A Weekend Reading Walking DeadSeptember 10th, 2012
It’s been a walker weekend for me. I spent this weekend reading 100 issues of the Walking Dead comic in 3 days. It’s done something to my head. I find myself sizing up situations as if I was surrounded by zombies. Picking out hiding places. Planning escape routes. Sizing up potential bludgeoning weapons. It’s probably not healthy. But if the comic is any indication, creativity counts.
You can find digital versions of the whole series on various torrents. Season three of the AMC television show is set to premier in mid October, but waiting for it has been excruciating, and I needed a fix. The show is quite a bit different from the comic. The comic is much darker. Much… closer to the bone. My impression has been that the writers of the show have deliberately departed from the comic to keep fans guessing. In fact, Kirkman has said as much. But that doesn’t mean the comic can’t reveal some valuable clues into what we can expect from the third season.
Season 2 ended with the destruction of Hershel’s farm and the discovery of a prison which is to become their new home. They also introduced Michonne, the katana-wielding bad-ass who plays a major role in the rest of the comic series. Issues 13 to 48 deal with life in the prison, which promises some exciting developments for the show, although they don’t quite have the same cast of characters in the comic, so they’ll have to deviate from the original story to some extent. There are a lot more kids in the comic, and Carl grows up a lot faster. He carries a gun, makes life-or-death decisions, and even almost kills Rick in one issue. But maybe TV Land isn’t ready for a gun-wielding zombie-dispatching 12-year-old. We’ll probably find out what happens with Lori’s pregnancy. There’s potentially an opportunity to reintroduce Morgan and Duane, who gave Rick shelter after he woke up in a walker infested hospital in the pilot episode “Days Gone Bye.” Rick has been carrying around a walkie talkie hoping to make contact with them ever since. But the comic character that the fans of the series are most excited about is a human villain known as the Governor.
With the Governor as an antagonist the third season of Walking Dead has an opportunity to touch on a theme that is thus far absent from the show, but central to the comic – the living are more dangerous than the dead.
The Governor is the tyrant of a little town called Woodbury that’s been walled off and made “safe”. If you’ve ever seen Land of the Dead it’s very similar. Come to think of it, I’m not sure which came first. He espouses all the familiar platitudes about keeping people safe you expect from power-mad authoritarians. He even runs coliseum style battles with captured walkers. In the comic the Governor keeps his zombie daughter alive in his home and pulls out her teeth with pliers so he can still hug and kiss her. He even keeps her fed with the bodies of those killed in the games. Woodbury is actually far more dangerous a place than the woods full of walkers, and the Governor is one of the most deranged villains I’ve ever seen in a comic. He reminds me in many ways of the sociopaths you’d find in the old Heavy Metal Comics. So, I guess we’ll see how much they water him down. I have a hard time believing they’ll present him faithfully.
For a good resource about the comic and the show check out the ebook The Walking Dead: Behind the Series by Zaki Hasan. It’s only 99 cents.
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