Not all is as it seems in the Commonwealth. Since meeting Lance, Michonne’s group has received several positive pieces of information about the Commonwealth including its size, safety, and activities. Yet, upon walking through the Commonwealth it is discovered that this system has flaws on how it is set up. This slowly starts to reveal the true nature of the Commonwealth and how big a threat or ally they really are.
The Commonwealth has been built up as a friendly, safe, working community that has restored civilization for its residents. This has been sold by Lance who was assigned to meet Michonne’s group as he reveals the size of the Commonwealth, displays their military, and talks about their recreational activities. Yet, all is not as it seems as Lance yells at Stephanie, for greeting Eugene, implying she has been reassigned and was punished for her actions in initiating contact with the 4 communities. Furthermore, Lance makes it clear that if Stephanie does not back down he will reassign her and promises that she will not like it. This is a clear implication of what the Commonwealth appears as, which is a democracy aimed at fulfilling its citizen’s needs while keeping them safe. But in actuality the Commonwealth is an oligarchy where the leaders are controlling their citizens through the use of safety, assignment of work, and other perks that they can offer and take away at any time. Furthermore, Michonne is selected to be the one to talk to Governor Pamela Milton solely based on her education as she is presumed to be a leader and not a follower. Pamela calmly explains that the Commonwealth goal is to rebuild society and they need leaders to lead and followers to follow. This makes the Commonwealth’s position crystal clear as the leaders expect their citizens to follow their command and are willing to use any means to ensure that to happen. With this governmental structure in place it sets up several plot points for Michonne’s group to deal with along with the 4 communities to address.
While the story is compelling with Michonne being reunited with her daughter, elements of it don’t make sense. In particular, her interaction with Governor Pamela Milton as she is attempting to find out where Michonne’s group comes from, their size, and style of life and if they would be a good fit to join the Commonwealth. Throughout this process Pamela is being tough and aggressive with Michonne to get answers. Randomly during this discussion Michonne blurts out that she has found her daughter in the Commonwealth and that she wants to see her. This is very out of character for Michonne who is an extremely level headed and tactical character throughout the series. Furthermore, Pamela’s response is puzzling as well as she not only accommodates Michonne but personally joins her to find her daughter. This is odd as a few minutes before this came up she was very aggressive with Michonne and is now being compassionate and helpful to her. In many ways, this feels awkward and out of place in the comic as Pamela’s personality did a complete 180 degrees that a sound leader would not do.
The Commonwealth has been teased for several issues. While many of the positives have been revealed finally the negatives have been discovered by Michonne’s group. This has forced a realization upon them as to what type of group the people of the Commonwealth are and what their agenda is in this world. Despite that position Michonne has begun making decisions for herself and not for her group or for the 4 communities she represents as she has reunited with her daughter. This opens up several possibilities for the comic to take, along with a variety of consequences that can occur for Michonne, her group, and the 4 communities.