I was not sold on the last volume of Walking Dead. I felt like Kirkman was writing brutality for the sake of being brutal, because he feels like we expect it at this point (which, fair enough, we do, or we should) or because he simply sees no other way forward. This volume is a bit of an improvement in that regard. Sure, Negan is a terrifying, brutal character, but he's given development beyond his baseball bat. That's what this volume is really all about, giving Negan depth and, in the process, making him even more of a threat. From what I've seen here, Negan is just as much of a sociopath as he had seemed at first glance, maybe even more so. But now he's compelling, too. I wouldn't say likeable, because he certainly isn't that. But now he's a person, not just the means to an end. And it's a relief, because I had gotten to the point where I was reading Walking Dead just because I had been reading Walking Dead, more out of inertia than real enjoyment. I'm still skeptical. Kirkman needs to have an ending in mind, and I'm not convinced that he does. Dragging this on endlessly will eventually lose me.