untrustworthy in the way that he conducts his business. Finally, for several issues leading up to this meeting, Eugene has been speaking to Stephanie who is nowhere in sight which raises questions about who she is and what her role is within this community.
This is the next evolution in The Walking Dead as the world has become a much larger place with the introduction of the Commonwealth. The issue in many ways is a new beginning to The Walking Dead as Michonne and her group have to earn the trust of Lance and the leaders of the Commonwealth. While they are slowly gaining his trust, the comic forces readers to have several questions about who these people are, how have they amassed this much land and why is Michonne’s daughter here. Due to these questions, the comic sets the tone and plot for the next arc as some of these questions, if not all, will be answered.