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Volume 27: The Whisperer War is the twenty-seventh volume of Image Comics' The Walking Dead that includes issues 157-162.

The Militia engages in war with the Whisperers, with both sides having huge casualties. Meanwhile, the Whisperers attack the Hilltop and destroy its defenses. With one last trump card, the Whisperers lead an ocean of walkers towards Alexandria while the Militia returns and reinforcements from the Kingdom and Hilltop also head towards Alexandria.


The survivors have set up checkpoints that different subgroups guard and keep clear. A week has passed since Negan went missing. Dwight, Laura, Magna, and Heath are monitoring a checkpoint when they spot Negan, who has a bit of stubble growing on his face. Dwight wants Magna to shoot him but she refuses. They agree to take him back to Rick. Negan tries to grab Lucille; Dwight doesn't let him, and Negan says that "You're going to fucking give her to me."

Beta finds Alpha's headless corpse. Some other Whisperers mention how Negan isn't around to claim his title. Beta says he would never allow him to become the alpha, but also that he himself does not intend to claim the role. He doesn't want there to be another alpha ever - they will be guided by her words. Essentially, they use her death as an excuse to kill all who oppose them.

Negan shows the head to Rick and Andrea, who are very hesitant to believe and trust him. Negan reassures them that he only wants trust. He says Rick's way of thinking is inspiring. He says he could've taken several chances and attacked Rick, but he didn't. He wants to fight with him, not against him. Rick finally agrees to let Negan out of the cell, but not in a community. He will live in an outpost, alone, with only enough food and weaponry to keep him surviving. He is not allowed these freedoms yet, though. He is going to be monitored for a long time and will fight in the front lines against the Whisperers. He will earn his freedom after the war, unless he slips up, in which case he will be immediately killed.

Rick speaks with Dwight on how this war will be different. It won't be a land war. They have the advantage in terms of firepower and strategy, unlike in All Out War. They attack until the Whisperers retreat, and when that happens they hunt down and kill every single one. They will also need people on horseback to redirect the herd. Rick asks Dwight to keep an eye on Negan, and Dwight agrees.

Aaron wakes up, with Jesus  watching him; he has come to gather soldiers for the war. Alex arrives and talks of how great a couple Aaron and Jesus would be; the latter dismisses the idea.

Maggie offers up a large amount of people as soldiers. Michonne is shocked at how many there are. Carl and Lydia want to join the army, but Michonne refuses. She says they aren't being forced to stay for protection, but rather to help defend the Hilltop alongside Maggie and Dante. Michonne says they aren't even sure if the Whisperers will attack, but Lydia confirms that they will.

Dwight, Magna, Gabriel, and some others are discussing geographical strategies. They set themselves up within earshot of one another in case a battle ensues. Gabriel is to be stationed at a watertower where he can have miles of advantage. If he sees the enemy approaching, he is to sound a horn.

At the Kingdom, a resident asks William (another member) why they should send any members to be soldiers. The resident is angry and says that the others have not earned their contribution. They say that Michonne should not lead because she broke Ezekiel's heart, and that he wouldn't bend to Negan and the Saviors, and he wouldn't want them to bend to Rick either.

Eugene is on the radio with Stephanie. They both wish for eventual peace in their hectic world. He reveals that they are situated near Washington, D.C., near the East Coast. She says he shouldn't have said that, because she can't say where she is from. After a brief persuasion, she reveals that her community is in Ohio.

Rick laments to Andrea on not being able to fight in the war. Andrea mentions how she will be spending most of her time in the bell tower, making sure nobody slips through. He asks if she agrees with him on Negan, and she says that at first she wasn't sure about his call but she has grown to trust Rick Grimes regardless of whether or not she trusts Negan.

Dwight and his subgroup get into their position. They see a mirror flashing on the horizon, which signifies Magna's group arriving at their position.

Gabriel arrives at his tower, pulls out his rifle, looks down the scope and sees a decent amount of roamers and potential Whisperers walking down a street. He is nervous. Everyone else is waiting.

Rick addresses the people of Alexandria who aren't fighting. "We are safe, and we are doing everything in our power to remain safe. There is no cause for worry."

Gabriel panics upon seeing the large army of Whisperers heading towards him. As he climbs down from the water tower, he falls off the ladder and breaks his leg. As he begs for someone to help him, Beta approaches and stabs him in the gut. The Whisperers then continue on their journey as roamers devour Gabriel's body.

Vincent arrives at the Sanctuary, trying to persuade the Saviors to fight with them. Tara, John, and Sherry disagree before asking him to go, but tell him to leave the horse behind.

At Alexandria, Annie, Andrea, and Eugene praise Rick on his speech. Rick asks Eugene what he has been working on, but he tells him he cannot say anything right now.

At the Kingdom, Zachary criticizes William over his decision to send their best fighters to help Rick. William dismisses him, and as he leaves, Zachary tells him he will regret it.

On the front lines, Negan complains about not having any weapons and teases Dwight about Sherry. Laura approaches and warns that a large group of Whisperers are headed their way, and Dwight wonders why Gabriel did not signal.

The Militia begin shooting at the roamers, and are soon attacked by the Whisperers. As many of their own are killed, Negan is able to find a weapon. Magna and her crew and some Kingdom residents arrive to draw some of the roamers away, but Dwight is unsure if they can do this.

At the Hilltop, Maggie and Brianna discuss Dante. Carl and Lydia are keeping watch, but Lydia insists if the Whisperers come in full force, it won't matter if they see them coming. Eugene arrives to help speed up ammo production, and Alex helps Aaron out of bed.

Pete tells Siddiq he cannot spare any men, and tells him to be safe. At the Sanctuary, Tara tells Sherry that the Whisperers will come for them next. Andrea is on lookout when Rick arrives with lunch for her. He jokes he should have made Negan carry him around for breaking his leg, but Andrea says that would have been too good for him and dying on the front lines is better.

Michonne and Jesus are discussing Aaron on the front lines when they notice the Militia have been surrounded and race in to help. Dwight is attacked by Beta, who is then struck on the back of the head by Negan. He tells him to get up so that he can kill him.

Beta tells Negan that he is the one he wants. Negan tells him he is flattered before attacking him with his gun. Dwight is on the ground struggling to fight off a roamer and calls out to Negan before throwing Lucille to him. While the rest of the Militia fight off the Whisperers and the roamers, Negan proceeds to beat Beta with Lucille. Lucille then breaks in Negan's hands, and he furiously blames Beta. Negan is then attacked by the Whisperers as two of them drag Beta to safety. The Militia continue to battle until all of the remaining Whisperers and roamers have been killed. Dwight tells Negan to pull himself together as he reels over Lucille. Laura points out there are more in the woods, and a large army of Whisperers and roamers emerge.

In the woods, the two Whisperers who saved Beta discuss the fact nobody has ever seen his face. One of them goes to remove his mask and Beta stabs him in the head before passing out.

Dwight suggests the Militia divide into separate groups led by himself, Michonne, Jesus and Magna and pick off as many as they can.

At the Hilltop, Carl and Lydia are discussing the Whisperers. Lydia tells Carl that he should be scared, but he tells her that no group is as large, organized or strong as theirs. She counters by telling him they have the same weakness - they care. She tells Carl she appreciates everything he has done but that he is too young for her and she doesn't love him. Carl says she is just saying that so he won't get upset if something bad happens, but she tells him it's the truth and apologizes as she leaves him at the lookout post alone.

Vincent is on his way back from the Sanctuary. Eugene helps the ammo team with production as Maggie runs into Aaron and asks why he isn't on bed rest. He tells her his stitches are holding and he feels better, plus he knows what's going on and doesn't want to be comfortable in bed. He asks her not to tell Doctor Carson and she promises to keep it between them.

At Alexandria, Andrea finds Rick looking over some maps. He explains he is trying to find an advantage they can use against the Whisperers and wants to be of some use. Andrea tells him he will feel silly when Dwight returns and tells him it is all over, but he tells her he will be thrilled.

At the Sanctuary, Tara is about to climb on a horse when John asks her what she is doing. She explains thatSherry is worried they are turning Rick against them, and John thinks that's what they wanted. Tara reasons Sherry is just being smart.

Dante asks Brianna if she has seen Maggie. She tells him he should tell her how he feels. Sophia is watching Carl at the lookout post when another boy asks her if she coming for dinner. She tells him she is right behind him while continuing to watch Carl.

At the Kingdom, Zachary is eating when his chair is pulled backwards and William holds a knife to his throat. He tells him the reason they sent their men out is because if Rick's group fail, the Whisperers will come for them next. He tells him he will do anything for the Kingdom, including killing him. He tells Zachary to never threaten him again.

Back on the front lines, the Whisperers have noticed that the Militia has split them up. They decide to stick to the plan and as one of them makes his way towards the edge, he is shot through the head with an arrow. Dwight drags his body into the woods and removes his skin mask before putting it over his own face.

Vincent is still making his way back from the Sanctuary when he comes across a roamer. Too exhausted to fight, he begins to panic until Heath arrives on horseback and kills the roamer. Vincent climbs on the horse and they ride off.

The Whisperers comment that it is taking too long to catch up to the others and it doesn't help that The Militia divided them. One of them makes their way to the front of the herd, and Michonne - disguised as a Whisperer - kills a Whisperer from behind. She instructs the others to move quickly, and a Whisperer notes that someone called her by name. She stabs him in the chest and orders her group to take out the rest.

Beta has woken up and asks if anyone looked at his face. The Whisperers tell him they did not, and Beta asks the status. They tell him the battle is still ongoing and he was out for nearly five hours. He says the others should be reaching the Hilltop soon and they will bring Lydia home as that's what her mother would have wanted.

The Whisperers comment that they are close to the Hilltop and are ready. Meanwhile, Heath asks what happened to Vincent. He tells him that the Saviors refused to send anyone to help and took his horse. Heath says that Rick won't be happy, and Vincent comments one war may be beginning before another ends. At Alexandria, Rick comments that Eugene has been busy. He says he is doing what little he can and that they are getting better stocked by the minute. Rick hopes that they won't need it. Tara has gone after Vincent, but realizes that someone else found him first.

At the Kingdom, Taylor greets William and asks what brings him outside. He tells him they could all do well to keep watch during such dangerous times. At Alexandria, Andrea sighs as she keeps watch from the guard tower. At the Hilltop, Aaron is putting on his coat and Alex asks if he is going somewhere. He says no but he is going to be ready if he needs to go in a hurry. Dante approaches Maggie and asks her to meet him in the study in ten minutes.

Dwight instructs his group to ensure the Whisperers won’t turn. Laura praises his idea, and Dwight hopes it worked for the others. Laura assures him they will be fine. She asks if they will be wearing the masks all the time now, but Dwight says the practice should die with the Whisperers. They decide to set up camp at the fallback position, until someone points out one of the Whisperers is still alive. He apologizes and insists he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but Dwight shoots him in the head and the group move on.

Maggie meets Dante in the study. He tells her he really likes her and wants to be with her. Maggie declines, and tells him she likes him but she will only ever love her husband.

Carl looks back at Lydia as she sleeps before heading outside. He waves to the guard and notices flames in the sky. He soon realizes it is flaming arrows, and the guard is pierced through the chest. He falls from the lookout post and is devoured by roamers. Carl shouts that they are under attack.

Tara catches up to Heath and Vincent, insisting she is just returning the horse. Heath asks if she is also sending the soldiers they requested in the first place, but she says no. Heath says they know where the Saviors stand and tells her to keep the horse, and they go their separate ways.

Back at the Hilltop, the gate is coming down. Dante orders everyone to get into position, and Maggie instructs them to bring down the archers. Carl tells Lydia they are going to be fine. The Hilltop residents battle the Whisperers, and the house catches fire. Maggie races inside to find Sophia and Hershel, followed by Carl. Lydia stays behind and fights, but she is grabbed by a Whisperer who says they are taking her home as that’s what her mother would have wanted. Lydia tells them the Hilltop is her home and the time of the Whisperers is over. She shoots the Whisperer in the head and continues to fight of the herd.

Inside the house, Sophia lifts Hershel out of his crib just as Maggie and Carl arrive. Maggie tells them to leave, but Carl insists they go and he will make sure the house is clear despite Maggie's resistance.

Carl evacuates the house and helps Johnny carry an unconscious Brianna. Part of the house explodes behind them and Carl is knocked to the ground. Johnny continues to get his mother to safety as Carl falls unconscious.

Maggie, Sophia and Hershel run outside where Dante is fighting off the herd. Sophia shoots a Whisperer in the head.

A Whisperer accuses Lydia of being a traitor and she tells him she doesn't want to live like an animal before killing him. A worried Sophia asks Brianna about Carl's whereabouts, and she tells her that he helped her and Johnny out before apologizing.

Aaron throws Carl from a window and jumps out after him. Dr Carson arrives and starts trying to resuscitate Carl as Aaron and the rest of The Hilltop residents continue to battle the Whisperers. Carl wakes up as Maggie declares they have won.

Beta is struggling to walk but refuses help. Meanwhile, Rick is questioning Heath and Vincent on what happened with the Saviors. At the Kingdom, Taylor alerts William that a herd have attacked the Hilltop. William tells him to gather up everyone he can.

Connie has been bit and insists someone amputate her hand. Kelly and Yumiko are reluctant, so Magna offers to do it. Dwight scolds Negan for crying over Lucille when a woman has lost her hand. Negan tells him he will never understand why Lucille meant so much to him. Laura asks Dwight what their plan is, and Dwight says at sunup they will go home as Beta and the Whisperers watch from a distance. Beta tells them they must return to camp and end this.

Eugene has loaded a cart with bullets to take back to Alexandria. A resident tells him he should wait until the morning and asks if he's willing to risk his life for a bunch of bullets. Eugene argues that the bullets are the only thing of value they are contributing to the war while others are dying to keep them safe.

Rick tells Andrea when she is watching for the Whisperers in the bell tower to also watch for the Saviors. Andrea asks if things are that bad, to which Rick replies they might be and all they can do is be prepared.

Tara arrives back at the Sanctuary and leaves the horse with John so she can talk to Sherry. Tara tells her they wouldn't take the horse and she is worried that she doesn't know how well they are faring against the Whisperers. Sherry tells Tara that they are going to win as that's what Rick Grimes does. And when the war is over and they are weak, that is when they will take over whatever is left.

Later that day Negan has dug a grave for Lucille. He apologizes for not burying her before and says he will always miss her, and that he is sorry for naming a baseball bat after her. Dwight calls out and tells him they will leave him behind, and Negan says he will catch up.

William and some of the Kingdom soldiers are on their way to the Hilltop, where they find it destroyed. The surviving residents are camping by the bridge, and Dante calls out to them. William apologizes to Maggie for not being there, but she says it could just as easily have been the Kingdom. She says they will head to Alexandria, and they will rebuild the Hilltop later.

Carl approaches Lydia, who is feeling guilty over the attack and being a part of the Whisperers previously. She says Carl would hate her if he knew the things she had done, but Carl tells her he and his people have also done horrible things to get to where they are now. They hug.

The Whisperers are helping a weak Beta walk. They suggest he rests, but he refuses and says they must do this now.

In Alexandria, Rick and Andrea are discussing what to do if a herd or the Saviors approach. Andrea mocks Rick's old man act, and he comments that being behind the walls is making him soft. Andrea disagrees with him. Eugene arrives with a large supply of ammunition. Rick greets him just as he falls from the horse, exhausted from having rode through the night from the Hilltop. Inside, he tells Rick it's the only way he can contribute. Rick tells him he has done a lot more for them than he thinks. They hear a single shot fired and race outside.

The Militia have returned, having defeated the Whisperers much to Rick's surprise. He greets Dwight as the others reunite, and Negan watches on. Dwight comments that they haven't heard from Father Gabriel, and Rick says they will search the area later. He asks Dwight to tell him everything. He explains how they were able to defeat them, but becomes agitated when Rick asks if he's sure they got them all. Dwight mentions it wasn't easy and that there were hundreds of the dead, and Rick yells that they need to get back out there. Dwight says that they won, and Rick tells him they didn't - he saw thousands of the dead and they will still be out there.

Meanwhile, an enormous swarm of walkers is heading towards Alexandria. Beta tells the Whisperers that it is done and the herd can continue the rest of the way without them. He says the war is over and the dead can finish what they have started.


Main Characters

Supporting Characters

Minor Characters


In Other Languages

Language Title Cover
Italian The Walking Dead vol. 27: Guerra Ai Sussurratori (means: The Whisperer War)
Czech Živí mrtví 27: Válka Šeptem (means: The Whisperer War)
TWD Volume 27 Czech.png


  • Robert Kirkman stated in the Nerdist Comic NYCC Panel that he originally was going to call the war "The Whisper War", but later on thought that it sounded like a war over whispers, which made him change the title.
  • "The Whisperer War" is the second title referring to a person (or people) who are directly named in the title. For example, "Miles Behind Us" or "Here We Remain" would be indirect, where as "The Whisperer [War]" would be direct.