‘The Walking Dead: Dead City’ Review: AMC’s Fifth Bite

'The Walking Dead: Dead City' intriguingly dives deeper into Maggie and Negan's personal dynamics, but it holds potential to do more.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

The Walking Dead franchise returns to AMC and AMC+ with its latest entry, The Walking Dead: Dead City. With The Walking Dead concluded and Fear the Walking Dead approaching its end this November, This marks Dead City as the first sequel series set after The Walking Dead and the fifth overall series in the franchise.

The Walking Dead: Dead City follows the popular Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan) characters as they travel into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror. We follow Maggie and Negan as they search for Maggie’s kidnapped son, Hershel (Logan Kim).

Michael Anthony as Luther, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead: Dead City _ Season 1, Episode 3
Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC

For all kinds of viewers, this show is easily accessible. The Walking Dead gives you all the information you need to know about our key characters, so even if you’ve never watched it before, you can still enjoy this show. Dead City will undoubtedly appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Although you might have mixed feelings about the original series, you might find delight in this show.

We also get to see the character growth that Maggie and Negan have undergone collectively on The Walking Dead, thanks to Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan resuming their individual roles as Maggie and Negan. This character growth carries over into Dead City and emerges as the show’s focal point. We dig into Maggie’s head and learn what the effects Negan’s actions from Season 7 of The Walking Dead are currently having on her. Throughout the series, she is in this difficult emotional place and must battle with herself to decide what to do with Negan.

As we see from the big question, the series imagines Negan fighting with himself. Negan: Is he a monster? Old Negan occasionally reappears during the season. In these moments, Negan and the characters in his immediate vicinity debate whether Glenn’s death was justified or whether Negan’s remedies are reasonable. Dead City‘s current season particularly delves into the personalities of Maggie and Negan while exploring the boundaries between good and evil.

Jonathan Higginbotham as Tomasso, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead: Dead City _ Season 1, Episode 2
Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC

In addition, there’s also a fresh supporting cast here. However, their character developments were rather flat. Their intentions didn’t appeal to me and there wasn’t enough time to develop a strong relationship. This is because of the disadvantage of a six-episode series, which doesn’t help divide time to resonate with these characters.

Since Maggie and Negan were “legacy” characters, they were spared from this and seemed more fully realized. The supporting cast and the new enemy, The Croat, share the same fate. He has some intriguing moments and his past makes him a compelling antagonist, but it doesn’t work out in the end. The Croat isn’t the worst villain we’ve come across in The Walking Dead, but he also isn’t the best.

If you adore these characters, The Walking Dead: Dead City isn’t necessarily a terrible thing; it’s more of a deep-dive character analysis. The main emphasis on Maggie and Negan should satisfy fans of the characters even though most of them aren’t properly developed. It suffers from having six episodes, and that causes concern for the upcoming series Daryl Dixon and Rick & Micchone.


The first five episodes of The Walking Dead: Dead City are streaming now on AMC+. The sixth and final episode airs on AMC+ July 20 and on AMC July 23.

Christopher Mills

Christopher Mills

A complete comic nerd who's into films, shows and games.
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