No.5 Michonne Goes To Hell
Few characters inmake as memorable an entrance as Michonne. First seen walking in the company of two pet , this katana-wielding chick kept her pet undead boyfriend on a leash, minus his lower jaw, in order to keep other roamers at bay. When the time came to say goodbye, she didn’t hesitate for a second before chopping his head off. Michonne is a survivor, perhaps the toughest and most adaptable in Rick’s group.
Following the group’s first encounter with the categorically insane Governor, which results in the capture of Rick, Glenn, and Michonne, she is taken to a darkened storage unit and bound spread-eagle. The reader never sees exactly what happens next, the scene cuts to Glen, tied up next door, trying desperately to shut out Michonne’s agonized screams. She is raped repeatedly. Beaten close to death. Over and over for an extended period of time. When next we see her, her face is a smashed, unrecognizable, tear-stained pulp. But her eyes hold a promise: she will have her revenge. And yes, she does. Quite graphically.
No.4 Prison Massacre
Few stories have ever eliminated as many characters in a single arc as The Walking Dead did to wrap up its long-running prison story. By this point, the cast had grown to ridiculous proportions. Our survivors now included Rick’s original group, Herschel’s remaining family from the farm, surviving prisoners and a handful of new additions picked up on the run or from their visit to The Governor’s compound. To writer Robert Kirkman, it sounded like the right time to cull his cast. So this happens…
In case you were wondering, that’s The Governor, again, riding on top of the tank, leading the charge to pry the prison from Rick’s control. What follows is a multi-issue battle that results in over 90% of the cast ending up shot, blown up, decapitated,food, or helplessly on the run without food or weapons. Andrea was shot, Dale’s iconic camper, seen throughout the TV show’s first season, is destroyed and, as you’ll see in our Number 1 spot, Rick’s world was completely and irrevocably shattered. This particular moment would have to occur relatively deep into the show’s run, perhaps as far as Season 4 or 5. It remains to be seen if AMC will have the testicular fortitude to kill off so many beloved characters in such rapid succession.
No.3 We Are.
If there’s one moment on this list that categorically needs to be included in the show, it’s this one. Rarely has a single line of dialog done so much damage as this one. Rick’s at the end of his rope. His leadership is being challenged. People around him keep dying, despite his best efforts to prevent further deaths. His wife no longer trusts him, his best friend just finished beating the crap out of him, survivors persistently insist on losing their marbles at the slightest provocation. Enough is enough. Rick addresses the assembled survivors and lets them know what time it is. Things are never going back to the way they were. No miracle cure is going to reverse the outbreak. The army isn’t racing to their rescue. The human race, as we know it, is done, over, kaput. You think the zombies pressing against the prison’s fences are the walking dead?
And just like that, everything we’ve known thus far completely changes.The series’ title take on an entirely different connotation. All hope goes straight out the window. Things aren’t going to get better. Nobody walks out alive. Humans are, quite literally, the walking dead. This scene is so important in the comic’s overall mythology that not including it at some point in the show would constitute a criminal act.
No.2 Shane. Redux.
Rick Grimes is a good man. He’s selfless, brave, and noble — often to a fault. Everything he does is because he firmly believes it to be the right thing, at the right time, and in defense of himself or others. To say that Shane’s betrayal and subsequent death hit Rick hard would be an understatement. The man was his best friend, his partner, his deputy, and the one who kept his family safe while Rick was in a coma. So what’s a good man to do upon learning that you don’t have to be bitten by a zombie to return to life post-death? As it turns out, every living human being is already infected by the zombie plague. Die and you get to come back as a zombie, regardless of whether or not you’ve been bitten. Upon learning this, Rick does what any honorable man would do. He sets out on his own, leaving the safety of the prison’s walls and travels back to the outskirts of Atlanta. Once there, he digs up his friend’s grave just enough for the now undead Shane to rise halfway up. Then Rick shoots Shane in the head. This scene is a series of conflicting emotions. Is it a mercy killing? Revenge for trying to kill Rick? Nobody will ever know, except Rick.
This one… AMC will never put on the air. I’d wager my left hand on it.
Anybody reading the comic knew this moment was coming. At the tail end of the aforementioned prison battle, Rick, his son, Carl, his wife, Lori, and their newborn daughter, Judy, are forced to make a run for it in a hail of gunfire. Most everybody is dead or fled, The Governor is the clear winner of the battle. All Rick wants is for his family to escape unharmed. Rick pushes his son ahead of him, desperately covering him with his own body. His wife, cradling their newborn daughter in her arms, is mere steps behind. A hole in the fence is ahead, safety beckons.
And just like that… Rick’s wife and baby girl are gone. Rick’s small infant child is crushed underneath her mother’s body. And things are never the same again. Killing both mother and child in a single instant was a gutsy move by Kirkman. Will AMC have the courage to show such a horrific scene?
Tune in on October 16th when The Walking Dead, Season 2, premieres on AMC.