As a general rule, I tend to steer well clear of anything even remotely horror based. That being said, of the horror stuff I have watched and enjoyed there has been a key component: Zombies (or Walkers, in this case). The unnerving concept of undead humans taking chunks out of their living counterparts oddly fascinates me. Despite being rather squeamish (Something I for some reason felt the need to prove in front of the entire Sixth Form during a Sex-Ed presentation… Good times…), I can’t help but marvel at the visceral dismemberment of a poor victim at the hands of these foul creatures. However, I also enjoy seeing the world adapt to this rapid decline in society, something The Walking Dead has managed to pull off exceptionally.
My love affair of The Walking Dead took a little time to develop. My best friend had been encouraging me for quite some time to start watching the TV adaption but I kept putting it off. I was apprehensive to approach a show that I knew would leave me feeling unsettled, a feeling that has ultimately prevented me from ever truly exploring the horror genre. However, once I started, I struggled to stop. I fortunately had access to the first 5 seasons of the show from the get go, so I was able to really engage with the world Kirkman has created. Be it taking on Walkers or interacting with other survivors, the show managed to keep me on the edge of my seat, desperate to see what was coming next. I don’t watch a great number of shows but the Walking Dead has a firm place on my must-watch list.
I came to the franchise through the TV Show though I was aware that it was based off a highly successful and long-running comic book. Admittedly, I haven’t gotten quite as far into the comics as I would liked, partially because I am ridiculously far behind (Something that didn’t stop me catching up with the Star Wars comics mind you), but I have read a good chunk of the trades. Much like the show, I found myself fully engaged in the story from the get-go, the differences in the story providing a fresh feeling.
This brings me to today, 15 years after The Walking Dead first hit shelves. For what was effectively a huge risk on Kirkman’s part, working fairly independently up against the power houses of DC and Marvel, the series has gone on to regularly appear in the top 10 best-selling comics every month. To celebrate it’s success, Image put together a number of blind-bags containing a reprint of a significant issue. With the blind-bag you have a 1 in 3 chance of obtaining a variant cover in either colour, sketch or virgin format. In addition, they also reprinted #1 with a new cover from Charlie Adlard (There is also an #1 blind-bag with a separate cover) and offered a free reprint of the FCBD issue first released in 2013. Without further ado, lets explore the issues I picked up.
Spoiler Warning: I know the issues have been around a while and the key content has been covered on the show already but still, in case you haven’t quite got round to watching it yet, proceed with caution.
The Walking Dead #1
Officer Rick Grimes has been in a coma or the past month. During that time, the world has fallen apart, the dead rising and attacking the surviving population. Thrown into this unfamiliar and dangerous world, Rick is desperate to find his wife and young son. After meeting Morgan and Duane Jones, Rick heads to Atlanta with the hope of finding his wife and son.
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure if I own a copy of this issue (I might have an Image Firsts reprint but who knows). Regardless, I was fond of the updated cover and this one looks a heck of a lot nicer than the phantom Image Firsts one I think I own (There great value but the ‘Image First’ banner somewhat ruins the cover).
I’ve read this issue a number of times and it’s always fantastic to see Rick rapidly come to terms with the new world that has formed during his coma. Moore captures the look of horror and fear when he encounters walkers to a tee. I also love Morgan as a character so I always enjoy seeing him in this issue. Kirkman has a knack for crafting characters you truly care about, making their untimely deaths all the more difficult (A statement in no way related to Morgan, more a general observation). A great issue, a decent price and a snazzy new cover: What’s not to like?
The Walking Dead #2
Rick makes it to Atlanta finding hundreds of walkers roaming the street. After a narrow escape from a huge hoard, Rick meets Glenn Rhee, a capable survivor who manages to get them both out of the city. Glenn takes Rick to his camp were the impossible happens: Rick finds his wife Lori and son Carl alive and well.
Again, seeing Rick’s realisation of just how serious the situation has become as he arrives in Atlanta is golden. However, I don’t appreciate the untimely demise of the horse that helped him get there. Not cool, Kirkman, not cool! On a lighter note, Glenn was one of my favourite characters so I appreciate owning his first appearance (Even if it is a reprint). Of all the blind-bags, this was the only one I really wanted purely because the cover is drawn by Chris Samnee, one of my all time favourite artists. Whilst the sketch variant doesn’t really do it justice, it’s still a solid cover.
The Walking Dead #100
Following a devastating attack by the Saviours, Rick and a small team decide to inform the Hilltop of the impending threat. However, after stopping for the night the situation soon turns sour: The Saviours have found them. Having lost a lot of men to Rick’s group, Negan is desperate for some retribution. With Lucille, his barb-wire wrapped baseball bat, he crushes Glenn’s skull and leaves the group distraught. They are Negan’s now.
Again, a large part of my motivation for picking up this issue centred on Glenn. I spent a brief amount of deliberating whether or not to pick up another blind-bag what with my Student Budget and all that jazz. However, I was rather easily able to persuade myself that it felt right to own both Glenn’s first appearance and his awful death. Issue 100 captures one of the book’s, and show’s, most horrific scenes, a result of Kirkman’s excellent writing and Adlard’s gloriously visceral illustrations. It was awesome to see just how much of the f***ed-up dialogue made it onto the screen. Negan is a character I love to hate and this issue optimises just how glorious a character he is.
The Walking Dead: TWD Special
How did Michonne get her pet Walkers? Where did Tyreese find his hammer? What happened to Duane and Morgan after they separated from Rick? Who had the “honour” of occupying the Governor’s first fish tank? Find out in this special issue of the Walking Dead!
I remember finding the original print of this issue in a box a couple of years ago whilst enjoying the Free Comic Book Day celebrations. It’s safe to say I was excited, more so when I realised exactly what it was: a collection of awesome short stories for a selection of awesome characters. Morgan and Michonne’s respective stories were particularly interesting, giving a heart-warming and heart-breaking snapshot of their lives during this apocalyptic nightmare respectively. A great stand-alone issue for fans looking for a bit more insight into a number of characters.
If your a fan of the show and/ or comics, it might be worth popping into your local comic book shop and see if you can pick up any of the blind bags or additional merchandise available today. If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below!
I’m currently devising an exciting (At least I think so) blog schedule which I’ll hopefully be able to roll out in the next couple of weeks. I intend to be ahead of the game, having posts, particularly physics ones, ready at least a week in advance. There will hopefully be more to follow as I slowly adapt to university living. As ever, thank you for your patience.