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Ah,. Is there anything they can’t do? Aside from speak in coherent sentences. Or walk a straight line. Hmm, by that reasoning, my Uncle Jim might be a . Note to self: shoot Uncle Jim in the head with trusty “In Case Of Outbreak, Break Glass” crossbow. What? I like to be prepared. And the odds of a zombie apocalypse are increasing steadily. Have you checked the App Store lately?
It’s completely overrun by the undead! Comic books?. Video games? NAZI ZOMBIES! What’s next? Are we giving them their own TV show?
The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s similarly titled graphic novel, is one of the biggest success stories on television in recent years. The first season aired on AMC last October to lowered expectations. Nobody thought a stupid, silly zombie show would be a hit, thus the network only committed to a pitiful six episode initial season [Editor's note: Actually, I think AMC was so impressed with the initial pitch that they opted to purchase six episodes upfront, instead of the standard pilot], despite major Hollywood talent, such as Frank Darabont, behind the scenes. The first season broke every AMC record for viewership, got nominated for awards and was the topic of conversation around the water cooler for several weeks. Unsurprisingly, a second, 13-episode season was quickly rushed into production, scheduled to begin airing this October.
A large part of the show’s appeal was its devotion to the source material. Kirkman’s comic book served as a series Bible, with entire scenes, shots and plot developments translated from panel to screen. Though the show did deviate at several points, notably by keeping Jon Bernthal’s Deputy Shane alive well past his expiration date, it was mostly faithful to its origins.
Join me, your faithful and slightly decomposing reviewer, as we explore the goriest, scariest, most important moments from The Walking Dead that have yet to make an appearance on the show. Need I say… SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS FREAKING SPOILERS? You’ve been warned. Don’t come bitching to me if you accidently find out your favorite character becomes zombie food.
Central to The Walking Dead is a relationship between a father and his son. Rick Grimes isn’t just struggling to survive the zombie outbreak by himself, he has a wife and child to keep safe on top of everything else. Sadly, a lot of the violence inflicted on people in The Walking Dead often comes from an all-too-familiar source: other humans. Whether by design or by accident, human frailty is a major component of the story being told. Tragically, it’s the later that causes Rick’s son, Carl, to get shot in the back by a human hunter, having mistaken the boy for a zombie.
It’s a visceral, powerful gut punch. Rick’s been trying so hard to keep his son safe from the undead and it’s a case of mistaken identity that finally does him harm. I won’t spoil Carl’s eventual fate, suffice it to say that, judging by a trailer for the second season of the TV series, viewers will get the chance to find out for themselves.
One of the biggest surprises the TV series reserved for fans of the comic book was the fate of Shane. His role in the comics is relatively brief, he meets his doom at the tail end of the first story arc. However, the show managed to keep him alive well past the point where his character was supposed to die, which would have been shortly following the attack on the survivors’ camp.
Similar to Carl’s accident mentioned above, it’s human failings that seal Shane’s fate. Trapped in a love triangle with Rick and his wife Lori, Shane succumbs to his emotions and attempts to murder his best friend during a scavenging trip. This jealous rage is shockingly brought to a fatal halt when Rick’s son shoots Shane in the neck to protect his father.
Which brings us to the obvious question: Having survived longer than his comic book counterpart, how long does the TV Shane have before Carl pops some caps in his ass? Jon Bernthal as been doing stellar work as the tormented Shane, bringing much needed layers to his character, even some considerable sympathy for his actions. Still, he’s shown signs of going down the same path as comic book Shane. How long before his character gets written off the show?
Robert Kirkman hates his characters. That’s the only possible explanation for the sheer, ridiculous amount of damage he inflicts upon them on a regular basis. Nobody is safe in The Walking Dead, anybody can die at any point. That’s not hyperbole, as you’ll see as this list goes on. Just when you think a long-running character is safe, that’s most likely the point where Kirkman drops a safe on their head. A zombie-filled safe. With a bomb inside. Case in point:
Yep. That’s main character Rick getting his hand lopped off. And before you ask, no, it doesn’t grow back. It’s gone for good for the remainder of the series. This moment is interesting because the guy doing the cutting, The Governor, hasn’t truly made an appearance on the show yet. Or did he? Fan speculation nominates Michael Rooker’s Merle Dixon as a potential fill-in for the role of The Governor. Bonus points: Merle lost a hand during the first season as a direct consequence of Rick’s actions. A little payback in the offing, perhaps?
Speaking of our favorite psycho, The Governor has some serious issues. Not only is he the ruthless leader of a fortified, zombie-proof city, not only does he hold gladiator matches between humans and zombies… he also keeps his zombie daughter chained to a wall in his apartment.
On one side, I suppose it’s somewhat understandable that a parent wouldn’t want to put a bullet in his child’s head, even to end her suffering. I could even comprehend bringing home a bucket of human remains for her to feast on, she’s a growing girl, after all. I can even go along with taking a pair of pliers to her teeth and rendering her unable to bite anybody. Safety first, am I right? Yeah. This is a perfectly stable, normal relationship between father and…
As previously stated, more people get killed in The Walking Dead at the hands of their fellow humans than by the undead. Walking Dead is as much a study of human nature under duress as it is a horror story. The real walking dead are the survivors, constantly having to scrutinize their fellow travelers for signs of growing insanity, suicidal thoughts or general bad behavior.
Having hooked up with a family discovered living on their farm, Rick and Co. set up camp in a mostly abandoned prison. I say mostly, because the group discovers a trio of prisoners living quite well off the prison’s food supply and high walls. Herschel, the farm’s patriarch, is wary of having his children, including twin underage girls, sharing a home with potential murderers. The group relaxes somewhat, upon learning that the detainees were incarcerated for minor crimes only. This attitude proves fatal as Herschel, searching for his missing girls, stumbles upon this scene.
Turns out, one of the prisoners is a serial killer. Hate it when that happens. Not horrifying enough for you? The girls swiftly become zombies and each require a bullet in their severed head in order to be put down. Will two murdered and subsequently shot girls be too much of a shocker for viewers to swallow? If AMC puts this moment in the show, they’ve got the biggest balls on television.
Find out which Walking Dead comic book moment ranked Number 1 after the jump…
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