Comic book recap: The Walking Dead issue 174 ‘A Solitary Life’

Negan - The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound
Negan - The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound /

What happened in the December issue of The Walking Dead? Here is the full recap of issue 174 of the Image Comics and Skybound book titled ‘A Solitary Life’.

Issue 174 of The Walking Dead comic book series was released on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 and is titled ‘A Solitary Life’. A lot is going on during this issue, so let’s break down everything that happened in this issue.


The issue opens with Negan doing some gardening, but swearing in only the way that Negan can do. He has Sunflowers, which he calls ‘gorgeous’ and some grass, which he scolds using multiple curse words.

He pulls up one of the sunflowers, complimenting it on its thick, long roots and making comparisons to his own genitals. He continues talking about how other words for genitals, specifically female ones, would catch on if they got used as much as the other words were.

Taking the sunflower, he walks away from the flowers and is trailed by two walkers, who he calls ‘critics’ for not laughing at his jokes. He says that he’s close to home and they might eat someone who comes for him, so he shoves them to the ground and doesn’t kill them.

Still talking to himself, he discusses how the end of the world can help someone to appreciate the beauty in things never appreciated before, such as gardening and flowers. He says even Lucille may have enjoyed flowers now even though she didn’t before, and the sunflower is to honor her.

He says that Lucille probably would have been smarter than he was because he thinks a lot about what the apocalypse would be like if she lived and he died. He also says that she probably wouldn’t have ended up alone, just like he did.

Then, he snaps back to being Negan and says that he is stronger than this, but he will be back to visit the sunflower tomorrow, which is in a pot next to a makeshift grave.

Negan - The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound
Negan – The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound /

He walks into a house, saying ‘home sweet home’ but finds a sleeping bag, some cans, books, a pitcher, and a gun right inside the door. He uses that gun to hunt for a dog which he cooked over a fire using a makeshift rotisserie.

Complaining that the dog didn’t even taste good and justifying killing it by saying it would have died anyway, he once again sits looking at the sunflower.

Later, he finds an overturned truck with the back open. Inside, there are many cans of what is likely food and proclaims ‘jackpot’ at his find.

It turns out his find was a truckload of expired food, which went right through him. He sits pooping in the grass during the night, swearing about what the food did to him.

With a grocery cart full of tools, Negan decides to check out one more place. This is a farmhouse, which has a baseball bat leaning against the wall in the barn stall. Saying ‘no’ multiple times, he hangs his head in same in memory of Lucille.

Back at the house, he is laying in the sleeping bag with open cans of food near him. He goes out to the grave, where he admits he is talking to a baseball bat and that might be crazy, but he keeps using it to speak to his dead wife anyway.

Running to the barn, he grabs the baseball bat. Holding it high in the air, he proclaims that he is young and wants to live. Carrying it back to his house, he walks past a barbed wire fence and gets a good idea.

Negan - The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound
Negan – The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound /

Using the barbed wire and the bat, he recreates the weapon he had used in the past. However, his reunion is cut short as Maggie and Dante arrive on the scene and Maggie holds a gun to Negan’s head.

Maggie tells Dante to wait outside. He does as asked, leaving Maggie and Negan alone together. Once alone with Negan, she reminds him of who she is. She then says that he must know why she’s there, and he says he has figured it out since she is likely not happy that he’s alive.

Negan says that it’s a luxury to live long enough in the apocalypse to be able to regret things. He apologizes to her for what he’s done and says he won’t fight back against her.

Speechless, Maggie stands there in awe for a moment. Her face then turns to anger and she says he is just trying to get sympathy to save his life. Instead, he says he had years to think about what he has done and he is sorry for what he did, but he believes he did it at the time for the greater good by killing one to save many.

Continuing his speech, he says that Rick showed him that he can be better and that he doesn’t have to do things that way. He says that Glenn was her Lucille, and he knows just how hard he took losing her.

Maggie asks if Negan can picture Lucille’s face and he responds that he does every single day and remembers conversations they had. Conversely, Maggie says that the only thing that she pictures when thinking of Glenn is him saying her name as his head got bashed in and Negan smiling.

Negan tells her to go ahead and kill him because he deserves it. She looks at the baseball bat she was making and he says it would be poetic for her to kill him using that. Instead, Maggie says she’s not going to kill him.

Maggie and Negan - The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound
Maggie and Negan – The Walking Dead 174, Image Comics and Skybound /

Grabbing Maggie’s hand, he raises her gun to his forehead, begging her to pull the trigger. He says he can’t live like this. He can’t live alone. He says to picture Glenn’s face and know that he could do that again at any time.

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When she doesn’t shoot, he starts begging her, saying please and telling her that he’s ready for all of this to end. However, she pulls the gun away and says she won’t give him what he wants. With tears streaming down his face, Negan is left alone to think about everything as Maggie leaves.

Outside, Maggie tells Dante she didn’t kill him. She even kills two walkers closing in on his house just to make sure they don’t kill him while he sobs uncontrollably. Then, she turns and plants a huge kiss on Dante before turning and saying it’s time to go home, leaving Dante stunned.

Back in the house, Negan picks up the barbed wire baseball bat and brings it outside, throwing it in the fire with a big smile on his face as the issue comes to a close.

Next: Cover analysis for The Walking Dead 175

What did you think of issue 174 of The Walking Dead? And should Maggie have killed Negan when she had the chance? Plus, does this mean she changed her mind about Dante too? Let us know your thoughts about ‘A Solitary Life’ in the comments below.