The Walking Dead Trade Paperback 23: Whispers Into Screams written by Robert Kirkman, penciled by Charlie Adlard, inked by Stefano Gaudiano
The mystery of the whispering zombies is explained in this issue. They are a group of survivors who roam the open countryside by wearing the skins of zombies to cloak their smell. They even walk with groups of real zombies for protection. They had a run-in with a patrol from Rick's people in the last issue. Some of Rick's people are killed but two get away, taking a captive with them. The captive is a sixteen year-old girl named Lydia. She is imprisoned in the town run by Maggie Greene. She and Jesus (one of the two who brought Lydia in) start to interrogate her.
Maggie has more problems on her plate. Carl and Sophia have another run in with some other teenagers that gets very violent. The parents of the other teenagers are difficult to deal with and are egged on by ex-ruler of the town who clearly wants to take over again (even though he is mostly incompetent). Carl winds up in the cell next to Lydia and starts to build a relationship with her, which jeopardizes the interrogation by Maggie. Also, readers naturally wonder if the girl is playing Carl to get an advantage or she is being honest with him.
Happily, the issue resolves most of the drama while leaving a new, clear path for the story to follow. The Whisperers are an interesting idea but the explanation given doesn't quite hold together. I'm intrigued enough to read the next issue when it's available at the library.