The Walking Dead

Infobox comic book title
title = The Walking Dead


caption =Cover art for "The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye" trade paperback.
Art by Tony Moore.
schedule = Monthly
ongoing = y
publisher = Image Comics
date=October 2003 - Present
issues =
Zombie = y
past_current_color = background:#5be85b
main_char_team =
writers = Robert Kirkman
artists = Charlie Adlard
editors:
pencillers =
inkers =
colorists =
creative_team_month =
creative_team_year =
creators = Robert Kirkman
Tony Moore
TPB = Days Gone By
ISBN = 1-58240-358-9
TPB1 = Miles Behind Us
ISBN1 = 1-58240-413-5
TPB2 = Safety Behind Bars
ISBN2 = 1-58240-487-9
subcat = Image Comics
altcat =
sort = Walking Dead, The

"The Walking Dead" is an American monthly black and white comic published by Image Comics beginning in 2003. The comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (replaced by Charlie Adlard from issue #7 onward) and chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse.

ynopsis

"The Walking Dead" is centered around a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, the characters become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair — and occasionally each other — the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home.

Days Gone Bye (issues #1-6)

The story opens with Rick Grimes and his partner Shane in a gunfight with an escaped convict. While trying to disarm the criminal, Rick gets shot and blacks out. When he awakes an unspecified time later, he finds himself in a hospital bed, completely alone.

Finding the hospital abandoned, Grimes sets off to find out where everyone went. He finds the hospital's cafeteria crowded with the living dead, and barely escapes with his life. He returns to his home, only to find it abandoned as well — and he catches a shovel in the back of the head. When he awakens, again, he discover that a young boy named Duane Jones had hit him, believing him to be a zombie. After a brief introduction, Duane's father Morgan explains what has happened while Rick was comatose: a plague of the dead has swept all civilization. Duane and Morgan have taken up in Rick's neighbor's house, hoping to ride it out.

Rick allows Morgan access to the police armory and a squad car, hoping it will help them survive. Then, Rick makes for Atlanta, Georgia, believing his wife Lori and son Carl went there to find shelter. When Rick reaches Atlanta, he finds a scene of utter carnage: bodies stacked chest-high, ruined military equipment rusting in the street. He is soon surrounded by zombies, and escapes alive thanks only to the aid of a young man named Glenn. Glenn leads Rick to an encampment outside the city, where he meets several other survivors as well as his family and Shane: shoe salesman Allen, his wife Donna and twin children Billy and Ben; Dale, a traveling salesman and older man whose RV is used by the group for a base; mechanic Jim whose family was killed by zombies; Carol, a single mother, and her daughter Sophia; and finally, college junior Amy with her sister, ex-clerk Andrea.

Rick adapts quickly to life in the encampment, soon becoming its de facto leader alongside Shane. He and Glenn daringly raid a gun store in the city, avoiding detection by rubbing pieces of a zombie on their clothes and skin to smell like a zombie. Rick teaches the group to shoot — including his son Carl (against Lori's wishes). The training comes in handy when the camp is beset by zombies; unfortunately, Amy is killed, and Jim is bitten, which will eventually change him into one of the monsters. He decides to be left behind as the group moves on, believing that if he becomes a zombie, he will be reunited with his family in some way.

Jim performs a eulogy at Amy's funeral, while Rick finds himself at odds with his partner, Shane, who wishes to stay behind. Rick argues that the camp is unsafe so close to the city and that the coming winter will soon make hunting impossible. Rick also hears rumors that Shane is infatuated with Lori. Things come to a head when Rick confronts Shane in the forest while hunting. Shane informs Rick that "he should have stayed dead", and how he wasn't supposed to come back. Rick is unaware that while he was gone, Shane had an affair with Lori. Shane feels that everything will be okay if he kills Rick. In an attempt to defend his father, Carl kills Shane by shooting him in the throat. He remarks, crying, that "It isn't like killing the dead ones." Rick, in tears, replies "It never should be, son. It never should be."

Miles Behind Us (issues #7-12)

A flashback at the beginning of this volume reveals that, the night they arrived at the outskirts of Atlanta, Shane and Lori had made love — an act Lori now considers a mistake. Flashing forward to the present, the survivors have piled into Dale's camper and have left for safer ground. They encounter another group of survivors: Tyreese, his daughter Julie, and her boyfriend Chris. Lori discovers she is pregnant, and tells Rick, who is still unaware of the affair with Shane. The group wants her to keep it a secret from him, because he is their adopted leader, and the knowledge could ruin him. Banding together, they continue on the road, eventually coming to a posh, gated community called Wiltshire Estates. They clear out one house and sleep inside, grateful for the opportunity to get out of the camper. Dale and Andrea start up a relationship, having spent the most time together. The next day they spread out, intending to clean out the other houses one by one. They do not notice the snow-covered sign at the gate reading "All Dead Inside — Do Not Enter"--until it is too late. The group is again attacked by a great horde of undead. Allen's wife Donna is bitten and killed, putting him into a funk from which he will not recover. The survivors cram back into the RV and depart.

Low on food, the group stops to allow Rick and Tyreese to hunt. Carl joins them — and catches a stray bullet from another hunter. The boy is badly hurt, but not killed, and Otis, the hunter, leads the group to the farm of Hershel Greene. A veterinarian, Hershel tends to the boy and allows the group to take shelter at his farm while Carl heals.

Tensions quickly build up at the farm. Glenn begins a physical relationship with one of Hershel's daughters, Maggie. Rick soon learns that Hershel is not killing the zombies he encounters, but instead luring them into his barn. He hopes that one day they might be "cured" — especially since his son is among them. Rick sees this as madness.

Eventually, the inevitable happens: the undead escape Hershel's barn, killing two more of his children and leaving Maggie, his youngest son Billy, and his youngest children, twins Rachel and Suzie. After dispatching the zombies, Rick and his party are obliged to leave, though Glenn stays behind with his girlfriend, Maggie. Rick and the others eventually come to a prison. Secure from the outside, with large fields which can be used for farming, the prison seems like what the survivors have been searching for since they left Atlanta. Rick announces, "We're home."

afety Behind Bars (issues #13-18)

The prison has great fences which seal it off from the outside, but a number of ghouls still stalk its grounds. Rick and the others begin the arduous task of cleaning it out. They discover four inmates using the prison as a shelter: Dexter, Andrew, Axel, and Thomas. Some survivors, including Lori, are reluctant to trust the criminals, but Rick reasons that they are all in the same mess together. Rick invites the Greenes to come to the prison with them, since there is plenty of food and plenty of room. The Greenes, whose farm is becoming increasingly unsafe, oblige, bringing Otis' girlfriend, Patricia.

Carol and Tyreese begin a relationship, but peace continues to elude the survivors, as Tyreese's daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris sneak away during the night to fulfill a suicide pact. Chris shoots too quickly, killing Julie before they can die together. Tyreese and Rick hear the gunshot and run to where it came from. Rick arrives to find Chris huddled in a corner with a gun in his hand, and Tyreese with Julie dead in his arms. Chris tries to explain, but a homicidally furious Tyreese chokes him to death. Only Rick is witness to the assault. This tragic incident also reveals a frightening new fact to the party: reanimation occurs in all dead bodies, not merely in those who die from bites. Haunted by this knowledge, Rick departs the group to take care of some personal business: killing Shane, who had been buried before he could reanimate, so he can finally rest in peace.

While Rick is gone, more horror befalls the group. Rachel and Suzie Greene, the youngest members of Hershel's clan, are decapitated while playing alone. Suspicion falls on Dexter, the only convict known to have been incarcerated for murder. When Rick returns, he finds that his wife (among others) locked Dexter up in a cell. Dexter protests his innocence (of the current murders, not his other ones), but no one believes him. He recruits Andrew, another convict (who is also his lover), to steal several shotguns from Block A, which contained the armory and which had not been cleaned out yet. Together, they make plans for mutiny. Soon, Thomas, one of the other inmates, is caught chasing after Andrea, one of the younger members of the party, who escaped while he tried to behead her. Andrea escapes alive but Thomas slashes her face with a knife, cutting off her earlobe and leaving a long scar down her face. Dexter is freed, and Rick beats Thomas to within an inch of his life, severely breaking his own hand in the process. Setting down a decree that "You kill, you die," Rick orders Thomas to be hanged. Patricia, who was having difficulties in her relationship with Otis and was befriending Thomas, frees him, only to be attacked as the deranged killer spews misogynist remarks. Before that can take place, Maggie Greene shoots Thomas and kills him. His corpse is thrown over the fence to be devoured by the zombies, watched by Hershel.

Shortly afterward, Dexter, Andrew, and Patricia confront Rick and his party, ordering them out of the prison. Armed with small-caliber pistols, and improvised weapons, Rick and his party are no match for the prisoners' riot shotguns. Axel, the last remaining inmate, tries to reason with Dexter, but when he himself is threatened with expulsion, he remains silent. It seems they have no choice but to hit the road again.

The Heart's Desire (issues #19-24)

Fortunately for Rick, Andrew had forgotten to seal the doors to Block A, and a horde of the living dead pour out. The prisoners and the other survivors are forced to work together to wipe out the throngs of zombies. Rick picks off a zombie which was about to kill Dexter, but the convict merely says, "Don't change a thing. Smart man woulda let him get me." Taking a hint, Rick waits for an opportunity and shoots Dexter through the head. When the battle ends, he claims Dexter must have caught a stray round. Tyreese saw the shot, but says nothing. Andrew takes off through the open prison gates without a word. Axel allies with the other survivors.

Meanwhile, outside the gates, Otis is making for the prison. He had stayed behind at Hershel's farm to manage the livestock, and only now decided to head for safety. He stops to watch the battle inside the prison, and soon ends up surrounded by zombies himself. He is rescued, however, by Michonne, a mysterious woman with a "katana" and a pair of chained zombies. She is taken in by the survivors (minus the zombies which she decapitated without a second thought after being told that she could not bring them in), and things settle down again. While cleaning out the rest of the prison, Allen is bitten on the leg. Despite the warnings of others, Rick amputates the affected leg, hoping to catch the infection in time. He succeeds only in making Allen's last days miserable. Turmoil rises again when Michonne seduces Tyreese and performs oral sex on him. Tyreese had been involved in a relationship with Carol prior to that, and when Carol spots them, she has a breakdown and attempts suicide. Carol survives, and Rick learns of the affair. He confronts Tyreese, claiming that the entire group is on edge and that it was basically Tyreese's fault that Carol tried to kill herself. Tyreese counters that Rick is a hypocrite, having vowed "You kill, you die," then having murdered Dexter. The two have a fist fight, during which Rick falls from the upper level of a cell block and is once again knocked unconscious.

When he awakens, he learns that the entire group now knows of Rick's action. They do not blame him for it, but they have decided that the pressure of being their "leader" is beginning to cause him to crack, and they have made him merely one of four "co-leaders," with the others being Tyreese, Dale, and Hershel. He does not object. Carol confesses her gratitude for Rick's defense of her in the fight. She kisses a startled Rick, and subsequently apologizes. Rick insists that he is not cracking up, but merely realizing that life will never return to normal, and that he and the others must learn to do terrible things in order to survive. Shocking his fellow survivors, Rick closes by making the assertion that "they", not the zombies outside, are the Walking Dead.

The Best Defense (issues #25-30)

Glenn discovers the prison's armory, complete with shotguns and full riot gear. Inspired by the new equipment, the group plans to siphon gasoline out of the remaining cars in the prison parking lot for future needs. Armored, Glenn and Rick head out and soon spot a helicopter in the sky, which suddenly descends, smoking and on fire. Glenn and Rick form a team, along with Michonne, who now has her sword. The three eventually find the crash site, but it is deserted, the only clues are many footprints, and tire tracks heading from the wreckage. Rick decides another group must have taken the survivors, and they follow the tracks.

Back at the prison, Carol continues to act bizarrely toward Lori and starts developing an obsessive care for her and Rick, to the point of suggesting a polyamorous marriage. A shocked Lori attempts to talk to the clearly disturbed Carol, but she reacts angrily and storms off. Dale and Andrea informally adopt Ben and Billy, who have been orphaned since the death of Allen.

Rick, Glenn, and Michonne eventually end up in the town of Woodbury. There they turn in their weapons after meeting a guard, Martinez, and find a well-armed and well-organized group of citizens, led by a man known as The Governor. The Governor explains that the National Guardsmen abandoned a nearby station, leaving behind weapons and equipment. The Governor leads the group to an arena surrounded by a ring of leashed zombies, which is used for gladiatorial combat, with two combatants fighting inside the ring. The Governor tells Rick they feed the zombies people that stumble into Woodbury, something that only the Governor's close confidants seem to know. One of the latest meals for the zombies was the helicopter crew.

Before Rick can respond, Rick is forced down on a table and interrogated at gunpoint by the Governor, who wants to know where Rick's camp is. When Rick and the others say they are the only ones, The Governor cuts off Rick's right hand. A raging, restrained Michonne tackles the Governor and rips off his left ear with her teeth. Rick is sent to the infirmary for immediate treatment, because the Governor wants whatever information he has. Glenn is locked in solitary confinement, and Michonne is raped and tortured by The Governor. She weeps, but defiantly tells the Governor that she is crying for "him", and that she is thinking about her revenge.

The Governor returns to his home, where he has his zombie daughter restrained, and places Rick's hand in her bucket as a meal for her. He is able to yell at her to make her back off. He has several aquariums with zombie heads inside them, including the newly severed heads of the Helicopter survivors as well. Later, he talks to Glenn, who has become deranged from his lengthy stay in the darkness of The Room. He tells Glenn that he plans to question him, but wants to "stack the deck" in his favor, so he heads to the next room over and tortures Michonne again, making sure Glenn hears her cries of misery.

In the infirmary, a now conscious Rick talks to the local doctor, Dr. Stevens, about the Governor, whose real name is Philip. Dr. Stevens tells Rick how he came to power: Phillip emerged as a leader, a tough man who ultimately kept people safe. Gradually, it became apparent that he was evil, concerned with his enjoyment more than others' safety. No one challenges him because he keeps everyone safe from the zombies, which satisfies the majority. The Governor then enters and manipulates Rick into revealing that there is indeed a nearby camp, and he wants its items found for Woodbury.

Back at the prison, the group begins to worry about Rick, Michonne, and Glenn, who have now been missing for two days. Otis tries to patch things up with Patricia. Lori worries about Rick, and when Carol tries to help, she is roughly turned away, as Lori mistakes her friendly comfort for another romantic approach. Tyreese returns to the prison after searching for the missing survivors and tells the others that he found the car stuck in the mud, but that was the only trace of their presence.

This Sorrowful Life (issues #31-36)

In Woodbury, Rick is bonding with Doctor Stevens and his nurse, Alice, when one of the town's gladiators, Eugene, arrives and kills his opponent. After the confusion, one of the guards who let Rick's team in, Martinez, comes to check on the doctor and is surprised by Rick's injury.

Low on gladiators, The Governor offers Michonne a deal: he will give her back her sword and let her fight it out in the arena in exchange for a rest period from her daily torture. He explains that the arena fights are staged to look good, but not deadly. She agrees to fight Eugene, and in the arena, kills him and then the surrounding zombies without hesitation. The onlookers protest the extreme violence, and Michonne is quickly knocked out again.

Meanwhile, Martinez breaks Rick out, taking Stevens, Alice, and Glenn with him. When they rescue Michonne, she says she will catch up later. In the confusion of escape, Stephens is bitten, but asks to stay a zombie rather than be killed.

Back within the city, Michonne arrives and tortures Phillip to the point of severe mutilation. Among general physical abuse, she insures he will never rape again by nailing his penis to a board and later severing it. She pulls off his fingernails with pliers and pulls out one of his eyes with a spoon, severs his arm then cauterizes the wound with a blowtorch, and unsuccessfully attempts to sever the artery in his leg. When she is interrupted, she quickly escapes (leaving Phillip's zombie daughter unharmed). Phillip's saviors, such as they are, wonder if he is still alive. Michonne later arrives at the crashed helicopter, meeting her friends. Upon being questioned, Michonne seems to have suppressed her memory of the Governor, and a disturbed Rick tells Glenn to watch over her.

Suddenly, zombies attack, and after a long fight back to the prison, they return to find the gates open, the prison overrun by hordes of zombies, and Dale's RV seemingly abandoned. Rick's group finds Dale and Andrea, who tell Rick the other survivors are hiding elsewhere. Rick kills an undead Otis, but is reunited with everyone else, who is still alive.

Hershel says his wound was just a scratch from friendly fire, and Glenn finds a female zombie and takes its ring off, presumably to ask Maggie to marry him. Andrea catches Michonne talking to her other self, and Tyreese takes Rick off zombie duty due to his injuries.

In the confusion after clearing out the zombie infestation, Rick notices Martinez is missing, and assumes that he has gone back to Woodbury to tell where the prison is. Rick immediately sets off after Martinez on Dale's RV. He catches up to him before he makes it to Woodbury and proceeds to kill him - perhaps unnecessarily - in a rather vicious manner (he runs him over then strangles him), despite his pleas that it is 'selfish' not to allow the Woodbury people the security of the prison compound.

Back in the prison, Glenn asks permission to marry Maggie from Hershel, to which the tearful father agrees. Glenn then proceeds to propose to Maggie and the two become engaged.

After Rick's return, he calls for a group meeting where he finally reveals where Glenn, Michonne, and he have been for the past few days. He instructs the group to prepare themselves for the upcoming fight with the Woodsbury survivors.

The Calm Before (Issues #37-42)

The issue starts with a flashback regarding Lori's sexual encounter with Rick's partner Shane, who is implied to be the father of Lori's unborn child. Lori confronts Rick about this information, but before she can fully admit her mistake, Rick tells her that he knows, and that he just can't hear her say it. Glenn and Maggie were married by Hershel in a small ceremony in the prison's cafeteria.

Tyreese, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne and Axel go out to search for the military base to stock for the incoming onslaught from Woodbury. The group finds the base and takes several guns and canisters of gas. To prevent the people of Woodbury from taking more supplies, they blow it up as they leave for the prison. They then stop at an abandoned Wal-Mart for additional supplies, where they are confronted by armed thugs from Woodbury. The group rushes to hide before the men spot them, but Glenn approaches the Woodbury men and attempts to peacefully negotiate, telling them that they are on an innocent supply run. The leader of the thugs sees through the story and recognizes Glenn from his time in Woodbury, and fires his rifle into Glenn's chest, sending him sprawling to the ground. A gunfight breaks out, and the Woodbury men are handily defeated. A concerned Maggie rushes to Glenn's body, thinking he is dead, but he is alive, having been saved by the prison riot armor.

Back at the prison, Lori goes into labor. Billy is sent to keep the generator on. He brings Dale with him, and they realize there is hardly any gas left to power the generator. They leave the prison gates to siphon gas from the cars, and Dale is bitten in the leg by a zombie. Glenn's party arrives at the same time and brings Dale and Billy inside. The issue ends with Lori delivering a baby girl. If she is truly healthy or not, can be speculated upon. Shortly after the birth, Dale is brought into the surgical ward and his injured leg is hastily amputated by Rick. Lori then decides on the name Judith for her newborn daughter.

Dale, despite being bitten, seems to show no signs of turning. Following Dale's injuries, Andrea is spending more time with Tyreese. Dale suspects something, but Rick is convinced he is simply overreacting. Outside, the others capture a zombie and hold it hostage for study. Carol meanwhile is losing her grip on her sanity. After having sex with Billy she goes outside and allows the captured zombie to bite her on the neck. Both she and the zombie are shot. Dale learns to walk with a peg leg that Tyreese and Andrea made for him. Glenn and Maggie decide to try and have a baby. Their happiness is short lived however as outside the prison fences, The Governor (minus an arm, an eye, an ear and a penis) returns with an army of people and a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Made to Suffer (Issues #43-48)

The next issue reveals what happened to the Governor between Michonne's torture and his army's arrival at the prison. Badly mutilated, he is treated by Bob, an alcoholic and former combat medic with little experience who is forced into the job after Dr. Stevens' departure. The treatment goes well, leading some of the Governor's men to suspect that Michonne intentionally avoided a lethal wound.

After recovering, he speaks to the Woodbury people and manipulates them into thinking that the prison survivors are a group of savages who must be destroyed. After saying goodbye to his zombie daughter, the Governor and his army depart Woodbury and arrive at the prison.

Immediately upon arrival, the Woodbury army opens fire into the zombie masses between themselves and the prison. Rick tells Lori to head underground and hide while he and the others dive for cover. Andrea heads to the tower with her rifle, and despite a few minor wounds, begins picking off men from the Woodbury army.

Despite superior numbers, the Woodbury army is poorly trained. Few, if any, were soldiers in their prior lives. In fact, it is all they can do to drive the IFV and they have no idea on how to fire its 25mm gun (they incorrectly refer to it as a "tank," despite it being nothing of the sort, further displaying their lack of familiarity with the vehicle). They are forced to fall back and regroup after considerable losses, and Rick's group begins to debate whether they should remain inside the prison or capitalize on their victory and go on the offensive. Before they can decide, Rick emerges from the prison with a bullet wound in his abdomen and collapses.

Dale, Andrea, the twins, Sophia and, at the last minute, Glenn and Maggie flee the prison in their RV in order to avoid the confrontation they expect from the Governor. It is only a temporary departure, but Hershel cannot shake the feeling that he has just seen his daughter for the last time. Rick gets a blood transfusion and starts to recover nicely. Tyreese and Michonne decide to tail the Governor and the townspeople in the hopes that if they kill a few more it will discourage their attack. Tyreese is captured after killing a couple townspeople and we are told that Michonne had her head blown off.

The Governor returns to the prison with Tyreese as his prisoner. He tells them he has Michonne as well, and he gives the survivors an ultimatium. Let him in, or Tyreese dies. Rick says it was stupid of Tyreese and Michonne to venture off. The survivors refuse to let him in, and in a fit of anger (and after multiple hacks), the Governor decapitates Tyreese with Michonne's sword. They leave Tyreese's body in front of the prison gates. Billy shoots at the Governor and his men as they flee, but to no avail. Rick then tells the survivors that they have to make sure Tyreese did not die in vain. The Governor tells the Woodbury people a false story about how Rick and his people killed Tyreese. Michonne then shows up right behind him with a gun to his head.

Gabe, the Governor's second-in-command opens fire at Michonne, but she fires back, clips the Governor, kills one of his men and escapes with her sword. The Governor and his army return to the prison and attack it in exactly the same manner as their initial assault. Axel is shot dead, but the prison survivors are able to successfully defend themselves using the cars as shields. The Woodbury army is further decimated and demoralized by Billy hurling a grenade into their midst, killing several of them. Gabe tells the Governor that Woodbury's army must regroup because they are scared and sloppy, but the Governor insists it's now or never. Gabe is shot dead by Andrea as it is revealed that at least she has returned but the rest of the group of survivors who left in the RV are not shown. One of the Governor's henchmen drives a truck into the RV, injuring Andrea. As his army seeks to retreat, the Governor loses it, and orders the IFV to drive over the fences. Rick and his group rush to escape while the Governor and his army invade the prison. Rick rushes into the cellblock, looking for Lori and Judith and eventually finds them with Alice pointing a gun at them. They tell him they were only faking in case they were discovered by the Governor's men.

Rick, along with his family and Alice, attempt to escape to the truck. Meanwhile, Patricia and Billy are shot dead. Billy's death demoralizes Hershel, causing him to refuse to even try to escape when Rick calls out to him. The Governor and his men open fire, and kill Alice, Lori and Judith. Rick and Carl escape, as they never stop moving, and only Rick sees Lori and Judy die. As Rick and Carl escape, The Governor orders his men to stop firing at them, as he is convinced the zombies will get them. Angered that Hershel is still alive--the Woodbury people believed he was surrendering--the Governor heartlessly executes him. At that point, Lori and Judith's killer, Lilly realizes that Lori was carrying a baby, and tearfully calls the Governor a monster. He is outraged, but she is no longer in his thrall as she hits him with her rifle and puts the barrel in his mouth, preparing to execute him. Then, a horde of zombies breaks through the hole in the fence and attacks the Woodbury army. The Governor gets up, shotguns a zombie and urges that the group calmly move into the prison and stick together. At that point, as the remnants of the army are overwhelmed, Lilly gets to her feet and shoots the Governor in the head, exploding it, and pushes his corpse into a mass of zombies, where it is immediately eaten. She leads the remnants of the army into the prison, but their guns fall silent quickly and they are presumed to have been killed by the zombies, as the prison is rendered uninhabitable.

Rick and Carl manage to run to safety, and burst into tears upon realizing that Lori and Judith are dead.

Here We Remain (Issues #49-52)

Michonne returns to the ruins of the prison, and upon finding Tyreese's undead decapitated head by his corpse, drives her sword through it, and sheds a tear for putting her dead lover out of his misery. The only other survivor she finds is the Governor's henchman who drove a truck into the RV; the man is alive, but badly wounded and unable to speak. Michonne, clearly furious at him for being part of the Governor's army, quickly chops his head off. She investigates the wreckage of the RV, but finds no one and nothing, except footprints leading away from the battle. She follows them.

Rick and Carl are holed up in a nearby town. Rick tries to get Carl to eat, but he refuses to. Carl opens a can of food for his father, as Rick is unable to even operate a can opener. They investigate a nearby store, but are attacked by a zombie. Rick tries to drive his axe through its head, but is unable to penetrate its skull. Carl shoots the zombie after Rick lures it outside, and Rick asks Carl for his gun to dispose of another zombie that has come out.

They hide in a nearby house, but it is clear that Rick is still pained by his gunshot wound. That night he takes a huge dose of antibiotics he finds in the house's bathroom, but is still clearly in pain. Carl tells Rick that he misses his mom, only to find Rick unconscious, his eyes glazed over.

After defeating three zombies, one of which attacked him from behind, Carl decides that he no longer needs his dad to survive. He blames his father for failing to protect Lori and Judith, as well as the rest of their previous party. On two occasions, Carl has to decide whether Rick's grumblings are from his sickness or whether he has become undead. Finally, Rick momentarily wakes up and pleads with Carl to stay indoors. Carl agrees and holds Rick's head, taking back what he said about not needing his father's protection. Rick eventually gets better. Whilst returning to health, he gets a call on the phone of the house they are staying in. Rick begins to talk to the voice and converse about their ordeals. Eventually, he asks for the woman's name and she answers Lori. Rick then forcefully unplugs the phone but can still hear Lori speaking on the line. This causes him to realize that the phone calls were all in his head and that he is trying to forgive himself for Lori's death. Eventually, he "hangs up" although he takes the phone with him in his backpack, and he and Carl leave the house.

Continuing their journey, Rick tries to to teach as much as he can to Carl, to help him be able to stay alive even if Rick should be killed. When Rick leaves Carl alone, in order to forage for some gas, a zombie attacks the child, who's saved by Michonne. Michonne rejoins the group, revealing that a still unknown survivor from the prison escaped and fled in the same direction that the RV had come from. Michonne was following the tracks to find out if he/she was one of them, or one of the attackers, and asks for the final fate of several of the people who were in the prison, including Lori.

The next morning they are startled by the sound of approaching horses and turn to see who it could be; it's Maggie and Glenn.

Issue #53

Rick and Glenn happily greet eachother, but the moment is soured when Glenn learns no-one else made it out of the prison, and Maggie is devastated when she learns her father and brother are dead, which confirms Hershel's feeling that he was never going to see her again. The situation remains downcast until Glenn suggests head back Hershel's farm, which is a mile away from their present position, where the remaining survivors are staying. Both groups travel by horse and car down the road.

At the farm, Andrea, who is on sentry duty, raises the alarm to Dale, who is busy playing with Billy and Ben. Both are delighted to find Rick, Carl and Michonne are back alongside Glenn and Maggie. Dale instantly realizes the truth of what happened at the prison when Maggie runs inside in tears, and apologizes to Rick for his losses. Carl, meanwhile, goes inside to reunite with Sophia. Sophia, at this time, is sitting on the floor looking sad. Carl admits he missed her and he now knows how she feels, as they both have dead mothers now, and it is okay to be sad. Sophia looks at Carl for the first time and says her mother, Maggie, isn't dead. This confuses and concerns Carl, and when he tries to make his point, Sophia gets angry. Cautiously, Carl asks if she remembers him, and Sophia responds, looking somewhat maniacal and semi-deranged, that she does, and hugs him.

Later at night, Carl speaks with his father as goes is tucked into bed. Carl believes Sophia is crazy, as she now doesn't remember her real mother. Rick theorizes that, because people deal with death in different ways, and that Sophia would be too sad to remember her mother, so she doesn't. Carl thinks it's stupid, causing Rick to teach him a harsh lesson; they are surrounded by death, a world where children should not have to grow up in, and Sophia has enough on her mind that she doesn't need to worry about what he thinks of her, and if it makes things a little easier, then it should be okay with him. Carl understands and agrees to continue to be nice to Sophia for his father.

Rick stays up and goes outside to speak with Dale on the porch. Rick and Dale talk about how things are, with Dale revealing things are quiet along the farm; they are only attacked by a few zombies a day, half-a-dozen at most, and they clear them out before they can get to Hershel's make-shift fence. Apart from this, Dale believes the group could stay and make their lives here work, and even if they don't like Hershel's own farm, there are many others nearby just like it. Rick is saddened when Dale admits he isn't afraid of zombies anymore, and begins to say they should have left the prison with them before the Woodbury Army attacked. Dale cuts him off and tells him not to think that way; not only does he have a son to worry about and cannot afford to blame himself, but doing so could kill him. Dale insists Rick could never have known what would happen at the prison, as well as other decisions in the past, as it would have risked their deaths at the hands of the zombies. Instead, Dale implores Rick to "forget the dead, focus on the living", and the remaining survivors would be dead by now if it weren't for him. Rick thanks Dale for the advice, and insists to talk about Lori's death, something Dale can sympathize with, later. As Rick leave the porch, Dale asks if he thinks they should stay here on Hershel's farm. Rick, however, believes "I'm through" with making decisions, and leaves the decision up to Dale, and as long as Carl's safe, he'll be "just along for the ride".

Rick walks over to the car to get his rucksack out. As he does so, he hears a voice from the shadows. It's Michonne, talking to herself again. Rick comes over and asks who she was talking to. Michonne, again, insists she wasn't talking to anyone, but Rick points out she can't lie anymore. Michonne finally reveals who she's been "talking" to; her dead boyfriend, who "speaks" to her and she can hear him as clear as day. Sometimes she imagines "he" is in control, helping her and doing things to the point she's not in control. This helps, however, as it makes things easier to deal with. Michonne knows, however, that she's imagining it. Rick remains silent, and Michonne asks if he thinks she's crazy. Rick opens his rucksack and takes out the phone, saying he doesn't. Rick explains that everytime he picks up the phone's receiver, he would talk to Lori, and while he knows he's imagining it, he feels like it's real. Rick took the phone from the house he found it in because he couldn't bear the thought of not being able to speak with his wife again, even though he knows she's not really her. Smiling at eachother, Rick and Michonne agree to keep eachother's "craziness" a secret.

The next morning, Rick is woke up, shocked, by a gunshot. Telling Carl to stay in his room, Rick hurries to investigate. Outside, Andrea is on the roof, pointing her rifle at three humans who have arrived in an army truck; a strong & muscled looking man in partial-military fatigues, an exotic woman dressed like a mechanic, and a overweight man with a ponytail and wearing a coat. Having fired a warning shot, Andrea warns the three not to take another step and to drop their weapons. The muscled man and exotic woman comply willingly, with the muscled man insisting they are just here for supplies, and the exotic woman suggesting they simply leave (with the pony-tailed man insisting they don't go anywhere without supplies). Due to their experiences with the Woodbury Army, Andrea insists that they (the group) don't take any chances, and sends Glenn out to get their weapons. Rick then arrives and levels his pistol at the muscled-man's head.

At this time, two zombies break through the make-shift fence and charge towards them. Glenn goes for the muscled-man's rifle on the ground, but the man simply steps forward towards the zombie, telling Glenn "I've got this". Taking out a sharp knife from the back of his belt, he kills the male zombie by stabbing it in the back of it's head, and then expertly kicks the female zombie across the face, shattering it's jaw, and crushes its head by repeatedly beating it down with his boot. The muscled man and the pony-tail man convince Andrea not to shoot, as doing so could bring more zombies down upon them (the sound attracting all zombies nearby) to the point they could be overwhelmed. Andrea is convinced to lower her weapon by Rick, calling for peace.

The muscled man introduces him self as Sergeant Abraham Ford, and his companions are Rosita Espinosa (the woman) and Doctor Eugene Porter (the pony-tailed man). Sgt. Ford explains their presence here; they are on a mission to gather supplies and journey to Washington D.C., potentially with Rick and the other survivors (as the more they have with them, the better the chance of making it to the city alive). Sgt. Ford explains Washington is the only potential place that's both safe and organized, having been set up for disasters, and more better off than anyone else in the United States. Sgt. Ford knows this as he was in contact with them in the early days of the zombie disaster, and they all must go there to get needed help from the Washington officials, if they intend to "turn all this around" (solve the crisis of the undead).

Rick asks how they plan to do that. Eugene, a scientist, reveals he knows exactly what caused the creation of the zombie plague.

The current survivors still alive (at this point) are Rick, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Andrea, Dale, Sgt. Ford, Rosita and Eugene (in terms of adults), and Carl, Sophia, Billy and Ben (in terms of children).

Influences

The series borrows many of its concepts as well as much of its tone from George A. Romero's zombie movies ("Night of the Living Dead, "Dawn of the Dead", "Day of the Dead", "Land of the Dead, and "Diary of the Dead"). Creator Robert Kirkman, expressing frustration that zombie films always had a clear "end", wanted the series to be a continuing chronicle of the long-term effects after a "zombie apocalypse", showing the changes to both the world and the characters. The character Duane Jones, son of Morgan Jones, the first living people Rick meets after he comes out of his coma, is named after the actor who played Ben in the original "Night of the Living Dead".Also, the opening sequence is similar to the one John Wyndham used in his classic horror "The Day of the Triffids", which was also used at the beginning of Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later", as well as the intro to "".

The Dead

The zombies of "The Walking Dead" share a number of traits with the ghouls of George Romero's films. Below is a short summary of what is known about them, along with some additional notes. Kirkman has stated in letter columns that the survivors (and therefore, the readers) know less of the zombies than they think they do, and he has no intentions of revealing the source of the outbreak.
* The zombies that wander around and do not just remain in the same spot are referred to as "roamers". The zombies that just remain in the same spot not doing much unless provoked are referred to as "lurkers". However, these are terms adopted by the protagonists; other survivors use different terminology — in Woodbury, all zombies are called "biters", and Alice even comments that it's silly to differentiate between two kinds of ghouls.
* Zombies cannot die conventionally. They can only be killed by destroying or removing the brain, so even decapitation won't work. The zombie must suffer some form of brain trauma.
** If the brain is intact, heads of decapitated zombies will reanimate, though the bodies will remain inert.
* Any human who dies with their brain intact will become a zombie, even if they have not come into contact with other zombies.
* Reanimation can occur anywhere from minutes to hours after death.
* Unlike conventional zombie lore, it is not the bite that turns humans into zombies; the bite merely kills. Thus far, it has been demonstrated that a bite victim who has the bite area amputated from their body will not turn into a zombie, provided they survive the amputation.
* Zombies will attack and try to feed on humans and other animals, such as horses. Animals do not appear to reanimate as zombies, judging by crows often depicted with the masses, that do not attack the living.
* Zombies will not attack each other.
* Zombies don't need their organs. They can endure severe damage and decomposition.
* Zombies do not have much flowing blood. All they need to function is an intact brain.
* Though zombies consume the flesh of their victims, they can function without eating.
* Zombies can endure being frozen solid - resuming activity once thawed.
* Zombies are attracted by loud sounds, such as gunshots, but cannot differentiate between forms of noise, like human talking and zombie grunting.
* Zombies may differentiate between humans and themselves by smell. They apparently can be fooled by rubbing zombie "filth" or innards over one's body. (Kirkman acknowledged in a letter column that this has not been confirmed.)

Cast of Characters

The cast of The Walking Dead is in constant flux as new survivors join Rick's group and old characters meet gruesome ends. The following table is a list of the main characters in "The Walking Dead", more or less in the order in which they appear.

Artists

* Tony Moore: #1-6 (2004) (interior & covers), #1-24 (covers) (2005), collected trade paperback volumes 1-4 (covers).
* Charlie Adlard: #7-present (interior), #25-present (covers), collected trade paperback volumes 5-present (covers).

Collected editions

The series has so far been collected into the following collections:

oftcovers

The trade paperbacks collect six issues each, but contain only the story and no cover art.

Hardcovers

All hardcovers contain the material from the comics including the covers, and are slightly larger than the paperbacks. The deluxe hardcover collects the first 24 issues in a slipcase with several extras. The limited edition version of the standard hardcover (12 issues) is autographed by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard with 300 pieces available.
* "The Walking Dead Volume 1 Deluxe HC" (Collects #1-24; ISBN 1-58240-511-5; Released 12/14/05)
* "The Walking Dead Book One" (Collects #1-12; ISBN 1-58240-619-7; Released 7/19/06)
* "The Walking Dead Book One Limited Edition" (ISBN 1-58240-620-0; Released 8/2/06)
* "The Walking Dead Book Two" (Collects #13-24; ISBN 1-58240-698-7; Released 3/7/07)
* "The Walking Dead Book Three" (Collects #25-36; ISBN 1-58240-825-4; Released 12/19/07)
* "The Walking Dead Book Four" (Collects #37-48; ISBN 1-60706-000-0; To be released 10/29/08)
* "The Walking Dead: The Covers" (Collects the covers for issues #1-50; ISBN 1-60706-002-7; To be released 10/15/08)
* "The Walking Dead Days Gone Bye Retailer Giveaway" (Limited Hardcover of softcover Vol. 1, with black and red foil binding)

Tie-Ins

Five Zombie minibusts are available from [http://resin.wikia.com/wiki/CS_Moore CS Moore] (One is a repainted variant).In March, a Rick Grimes vs. Zombies was made available as well. As a companion to this piece, a half zombie statue was released. Future Walking Dead statues will connect to the base to form a diorama.

Aircel series

In 1989, a mini-series named The Walking Dead was published by Aircel Comics. It was followed by a one issue special in 1990. Other than the shared zombie theme, there is no relationship between the Aircel and Image titles.

External links

* [http://www.imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewforum.php?f=2 Image Comics' Robert Kirkman Messageboard]
* [http://www.tonymooreillustration.com/ Tony Moore Messageboard]
* [http://tonymooreillustration.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=386 Tony Moore's The Walking Dead Cover Art Gallery]

Interviews

* [http://www.g-wie-gorilla.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=119&Itemid=18 Interview with Charlie Adlard about The Walking Dead]
* [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16474 WEEK OF THE DEAD I: Robert Kirkman] , Comic Book Resources, May 19, 2008
* [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16494 WEEK OF THE DEAD II: Charlie Adlard] , Comic Book Resources, May 20, 2008
* [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=157620 Walking with the Dead: Robert Kirkman, I] , Newsarama, May 20, 2008


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