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Issue 186 is the one-hundred and eighty-sixth issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the sixth and final part of Volume 31: The Rotten Core. It was published on December 5, 2018.

Plot

At the Hilltop, Sophia is eating lunch when Joshua introduces himself and asks to join her, to which she begrudgingly agrees. She sees Carl encouraging her from a distance, to which she rolls her eyes.

At the Commonwealth, Eugene wakes up in Stephanie's bed, and discovers Stephanie adjusting her wig. She is ashamed at first and attempts to hide it from him, but eventually shows him her real hair. Eugene assures her he finds her beautiful no matter what.

Dwight is released from jail and is reprimanded by Laura, who stresses that he could have been killed. She agrees that there needs to be a change in the Commonwealth, but doesn't want to rush things. Dwight, on the other hand, believes that the Commonwealth needs an urgent change. Laura clarifies that she isn't trying to downplay the situation, but thinks there needs to be a plan. She asks where Rick stands, so Dwight tells her Rick will come around.

Rick talks to Michonne about Mercer supporting him against the Governor. Rick starts to think that Dwight was right all along, and that the people will back them if they try to take over, much to Michonne's horror. Rick says that he can't simply ignore the corrupt system of the Commonwealth, and can't believe Michonne is able to. Michonne explains that she knows the Commonwealth has a lot of room for improvement, and that is what excites her about being there, but believes change can be achieved through peaceful means.

Elodie is having lunch with her friends. They complain about not seeing her anymore, which she apologizes for. One of her friends politely tells her they're worried about what side she's on, since Michonne defended the guards and Elodie is now living with her mother in a fancy apartment. The question shocks Elodie.

At Alexandria, Magna instructs Heath and Vincent to keep the Militia ready. When they ask what they're getting ready for, Magna tells them that it's just in case. Heath is confused, as this is the default state of the Militia, but Magna clarifies that she just wants to increase the standard level of alertness.

Back at the Commonwealth, Pamela and her entourage are on a "hunt", accompanied by Rick, Michonne and Dwight. They spot a group of roamers, so Pamela asks for a shotgun. She shoots one roamer in the shoulder, and instructs Mercer to deal with the rest. Pamela invites everybody to head back. Michonne is concerned about Mercer, but Pamela assures her he will be fine.

Dwight and Rick confront Mercer in the locker room. Mercer explains that Pamela has them leave a few roamers in the wild so she can organize "hunting parties" and put on a show, so the people think she is keeping them safe. This disgusts Dwight. Mercer once again reiterates the Commonwealth is long due for a change, which Dwight agrees with.

Dwight and Rick are invited by Michonne to her apartment. Once there, she tells them that she thinks they are making a mistake by planning to overthrow Pamela. Dwight disagrees, and chastises Michonne for selling out for a nice apartment. Rick, however, agrees that they should work with Pamela to change things in the Commonwealth. Michonne is relieved to hear this, so she reveals that she has invited Pamela to the meeting as well. In that moment, Pamela bursts into the room with two armed guards. She says that she's glad Rick is on the same page as her, but tells Dwight he needs to go. Michonne is shocked, as she just invited Pamela to talk, but the Governor will hear none of it, as she can't simply allow people to plot behind her back. Dwight and Rick are shocked that Michonne would betray them to the Governor, but Michonne clarifies that she invited Pamela to talk and nothing more. Dwight accuses Michonne of being with "them" now. He tells Rick that there is no way he can peacefully convince someone like Pamela to give up power. Pamela assures Dwight that she's willing to do whatever is necessary for the well-being of the Commonwealth, but Dwight doesn't believe her. Pamela orders her men to arrest Dwight, prompting the latter to pull a gun on Pamela, shocking everyone. Rick tells Dwight to put the gun down, but Dwight refuses. He believes Pamela is the same as Negan, and thinks the only thing people like them respect is power. Dwight demonstrates this by threatening Pamela to instruct her guards not to move, which she does. Dwight says that they could take down Pamela right now, and that everything would fall in place without her, adding that the people of the Commonwealth would be thankful. Before anything can happen, Dwight is suddenly shot in the head by Rick. Pamela thanks Rick and assures him she won't forget him saving her life, before leaving.

As Laura is mourning Dwight, Rick sarcastically asks Michonne if she's happy, accusing her of causing Dwight's demise by bringing Pamela to the meeting. He angrily tells Michonne he will never forgive her for making him kill Dwight. This causes Michonne to snap at Rick. She tells him that Dwight was unhinged and that he would have snapped at some point. She is abashed that Rick is haunted by what he did, as it saved lives by avoiding a war. Rick wonders if he really avoided a war or simply joined the wrong side of it.

Credits

Deaths

Trivia

  • First appearance of Nancy.
  • Last appearance of Dwight.
  • In the Letter Hacks of Issue 185, Sean Mackiewicz revealed that there will be a shocking moment within the first 5 pages of this issue.
    • This was revealed to be Stephanie wearing a wig.
      • This was probably a joke by the creators, as the shocking moment involving Stephanie isn't nearly as shocking as the main focus of the issue- Dwight's death
  • This issue marks the first time since Issue 77 that Rick Grimes kills a named character willingly. All of his named character kills after Issue 77 until this issue had either been accidental, in self-defense or zombified.
    • This issue also marks the last time Rick kills a living person.
      • Interestingly, Rick killing Dwight draws parallels to Dexter's death in Issue 19. Dwight was the last living person Rick kills, whilst Dexter was the first, and both men are killed by a sudden gunshot wound to the head. Even the framing is identical; the two men are both center-frame as a bullet comes from off-panel and passes through their head.
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