Warning: huge Walking Dead comic book spoilers coming up. Proceed with caution from here on out.
Skybound Entertainment has released artwork for the upcoming issues of The Walking Dead and it's led to speculation that Rick might be about to lose the person most dearest to him.
The image sees Rick standing alone on the shore watching a boat on the water:
Well, color me intrigued.
At the end of the last volume - which saw the action pick up two years after All out War - Rick had begrudgingly let Carl move away from Alexandria to the Hilltop to begin an apprenticeship as a blacksmith. The patriarch found it difficult to let his son go, but knew it was time.
Now some sites are suggesting this image represents an even more dramatic goodbye, and believe that Carl is on this boat and setting sail for pastures new. Could this be Carl's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King moment and he's setting sail for The Walking Dead version of the Undying Lands?
Perhaps, but what if this is not the case?
What if the boat is not sailing away, but is instead coming to the shore? The tagline for this issue is "FROM THE EDGE OF THE WORLD: A new arc begins as our world gets even bigger."
Alexandria is near the Potamac river, so perhaps Rick is standing on the shore, ready to welcome these strangers from a distant land. It's an intriguing proposition, and gives The Walking Dead a much bigger scale and scope than before.
I guess all will become clear when issue 139 is released March 11th.