The Walking Dead: Michonne Just Made a Character-Altering Decision


WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead #179 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn and Rus Wooton, on sale now.

Image Comics' The Walking Dead typically isn't a universe that offers happy endings. Given the vast amount of zombies, or 'walkers' as they're known, that have overrun civilization, all that survivors usually end up finding are enemies, bloodshed and enough death to last a lifetime.

However, while this post-apocalyptic world mostly rips families apart (as seen with Glenn and Maggie, Rick and Lori, etc.), every now and then it offers a rare moment of happiness. In issue #175, this came in the shape of Michonne finding out her daughter, Elodie, was actually alive. Four issues later, the shocking revelation continues to make an impact on the series, with Michonne deciding she'll be staying at the Commonwealth with Elodie, thus officially parting ways with Rick's camp at Alexandria.

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The Commonwealth is basically a utopian settlement of around 50,000 survivors in Ohio. After Eugene made radio contact with them, Rick's field team decided to check them out to see how trustworthy they are, and this is where Michonne found a picture of her daughter. Governor Pamela Milton, after interrogating Michonne, eventually reunited her with the young lady, who had become a baker in the new civilization. It was further revealed that Elodie suffered deeply after she, her sister and father were separated from Michonne, with humans rather than walkers ultimately being responsible for killing the rest of the family.

Elodie, the lone survivor of this tragedy, gets much-needed alone time here with her mom, making up for the lost years. She shows her around the Commonwealth, and the excursion hits home with Michonne after she sees that a true society is in full-swing, not just an improvised one as we've seen with Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Kingdom in the past. The warrior recognizes that this place bears a strong similarity to what the world used to be and honestly, it's as close to normal as they'll ever get again -- evidenced by Michonne taking in a football game to a full crowd in the Commonwealth.

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However, her decision is one still steeped in trepidation, because she and the other visitors from Alexandria -- Eugene, Siddiq and Magna -- do see firsthand that the Commonwealth has a great deal of classism to it. Apparently, the elite that existed before the zombie outbreak remains the elite afterwards, only this time, the poor and middle-class seem to have a chance to work their way up. Everyone criticizes it but Michonne points out that it's a practical solution, and that there's a double-standard here from Team Rick, which didn't have any issues with such classism back at Alexandria or Hilltop.

In the case of the Commonwealth, it's just magnified because no one hides the fact that some people have special privileges based on their expertise and former occupations. This is a particularly interesting point because Governor Milton makes it clear that Michonne's former life as a lawyer means she could be one of the haves, a position that would elevate her daughter's status, removing Elodie from the ranks of the have-nots. This prospect is undoubtedly a major part of what fuels Michonne's motivation to stay behind and seek a better life for her and her daughter.

In the end, Michonne gives Eugene her sword to give Rick, not just as a 'thank you' for being an ally, but also to illustrate that she trusts the Commonwealth so much, she doesn't need the weapon any longer. She sees this hand-off as a burden being lifted and makes it very clear her new home lies with her family. It remains to be seen if Rick will trust the Commonwealth just as much as Michonne does, and if he's really willing to integrate his people with their settlement. After all, every alliance in this cold, cruel world usually comes at a price, and we all know Rick Grimes is as skeptical as they get. But for now, Michonne, once perhaps the most troubled of the series' core group of survivors, has finally found peace.

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