25 years have passed since Rick's death. A lone walker approaches the Grimes family farm, but Carl spots it and quickly kills it. His wife, Sophia, comes to see what happened. Carl has no idea how a roamer had slipped through their defenses. Sophia asks why Carl didn't just shoot it, but he points out there could be more of them. Carl worries where their daughter Andrea is, but Sophia tells him she is still sleeping. Carl checks the walker's teeth to see if it had bitten anyone, then asks if Hershel is in town.
Hershel welcomes Carl, but is greeted with a punch to the face. Carl furiously asks him how many walkers there are in his cart, which prompts Hershel to immediately ask if he'd found his escaped walker. Carl replies that he did, and that he killed it. Outraged, Hershel asks if Carl has any idea how much a walker is worth, and yells that Sheriff Kapoor will hear about this as Carl walks away.
Sure enough, the sheriff arrives to Carl's house and informs him that there will be a hearing tomorrow, since Carl destroyed what is considered private property. Flabbergasted, Carl points out the walker could have killed somebody, but Kapoor tells him the law is only concerned with things that happened, not things that could have happened. Kapoor apologizes, and tells Carl he will do everything in his power to help him, and get the punishment reduced down to a fine.
The Grimes family is having dinner at the Sutton residence, where Carl tells Earl about what had happened with the walker. Sophia tells Earl that he should consider moving back into town, since there are a lot of people his age, but Earl denies this, as after the third expansion, he knew he didn't belong in civilization anymore, and that he likes living out of town. As the Grimes family departs, Earl notes that Hershel wasn't raised right, since Maggie was so busy with the Commonwealth and just gave him everything he wanted.
As they put little Andrea to sleep, Carl tells Sophia that he is thinking about his father, and how sorry he is that Rick never got to meet his granddaughter. He sighs that he misses his father so much.
Carl and Sophia arrive to the hearing only to find a long line of people in front of the building. Kapoor apologizes, and supposes that word must have gotten out about Carl coming into town. As the hearing begins, both Hershel and Carl make their cases before the judge. Hershel complains how he acquired the walkers at great expense for his show, and that Carl shouldn't be above the law because of his father. Carl explains his reaction, and tells those present that, while the dead might be a novelty to them, he remembers how dangerous they are. Carl doesn't regret what he did, and invites the people to punish him if they see fit, but forgive him if they, like him, believe that a world where the dead are entertainment isn't the one his father fought for. Before the judge can make a ruling, Maggie interrupts the hearing and briefly talks to the judge, after which the judge rules that Carl won't be punished, but must bring back a walker for Hershel on his next run to replace the walker he killed.
Afterwards, Maggie tells Carl that she thought she was getting him off easy, and that the judge was prepared to fine him, which he couldn't afford with the marked value of a roamer being so high. Carl is outraged that a roamer even has any market value, but Maggie consoles him that she, too, is worried about how soft people have gotten over the last few years, though believes that perhaps this is how things are supposed to be. Carl, however, is adamant that bringing walkers into town is dangerous and that it's only a matter of time before someone is killed. He rhetorically asks if she wants to bring back a world where people get killed by walkers. Maggie sighs and tells Carl this is not a world they live in anymore, and advises Carl to stop looking for dangers around every corner, since the old world isn't coming back. Carl angrily tells her that the world will only stay as good as it is now if they all do their part to maintain it, and that parading the dead around isn't what his father fought for. As he storms off, Maggie warns Carl to do as he was instructed and not make things worse. Sophia bitterly tells Maggie to worry about her own son, who, Sophia claims, has been spoiled by her. Maggie defends her actions as wanting to make things better for Hershel than they were for them, but Sophia reckons he'd be better off if Maggie told him no every once in a while, dubbing Hershel an "asshole". Maggie warns her not to talk about her brother that way, but Sophia informs her that everyone talks about him that way, and warns Maggie that she could end up with another Sebastian Milton if she's not careful.
Sophia catches up with Carl and reminds him that she is on his side. Carl says that he knows, but wishes she wasn't the only one. Sophia jokingly asks if she's not enough for him, but Carl tells her she's almost too much, before challenging her to a race to Andrea's school, which she gladly accepts.
As they prepare to go to bed, Sophia informs Carl that Andrea is worried about him, so Carl promises to talk to her tomorrow. Sophia asks if he's ready for bed, but Carl wants to go outside first and clear his head.
In the morning, Hershel is about to leave his hotel when the receptionist tells him he needs to pay if he's checking out. Hershel assures him that his family is good for it, and promises to settle up tomorrow, as the receptionist glares at him. Outside, a little boy rushes to Hershel and and tells him to come quick. The boy takes him to his walker cart, where Hershel is shocked to find all of his walkers dead.
Meanwhile, Carl says goodbye to his family and tells them he will be back as soon as he can. He loads his cart with goods and quickly departs, but is met by Lydia, who was going to help Carl load the cart. She wonders if Carl is avoiding her again; Carl explains that he needed to get out of town quickly and he will explain why on the road, offering her to come along with him.
As they are inspecting the map, Lydia asks what will happen to Carl when he gets back. Carl replies that he doesn't know, but it will certainly be nothing good, although he has no regrets. As they are planning their route to the river, Carl says that he wants to go through Springhaven. Lydia wonders if why Carl would want to take such a detour, but quickly realizes. She tells Carl that he doesn't even know if the person he's looking for is there, but Carl is certain someone is, since the supplies he's dropping off are getting used, but the person there is avoiding them.
This person turns out to be Negan. Carl knocks on the door repeatedly, but there is no reply. Carl decides to leave, and explains to Lydia that he likes talking to anyone who knew Rick when he was alive, since he wasn't just a myth to them. They make it to the river, where Carl trades supplies with someone and tells them to say hi to Aaron and Jesus. He then brings supplies to Elias, who is disappointed Carl didn't bring any carvings for Lauren. On their way to their next destination, Carl and Lydia are startled by a sound, and look up in the sky to see a giant flock of birds. Carl tells Lydia about how when the first settlers came, they could hunt by blindly firing their guns into the air. The bird population went down, but apparently recovered now that there isn't enough living people to cull them.
As they are setting up their tent, Carl is somewhat amused that Lydia is still wearing his father's hat. Lydia reckons the hat must be worth a fortune now, and asks why Carl let her keep it. He assures her that a gift is a gift, and that there was a time when he thought she needed it to make her feel safe. Lydia invites him to sleep in the tent with her, since it will be cold at night, but Carl doesn't think Sophia would appreciate that, and neither would Conner. Lydia assures him that she's just joking around and won't try to "fuck" him. She just doesn't want him to freeze. While lying in the tent together, Lydia wonders why Carl is still wearing his eye patch. She reminds him that she never made him cover his wound up, and reminisces about the time she licked it. Annoyed, Carl clarifies that Sophia doesn't make him wear the patch either, but that he does it for Andrea's sake, since he doesn't want her to know what the world was like. Lydia apologizes, as Carl turns over to sleep.
The next day, they arrive to a station and board the train. They ride for a few hours, until they reach the end of the rails. Both Carl and Lydia are surprised at the progress made on the rail construction. At the construction site, they are greeted by Eugene, who welcomes them to the "Western front". Eugene asks about the grading attachment, and Carl informs him that he has it, as the two embrace. Carl is in awe about the progress Eugene has made, while the latter informs him that they will meet the Western Alliance's tracks within a year, uniting East and West for the first time since the trials began. He wishes Stephanie was alive to see it, and hopes to survive long enough to witness it himself. Carl assures Eugene that he's as healthy as a horse, but Eugene isn't so sure. As they go to unload the cart, Lydia asks Carl if Eugene is really sick. Carl replies that Eugene has been talking like that for years, but that he doesn't know. They notice Laura staring at them, so Carl goes to say hello. He tells Laura that he didn't know she was working on the frontier, but she replies that it's one of the few places that still needs security, and that she prefers places where Rick isn't worshiped as much. She bitterly tells Carl that she will never forget what his father did. Carl snaps back at her, telling her that Dwight wasn't the only person who died because of Rick Grimes, but that every single person alive today is alive because of him, including her, and tells he to show a little respect. With that, he leaves, as Laura angrily glares at him. Lydia asks if Carl is ready to head back home tomorrow, and Carl jokingly replies that, after that, he is a little.
After they arrive back home and Carl returns the cart, he gives Lydia her cut and heads back to his home. Andrea runs over to embrace her father, while Sophia looks at him angrily. Sophia demands to know why Carl did what he did, but Carl remorsefully tells her that he just wanted to keep Andrea safe. Sophia tells him that Andrea was safe, but won't be without her father. Their argument is interrupted by Kapoor and his posse.
As they're waiting for the train, a guard offers to take Carl's cuffs off, but Carl tells him not to worry about it. The guard tells Carl that he doesn't fault him for what he did, and thinks that the shows like that should be outlawed in the Commonwealth, no matter who's doing it. Carl appreciates the sentiment, as the guard tells him that they're taking him all the way to Commonwealth One to see Judge Hawthorne, deducing that Carl must have pissed off the President, though the guard believes this isn't the way a Grimes should be treated.
Sophia comes to see Carl in the room he is confined to. She apologizes for yelling at him, but informs him that he will be attending an informal hearing, although she adds that Hershel is now claiming that he took the massacre of his walkers as a threat on his life, and supposes that this is why it got kicked up to the high court so quickly. Sophia is optimistic that Judge Hawthorne will be presiding over the hearing, and Carl hopes that is a good thing, too.
At the hearing, Judge Hawthorne turns out to be Michonne. Carl smiles at Michonne, but his face quickly drops when Michonne glares at him. Michonne says that she won't bother restating the issues, and reminds those present that this is not a trial, but an informal hearing at the high court, which means that her ruling is final, and she alone rules against the accused, without a jury, lawyers, or trial. She says that the hearings are meant to be swift, so asks Carl so speak in his defense. Carl thanks her and goes on to say that he is not ignorant to the laws of the Commonwealth and knows how important personal property is. However, when he saw the roamer walk across his lands, he didn't see a piece of property, but something that took so many of their lives, and simply did what needed to be done. When he was ordered to replace the roamer he'd killed, he couldn't bear the thought of something he brought back hurting someone, and was thus pushed over the edge. Carl acknowledges that he might be looking at the world the wrong way, but explains that his job as a messenger requires him to spend weeks on end outside the safe-zone, where things are nearly as bad as they were before, so he remembers the dangers of the past all too well. He also adds that he has a daughter, who means everything to him. He explains that his daughter, who is six years old, has never seen a roamer, which is a result of the world his father built, and it is a world they should maintain, Carl claims. And yet, Carl notes, he finds himself defending his killing of something that should be exterminated. He asks those present if they had forgotten how bad things are outside the safe-zone and how easily they could fall back to the old ways? With that, he concludes his speech. Michonne tells Carl that he brings up a good point, that people have forgotten how things were, and that she sometimes even has to remind herself. She goes on to recite the words inscribed on the base of a certain statue outside the courthouse, ending by quoting the line "In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.". She thinks this line is the most important one, because it's basically saying that the world they have now is better than the one they had before, that the dead made them live. Since this took a lot of sacrifice, this interpretation is not popular, but Michonne knows there are people that agree with her. The world they live in now, she claims, is quieter, simpler, more fair and just, and in general happier than the one before. She tells those present, however, to never forget the sacrifice, so they can honor those that they lost along the way. She goes on to say that she always felt that the owning and displaying of roamers is an abhorrent practice, and that it dishonors those that they've lost. She thus puts forth a motion to outlaw it throughout the Commonwealth. Michonne then declares the matter settled, and Carl free to go.
Carl visits Michonne in her chambers, and is surprised at how lightly he got off. Michonne rhetorically asks him if he really thought she'd send one of her favorite people to jail. She is also proud that he used her sword, and asks if Carl is taking good care of it, which he confirms. He jokingly says that there aren't many who believe that the famous Judge Hawthorne used to carry a sword. Michonne claims that "Judge Hawthorne" didn't, but rather "Michonne". She explains that Hawthorne is the last name of her ex-husband, but she kept his last name after the divorce because her practice knew her under that name. After the outbreak, however, the name was just a painful reminder of the life she once had, but now she feels like she's earned it back, which she feels she wouldn't be able to do without the world Carl's father built. While some feel that Rick gets too much credit, Michonne thinks the opposite is true, so honors Rick in anyway she can. The two then briefly talk about Carl's daughter.
Out in the hallway, Hershel confronts Carl. He asserts that he isn't some spoiled brat who got whatever he wanted, like Carl believes, but someone who built a business and provided a service. He claims that if Carl gets his way, people will indeed forget how things were, since it was his show that reminded them of what's out there and kept them afraid, thus making them appreciate what they have. He goes on to say that he never met his father, and that almost no one remembers him. Since no one builds statues of him or writes books about him, most of what Hershel knows about his father is inside of him. Who he is tells him who Glenn was, Hershel claims. So when he felt the fear of being around roamers, he felt as though he was feeling what his father felt, and was thus getting closer to him. He curses Carl for his actions, before storming off.
Carl is greeted by Sophia in front of the courthouse, who is surprised how gloomy Carl is, although he claims that he is relieved. Some kids start to make fun of Carl's eye patch, but one of them chastises the others, since their victim is Carl Grimes, and he lived through the Trials. As the kids scatter, Sophia hypothesizes that people will forget about the Trials within a generation. Carl gazes upon the large statue of his father, and notes that Rick is in a much more heroic pose than he was when he made his speech, but Sophia notes that it's how people want to remember him. Carl thinks his father did enough that he shouldn't have to fake it, but Sophia consoles him that it's just a statue.
Back at their house, Carl and Sophia observe the sunset from their porch and reminisce. They are about to kiss, but are interrupted by Andrea, who wants Carl to read her a bedtime story. Carl reads her a story about the Trials. As he does so, many people who lived through them are seen, including Maggie and Hershel at their apartment, Jesus and Aaron on the riverbank, Negan placing flowers at Lucille's grave, Mercer and Juanita walking their dog, Lydia at home with Conner, Magna and Yumiko feeding pigeons, Eugene observing the railroad construction, Laura eating with the other workers, Michonne and Elodie with Michonne's grandson, Pamela visiting Sebastian in jail, and finally Rick and Andrea's graves. Carl wipes away a tear after he finishes his story and tells Andrea she really would have liked her grandfather, informing her that the book is about him. Andrea rolls her eyes and says that she knows, since Carl tells her that every time, but then asks Carl to read the story again, which he happily does.
- Carl Grimes
- Sophia Grimes
- Maggie Greene
- Michonne Hawthorne
- Eugene Porter
- Paul Monroe
- Earl Sutton
- Hershel Greene
- Juanita Sanchez
- Pamela Milton
- Elodie Hawthorne
- Sebastian Milton
- Andrea Grimes
- Commonwealth residents
- Commonwealth soldiers
- Stephanie (Confirmed Fate)
- First (and last) appearance of Andrea Grimes.
- First (and last) appearance of Kapoor.
- First (and last) appearance of Elias.
- First (and last) appearance of Conner.
- Last appearance of Carl Grimes.
- Last appearance of Sophia Grimes.
- Last appearance of Maggie Greene.
- Last appearance of Michonne Hawthorne.
- Last appearance of Eugene Porter.
- Last appearance of Aaron.
- Last appearance of Paul Monroe.
- Last appearance of Earl Sutton.
- Last appearance of Negan.
- Last appearance of Magna.
- Last appearance of Yumiko.
- Last appearance of Hershel Greene.
- Last appearance of Lydia.
- Last appearance of Juanita Sanchez.
- Last appearance of Pamela Milton.
- Last appearance of Elodie Hawthorne.
- Last appearance of Sebastian Milton.
- Last appearance of Mercer.
- Last appearance of the Commonwealth.
- This marks the first issue since Issue 114 that Charlie Adlard inks the interiors of the comic.
- This is the first issue since Issue 145 to not feature any living characters on the cover.
- This issue is the longest issue to date, with 72 pages.
- This issue marks the end of The Walking Dead comic series.
- There is a massive time jump between the events of Issue 192 and Issue 193 at 25 years.
- Several supporting characters are left with an unknown fate, such as: Dante, Siddiq, Connie, Kelly, Eduardo, Annie, Vincent, Julia, William, Tara, Marco, Lance Hornsby, among several others.
- When asked about the character's fates, Robert Kirkman responded that he thought it would be cool to leave some vagueness to their fates.
- Several supporting characters are left with an unknown fate, such as: Dante, Siddiq, Connie, Kelly, Eduardo, Annie, Vincent, Julia, William, Tara, Marco, Lance Hornsby, among several others.
- This is the last issue of the fourth compendium.
- According to Robert Kirkman, the Comic Series was originally going to have a much bleaker ending, as it was supposed to end with Rick's takeover of Alexandria. Rick would give a speech to the Alexandrians about rebuilding the world, and the scene would eventually transition from his face to the face of Rick's statue, many years in the future. The view would then pull back to reveal that Alexandria has been destroyed and abandoned, with walkers pouring in, making the moral of the story that any attempt to rebuild civilization is futile.
- The timeskip between Issue 192 and this issue was confirmed to be 25 years by Skybound. This puts Issue 193 as taking place in 2033, thirty years after the start of the apocalypse.
- This makes it the only issue of The Walking Dead to take place in the future.
- In order to keep the surprise ending a secret, false covers were made for the next three issues following 193.
- As a gag, the false covers for Issues 195 and 196 told the story of Carl dying, with Issue 196's cover showing Sophia and Andrea mourning at his grave. Robert Kirkman confirms this was never intended to happen within the story.