It must be difficult to continually come up with new ideas for The Walking Dead graphic novels, and it seems Kirkman is showing the strain. A new group of vicious villains doesn't seem much different from the Governor and his gang. As sadistic as this leader, Negan, is, it's hard to get too frightened because it seems like we've seen it before. I must admit, though, that it is kind of fun to see Rick feeling defensive and helpless.
What was NOT fun was one of the deaths in this volume. I have been fine with every character killed up until now, including (or maybe especially) Lori and the baby, but this one... Maybe Kirkman just wants to keep us on our toes. If so, I'm not sure he suceeded. This series might be due for a major shakeup. Another reviewer suggested a fast forward in time to Carl as a young adult. This idea has a lot of potential, because the recent plot lines are starting to feel stale.