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The Walking Dead Comic Book Review

The Walking Dead 1-79

 

  As I had said back when I did my review of the new AMC television series The Walking Dead, I had never read the comic book that the show was based on before. After watching a review of the television series by another critic named The Last Angry Geek who was a fan of the comic, I decided to delve into the comic book series. A daunting task to say the least, as The Walking Dead comic book series has been running monthly for over seven years.

 

  First a little history. The Walking Dead is a monthly black and white comic book series that was created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and published by Image Comics, beginning back in 2003. The series follows the life of officer Rick Grimes as he and a group of survivors try to make it in a world gone mad during a zombie apocalypse.

 

Shoot out

Not a doughnut in sight!

 

  The comic opens with Rick and his partner Shane in a shootout with an escaped convict from a neighboring prison located in Grant County. As Rick tries to maneuver into a better position Shane's gun is shot right out of his hands, and a split second later Rick is shot by the convict.

 

  The next panel shows Rick waking up in a hospital all alone, well alone except for all the dead and undead spread out all over the hospital. Rick fights his way out of Harrison Memorial Hospital to his house in search of his wife Lori and his son Carl, only to receive a smack on the back of the head from the business end of a shovel.

 

Shovel time

Stop! Shovel time.

 

  When Rick wakes up, he is in his neighbors house, but it's not his neighbors who are occupying it. Instead he is greeted by Morgan and his son the shovel master Duane. After explaining to Rick that the zombie apocalypse has destroyed the world over dinner, the trio makes their way to the police station for supplies. The group splits up with Rick heading down to Atlanta to his in-lawas hoping that this is where his family went. Morgan and his son Duane are going to wait it out inside of the neighbors house until all of this silly apocalypse stuff blows over.

 

  After running out of gas Rick abandons his patrol car and finds a horse on an abandoned farm and rides into Atlanta. Rick finds that Atlanta is overrun with the undead and narrowly escapes out of the city with the help of another survivor named Glenn.

 

Deja Vu

Deja Vu?

 

  When the duo gets back to Glenn's camp, Rick finds out that not only is his family here safe and sound, but that it is also being led by his old partner Shane. The group consists of several survivors including Donna and Allen and their twin boys, along with Dale, Jim, Carol and her daughter Sophia, and sisters Amy and Andrea.

 

Kumbaya

Kumbaya

 

  Shane wants to stay close to Atlanta as he sees that as the best chance for survival, as the government will come to rescue them any day now, but Rick sees the dangers of being so close to the zombie infested city that he repeatedly suggests that they leave.

 

   After recovering some weapons on a scavenging run in Atlanta with Glenn, Rick begins to teach the other survivors how to use firearms including his young son Carl against the objections of his wife Lori. Andrea soon proves to have a natural talent with guns and becomes the groups sharpshooter.

 

  One night the survivors camp is attacked by Roamers, (their name for undead zombies who range out in search of victims) and Amy is killed during the attack while Jim is bitten. Knowing that he is going to die and become a zombie Jim asks the group to take him out to the outskirts of Atlanta were they leave him sitting against a tree to die. The death of Amy leads Andrea to become much closer to Dale.

 

  Tensions between Rick and Shane continue to mount culminating in a showdown that ends in an unexpected way that I will not ruin it for you here. The group now with Rick as their leader pileup into Dale's RV and hit the road looking for a safer place to live.

 

The Walking Dead RV

 

  The comic continues to follow Rick's group of survivors as they constantly gain and lose members during their travels.

 

  The group settles in several locations from a gated community, to a farm, to a prison, to a walled community on the outskirts of Washington D.C.

 

Choose Wisely

Choose wisely, your life just might depend on it.

 

  The real heart of the series is how people cope in the face of disaster, and how long can someone hold it together when tragedy follows tragedy again and again. It is also a tale of how quickly human civilization with its laws and rules can fall apart.

 

  Unlike many storytellers the writer of The Walking Dead is not afraid to kill off or maim a main character. This is a very refreshing change as you can come to care for these survivors, only to feel like your heart has been ripped out when one of them is hurt or killed. Unlike other comics there is no robot double or special ring to resurrect the character. Once their dead the only way they are coming back is as a hungry flesh eating zombie.

 

Rick Grime's Phone

O.K. maybe there is more than one way for a character to come back but it's not the same. (Read the series, I' am not telling you what this image means).

 

  The series reminded me a lot of the books I read when I was young kid like, The Guardians, or Wind in the Ashes, except with the end of the cold war, nuclear annihilation has been replaced by the hungry hordes of the undead.

 

  This is definitely a series for adults as there are some very graphic depictions of torture and sexual situations. In fact one of the reasons I did not score this series higher is for some of the absurd sexual encounters that kept popping up throughout the series, it was obvious that the women in The Walking Dead were being written by a man.

 

  Overall it's a great story of survival and a look into the darkness that awaits in even a good persons mind. I recommend this series, pick up one of the trade paperbacks available and dig in.

 

Final Verdict for The Walking Dead Comic Series 7/10

    -Professor

 

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