Love Is Strange
By: Chris "The DOC" Bushley
Warning Spoilers Dead Ahead
With Cupid slinging arrows and plastic wrapped boxes of chocolates piled throughout every store, it's safe to say that Valentine's Day is quickly upon us. As you waded through crowds to pick out just the perfect card for your loved ones, you may have missed that the world of comics was full of romance as well. Miss Harley Quinn was paying an awful lot of money to get Bruce Wayne in the boudoir, Silk and Spidey were content to just hold each other after the events of the epic Spider-Verse conclusion and Barry Allen was dealing with some second date "quickness" issues on the CW's The Flash! But none of the romantic scenario's can compare to the tale of first love in the pages of The Walking Dead #137.
Throughout the past few months, Robert Kirkman has taken his cast of survivors and launched them two years into the future. Rick Grimes and company have established a world of peace, inner trade and prosperity but nothing has changed more than Carl Grimes and his onset of puberty. He has decided to become his own man and, with the blessing of his father, has taken up an apprenticeship and moved to the Hilltop. There he is reunited with his best friend, Sofia, and they spend almost every waking moment together. But alas, their budding feelings are put on hold as both of them are attacked by two boys, and as Carl runs away, they continue to pummel Sofia. The "knight in shinning eye patch" returns with a shovel and nearly kills the boys before he picks up Sofia and runs for help. Carl's valiant save of Sofia changes the entire dynamic of the Hilltop however as the boys' parents call for brutal retribution for the beatings and Maggie, leader of the Hilltop, places Carl in jail to appease the masses. While there, Carl befriends a fellow prisoner, Lydia, a pretty girl that is a member of the Whisperers, a roaming group of people that wear the flesh of others so they can blend in with the walkers. Lydia is there because she was part of a group that killed some of the Hilltop's patrolmen. As things progress, a friendship blooms between these two imprisoned teens and eventually Carl gives her his father's hat as a reminder that you can get through anything. Eventually, both Carl and Lydia are released and Carl is solely responsible for Lydia's actions while she is free. So, like most new friendships, he threatens to kill her if she harms anyone. As the day winds down, the two teens from different lifestyles , settle upon a quiet hilltop on the outskirts of town. Hormones rise to the surface and Lydia tells Carl she likes him and Carl reciprocates. She asks him why he wears glasses with an eyepatch covering one lens, Carl cringes and asks her not to touch the glasses, that it is gross and doesn't want her to see. Lydia finally steals the glasses and sees Carl's damaged face and hollow eye socket. But instead of being repulsed, she gently licks the socket and exclaims, "I think it's sexy." Appalled and confused, Carl lets Lydia lay him down and the two star-crossed lovers take the final step in changing Carl from a boy to a man.
Nothing says,"I love you" like a good ol' eye socket lick! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!