I am going to embark upon the journey of reading the comic books first before watching the TV show. I am going to try and stay several comic books ahead of what I think will be included in the TV show. I have yet to watch a single episode of The Walking Dead so I am going into this completely blind. I am going to use this resource to offer up my opinions as to how closely the TV show depicts the comic books. If you want to read all The Walking Dead comic books, go here.
When reading this resource, understand that I am learning everything about the characters, plots and shocking endings. I would suggest reading from top to bottom unless you want to scan for a specific episode or comic book. Early on, I am, by no means, a Walking Dead expert. Hopefully, as time goes by, I will begin to become more of a fan. We will see…
The Walking Dead Comic Book #1
The comic book opens with Officer Rick Grimes getting shot. The next scene he is in an empty hospital where he finds a number of zombies locked away. He leaves the hospital and makes his way to the house of Morgan Jones and his son Duane. Duane hits Officer Grimes with a shovel thinking he is a zombie. Officer Grimes learns that the cities are being protected so he tries to make his way to Atlanta.
Rick gives a cop car to Morgan Jones and his son Duane. He drives back to where he saw a female zombie and puts her out of her misery by shooting her in the face. He has tears in his eyes as he does it. I have to assume this is a special woman in his life. His wife? Mother? Maybe it is just the first zombie he kills?
At the end of The Walking Dead #1 I get the opportunity to read the original proposal in which Officer Rick Grimes is at home with his wife, Carol, watching a news cast of the dead rising and becoming zombies. Robert Kirkman explained that this was way too cliche of a way to start the series so he went to Rick Grimes being in a coma and waking up in a hospital. Here is the original proposal:
Notice the misuse of “new” and the fact that it is in Pennsylvania and not Atlanta. It is interesting to see how things changed from the original. I guess it worked out. I also learned that the original name was Night of the Living Dead but this was public domain so Kirkman couldn’t own it. He quickly changed it to The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Comic Book #2
In comic book #2 we learn that Rick’s wife’s name is Lori. Rick finds a horse at a farm full of dead zombies and uses that as a way to get to Atlanta after his cop car runs out of gas. We also learn that Rick and Lori have a son named Carl.
Rick gets to Atlanta to find out it is full of zombies. The zombie take out his horse and almost get to him. He is rescued by a teenage boy that explains the situation. We first learn that it takes one bite from a zombie to become infected. The boy explains that by sending everyone to cities it created a feeding frenzy for the zombies. It took about a week for Atlanta to be taken over completely. At this point, Rick thinks his wife and son are dead or zombies.
The boy explains there is a camp with a few latecomers that did not make it to Atlanta on time. This is when Rick sees Lori and Carl for the first time since he was in a coma.
So, The Walking Dead comic book issue #3 is not available on HelloComic.com so I am going to have to do some looking around. I found it as a YouTube video but don’t know how that will work out.
The Walking Dead Comic Book #3
I am going to try to read this as the YouTube video. This will be interesting. I am glad I did because this is the first time we get to meet a guy named Shane. Lori and Carl say they would have never made it to the camp without Shane. Ok, on the second page we learn that Shane was the cop with Rick when he got shot at the very beginning of the series.
We also learn that the teenage boy’s name is Glenn. We meet Allen and Donna first the first time as well; they have twin boys Billy and Ben. Dale is on top of his camper keeping watch. Jim is eating, Carol and her daughter Sophia are sitting on the back of the car. Remember, Carol was initially the name of Rick’s wife in the original proposal.
We meet Amy and Andrea who are sisters that are sure to dress provocatively in the TV show.
Now the drama starts as Dale tells Rick Shane has a thing for his wife Lori and Shane is not happy that Rick came back. This is sure to be very interesting in the TV show. Donna is complaining because she has to do laundry and can’t go hunting with the guys. I can already tell she is going to be a bitch. Lori explains that Rick and her are perfect for each other. Let’s see how that plays out!
On their way back from laundry, Donna gets attacked by a zombie. The zombie has its head cut off by Dale. That will be great for TV! The head of the zombie stays alive and keeps grumbling. Even better for TV.
Ok, so reading a comic book through YouTube wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Using that pause/play button comes in very handy.
At this point, I think the first three comic books will be the entire pilot but just to be safe I am going to read comic book #4 as well.
The Walking Dead Comic Book #4
At the beginning of the fourth comic book Rick proposes to Shane that they move camp. They are in stern disagreement and even have a fight about it. We are first introduced to Jim when Rick asks Glenn if there are any gun stores in Atlanta.
In comic book #4 Rick figures out it is the smell that the zombies can detect. If humans smell like the zombies it is possible they won’t notice them. Once Rick and Glenn get the guns and get out of the gun shop it starts to rain causing them to lose the zombie scent.
This is the closest Rick comes to getting bit. In fact, one of the zombies bites the shoulder off of his jacket. Both he and Glenn are in big trouble with this being the first major action scene of the comic book. I imagine this will be quite suspenseful on the screen.
At the end of comic book #4 Shane tries to ease Lori’s worries about Rick being gone. He actually grabs her hand and hugs her to try and console her. Ahhhhhh, and there it is. Lori tells Shane he has to stop but Shane says, “What about that night we were- On the road here?” Lori puts her head down in shame and says, “That night was a mistake”. Here. We. Go!
Ok, I lied. I said I was only going to read through comic book #4 and then watch the pilot. I am going to read on through #5 as I think we are going to get some juicy details about the love triangle!
The Walking Dead Comic Book #5
Rick announces that Carl, his son, will be carrying a gun. Lori is very upset with this decision. Donna is now questioning the girls living in the camper with Dale. We learn the background of all the characters in this comic book as they sit around the fire eating the deer that Shane shot.
When Amy goes back to pee she gets bitten by a zombie. As the zombies attack the entire camp Carl is the one that shoots the zombie to save Lori and himself. Jim lets out some aggression on the zombies as he is still upset about them killing his family. Andrea is distraught about Amy. She wants to kill her so she doesn’t come back as a zombie. At the end, the group sees that Jim has a huge chunk out of his arm. I am certain this is going to lead to some questioning and even more drama. Ok, I give in, I am going to watch the pilot episode.
The Walking Dead Episode #1 – Days Gone By
Season #1, Episode #1 follows Comic Book #1 and the first part of Comic Book #2
Netflix explains that in the first episode Rick searches for his family in a world terrorized by the walking dead. Morgan and Duane help teach Rick the new rules for survival. From the summary, this sounds just like the comic book. Let’s see what happens.
The first episode was very good as the show uses a lot more emotion than the comic books. Below is a list of the differences in the comic book and the TV show:
- The TV show starts with foreshadowing of Rick running out of gas and shooting a zombie girl; this is not how the comic book starts
- In the comic book, while in the hospital, Rick opens the quarantined room of zombies and almost gets bitten, this does not happen in the TV show
- The comic book does not have the dialogue with Rick and Shane about Rick’s marital problems before the accident and scene where Rick gets shot and goes into a coma.
- The TV Show digs much deeper into Morgan Jones’ relationship with his wife. This is a very emotional part of the pilot that is not in the comic books.
- Rick finds a female horse that he calls girl in the comic, he finds a male horse he calls boy in the TV show.
- Rick is saved by Glenn in the street in the comic. At the end of the pilot he is stuck in an army tank.
- In the comic book, we knew nothing about the camp nor Shane and Lori’s relationship. We do not find out that Lori and Carl are alive until Glenn takes Rick back to the came. This is obviously very different in the TV show.
- Most important – the comic book never calls the zombies walkers, that was come up with in the TV show.
There are quite a few differences in the pilot and the first two comic books with the most important being the relationship arc. The TV show is pushing relationships much more heavily than the comic book. While the Shane and Lori relationship does play out in the comic we never see them kiss.
Overall, I thought the pilot was very good and can understand why over five million people watched it on Halloween 2010. I will be interested to see how the Glenn plot plays out as he has to get Rick out of the army tank some how. This was not part of the comic book at all.
It also looks like I will be able to watch quite a few episodes to get caught up with the comic books. The first show only told the story of the first full comic and the first part of the second comic. That means the entire first season will likely just be 10 or 12 comics.
The Walking Dead Episode #2 – Guts
Season #1, Episode #2 follows comic books #2 and #3 (kinda, but not really).
Wow, that TV show was so very different than the comic books. In fact, other than the smell wearing off in the rain it was pretty much a completely different story. In the comic book Glenn takes Rick back to the camp where he find out Lori, Carl and Shane are all there. Here are the major differences:
- The sex scene between Lori and Shane in the show was not in the comic books.
- Rick and Glenn do not meet Merle Dickson, Andrea and the other characters in the shopping mall.
- There are no vehicles in the first few comic books. In the show Rick and Glenn are both driving vehicles to escape.
- Andrea and Amy are in the comic books but Rick meets them back at the camp.
I am sure there are a ton of other things as this episode went a completely different direction than the comic books. I don’t even know if I should read ahead in the comic books because I haven’t met any of the new characters in the comic books besides Glenn and Andrea. Who are all these new people?!?
The Walking Dead Comic Book #6
The sixth comic book starts out with Amy’s funeral. We learn that most people turn in half a day after getting bit. Jim is taking a little longer to turn but his symptoms are worsening. While hunting Rick and Shane get into a fight about the safety of the camp. The group leaves Jim in the woods to turn into a zombie.
For the first time, Rick and Shane get into a physical confrontation. Both Lori and Carl are watching when it happens. Shane almost tells Lori he loves her in front of the entire camp but decides not to.
Shane explains that the only way his life was going to be better is if Rick did not come back. Rick ruined everything by coming back. The only way to fix this is for Shane to kill Rick and….Holy shit! Carl ends up shooting Shane. We don’t know if Shane is dead but we assume so. What an ending to a comic book!
The Walking Dead Comic Book #7
The seventh comic book starts with Shane, Lori and Carl on the road. We see Shane make his first move on Lori when she is most vulnerable. He does apologize but Lori tells him not to. We now get to see the sex scene on the road Lori mentioned in the earlier comic books. This is not the same type of sex scene that was in the second episode of the TV show.
We now flash forward to the present and Shane’s funeral. I guess he is dead. Dale explains to Rick that they are ready to move the camp and the only reason they didn’t was because of Shane. With the camp now on the road we first meet Tyreese and his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris.
For the first time in the comic book Rick calls the zombies roamers and not walkers. Carol and Tyreese have a little romance brewing from what I gather. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Oh shit. We find out Lori is pregnant and we have to imagine it is Shane’s baby. More drama!
The Walking Dead Episode #3 – Tell It to the Frogs
Season #1, Episode #3 follows comic books #2, #3 and #4
This is the TV episode in which Rick finally finds out Lori and Carl are still alive. The camp also decides to go back into Atlanta for guns but they are also going back for Merle Dixon who has a brother. Note that neither Dixon brother is in the comic book. Some of the major differences are:
- Daryl and Merle Dixon are not in the comic books but are on the TV show.
- Shane tries to continue a relationship with Carl by catching frogs on the TV show; this is not in the comic books.
- There are still a few characters at the camp that are definitely not in the comic books.
- Lori and Rick have sex on the TV show, at the camp. This definitely did not happen in the comic books.
The Walking Dead Episode #4 – Vatos
Season #1, Episode #4 follows comic books #4 and #5.
This episode had many differences than the comic books. Below you will see a list of the major differences
- There is no Daryl in the comic books, at all.
- When Glenn and Rick go back to Atlanta they do not find another group or people, nor a hospital.
- Amy and Andrea are never fly fishing in the comic book for food.
The whole scene with the other group of survivors was very interesting as none of this happened in the comic books. I will be interested to see if this group of people shows up in the TV show in future episodes.
We did lose Amy in the comic books after she was bitten by a zombie. This means the next TV show should follow comic books #6 and #7. We will see.
The Walking Dead Comic Book #8
Just to stay a little bit ahead, I am going to read The Walking Dead #8 before I watch episode 5 of the show. This issue starts with Rick actually being excited about Lori having a baby. I guess somewhere in the comic book he had sex with her when we didn’t know. Dale actually brings it up to Rick that this could be Shane’s baby and Rick is having nothing of it.
The group hopes in the motorhome and starts their drive away from Atlanta. At this point it is snowing. They find Wiltshire Estates which is a gated community that looks empty. Rick quickly finds the basement of the house they choose is full of zombies. After Tyreese tackled one of the zombies we learn he played two years in the NFL.
Dale and Andrea are having sex?!? How in the world will that play out on the TV show?
The Walking Dead Episode #5 – Wildfire
Season #1, Episode #5 follows comic books #6 and #7.
The first three quarters of episode 5 followed the comic books and then this whole CDC thing happened. There was not venturing to the CDC in the comic books. I have no idea who the strange doctor is but it reminds me so much of Desmond Hume on Lost. We can only hope this story arc plays out that well.
Overall, the only major difference was the CDC arc, but that is going to completely change the next few TV episodes. And when does Shane die?
The Walking Dead Comic Book #9
This issue starts with Lori and Rick discussing the future and what it will be like. Rick has decided they will break up into groups and search all the houses and make certain their aren’t any zombies. If anyone sees a house they really like they are free to claim that particular house.
Donna gets bit by a zombie when looking through a house. The group quickly realizes this housing development is full of zombies. Two of the kids are messing around upstairs when Tyreese walks in. He doesn’t have time to deal with it now as he is trying to get them out of the house. Allen is distraught that Donna is dead.
Carl gets shot?! It is safe to say Rick is not too happy about his son being shot.
The Walking Dead Comic Book #10
We start this issue finding out Carl is alive. Rick almost kills the guy that shot him but stops when he finds out Carl is still breathing. The guy that shot Carl says there is a doctor at a farm about a mile away. Rick decides to take Carl while he tells Tyreese to go back and get the group and bring them to the farm.
We learn that the guy that shot Carl is named Otis. Hershel Greene is the name of the doctor that pulled the bullet out of Carl. We meet a lot of new people in this issue. We meet Lacey, Arnold, Maggie, Billy, Rachel and Susie that are all children of Hershel that owns the farm. We also meet Patricia, Otis’ girlfriend.
Allen is still very upset about losing his wife and he is taking it out on everyone; especially Andrea.
Carl is ok! Sophia ends up kissing Carl on the cheek and he doesn’t like it. Typical young boys. Dale gets Lori alone and basically tells her that he needs to take it to her grave if the baby is Shane’s because it will end up making Rick snap and the group cannot handle that.
We also find out that Glenn had a crush on Carol and now Tyreese has her. Glenn gets laid by one of the daughters!
That sure was an action packed issue. Probably the best comic book so far in my opinion. Wow! Time to get caught up on the shows now.
The Walking Dead Episode #6 – TS-19
Season #1, Episode #6 does not follow any of the comic books.
This was, by far and away, the best episode yet. I didn’t realize it was the season finale until we were getting close to the end. As mentioned, this particular episode about the doctor in the CDC building does not follow any of the comic books. In this episode we do learn that Shane is a complete dick and the group is going to have to hit the road again. If you want to know the major differences in the comic book and the TV show this is the episode. This was so very different than the comic books.
That said, I now know why so many people are in love with this show. We can only hope Preacher is half as good. To read about Season 2 click the Page 2 link below.