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Issue 169 is the one-hundred and sixty-ninth issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the first part of Volume 29: Lines We Cross. It was published on July 5, 2017.

Plot

Carl is mourning by Andrea's grave when Lydia approaches him. He tells her about Ben and how he had to be the one to kill him. He reveals that he told Andrea about it himself and despite this, she still said she loved him. It was from then that he started calling her mom.

Rick walks through the burial ground and finds Maggie, and they go inside to talk. Maggie expresses her anger that Negan is out of his cell, but Rick admits that when he thinks about how many husbands and wives he has killed, he wonders what makes him any different to Negan. He reassures her that although he is unable to kill him or lock him up again, he will be on his way soon. Maggie remains skeptical.

Eugene explains to Stephanie what has been happening in Alexandria, and is shocked when he learns she spoke to Siddiq. At that moment, he and Rick arrives at the house and demands to know about the radio. Despite her reluctance, Eugene vouches for Rick and tells Stephanie he can be trusted and the two have a conversation. Rick suggests they should form a route to her community, and she asks for a day to discuss the idea with her people.

Rick plans to gather a small team to send to Ohio, and he agrees when Eugene insists he should be on the team. He asks Dwight if he has seen Jesus, and Dwight snaps back he has been too busy which Rick will get all the credit for. Rick says they will talk later.

Carl notices the Hilltop residents packing up and insists despite what has happened, he will be going back with them to help rebuild. Maggie asks about his father and Carl says he doesn’t need him there. Maggie asks what he needs, and he says he needs to live his own life somewhere away from Alexandria.

Rick tells Jesus he wants him to be part of the team that is travelling to Ohio. Jesus declines and tells him he has something worth staying for but will go if desperately needed. Rick suggests Aaron go instead, to which Jesus reveals they are in a relationship and he won’t want to go either. Rick says he is happy for them.

That night, Rick approaches Dwight on his porch and says he needs him to go to Ohio. Dwight bluntly declines and instead states that Rick’s time is done and he should run things. He said his decisions have consequences but he is confident that because he is the one doing it, it is the right thing to do even if that means killing the woman he loved. Rick protests that Sherry attacked him and he defended himself, but Dwight argues he only has his word to go on. He says that he escalated a confrontation with the Saviors at a time when they could not afford one, and then let Negan – a man they cannot trust – defuse that situation. Dwight insists he is being reasonable having this conversation behind closed doors, but Rick tells him the conversation is over and that he is going to be watching him. He tells him to keep one thing in mind – he has a rage boiling inside of him that is hard to control, and at this point what is one more grave?

Michonne asks Rick about the trip to Ohio, but he tells her he needs her elsewhere. She says the Kingdom will be busy and now is a bad time for her to swoop in and shake things up. Rick says he needs her in Alexandria, but Michonne insists she is going on the trip and she will take Magna, Yumiko and Siddiq. She tells him to take care of himself as Carl approaches and tells him he's going back to the Hilltop. They hug and Rick tells him he's proud that he wants to live his life.

Dwight is watching Negan as he packs up some supplies. He says he is planning to go back to the neighborhood where he buried Lucille and leaves Alexandria without a goodbye. Maggie and the Hilltop residents are close behind, and she asks Dwight to take care of Rick. The team also leave for Ohio, and Maggie asks Dante to follow Negan as she won't lose track of that monster.

Credits

Deaths

  • None

Trivia

  • This issue's cover closely resembles the covers of Issue 12 and Issue 47.
  • This issue's tagline is used for the title of the story arc this issue is collected in.
  • This issue marks the 25th appearance of Yumiko.
  • It's revealed in this issue that at some point during the time skip, Rick and Andrea got married.
  • As of this issue, it has been one-hundred issues since Rick's group initially arrived at the Alexandria Safe Zone.
  • The cover of this issue is a reference to a phrase that Dwight says in this issue "I could've had this conversation with a shotgun to your head"
  • This issue marks the 100th issue since the first appearance of Heath.
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