4 Things I Learned Reading The Walking Dead Comics
Yes, before I even started this article, I knew there were hundreds upon hundreds of these types of opinion pieces on The Walking Dead comics out there. Well, maybe not hundreds, but at least a few are out there. Anyway, I’ve been reading the comics since just after AMC’s show came on the air, and throughout the 165 issues that have been produced so far, I’ve learned a few things. If you aren’t caught up with the comics, there may be a few spoilers throughout, so proceed at your own peril.
1. I can get by with a little help from my friends, almost.
Rick and Shane. Best buddies, and co-workers forever. Well, almost. Poor Rick gets shot within the first few pages of the first issue and what does his best friend do?
Leaves him in the hospital when all hell breaks loose. It gets better, too. Then, Shane, best buddy that he is, goes and tells Rick’s wife and son, he’s dead and they need to leave. Better still, he seduces her on the side of the road to Atlanta, telling her he’s always been in love with her. Eventually, Shane tries to kill poor Rick, all over his wife.
So, let’s break this down…Best friend leaves you for dead, steals your wife and kid, seduces said wife, gets mad when you’re still alive, and then tries to kill you when you come back for your family because he’s jealous. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, gets your wife pregnant. But, as we know, it all worked out in the end when Carl, the ever loving son, shoots Shane to protect his father, killing him and they all live happily ever after. The End. Wait, wait…
We all know in the zombie apocalypse, there’s no happily ever after! However, there are plenty of people you can call friends, then they die and turn into zombies and you have to kill them, or turn out to be evil, but I digress. Anyway, what did I learn from all this?
Well, I learned that everybody needs somebody, not necessarily to love, but to help you out once the entire world falls apart. To help you attack, to help you defend, to help you to live, thrive and survive in the end. Plus, can you really trust a friend to do the right thing in that time of need? Yes, yes you can. In the middle of a zombie apocalypse? I would hope so, I think so…well, maybe. None of my friends is named Shane, and I’m not married so there’s that at least. And, on a positive note, Shane didn’t have to watch Lori and possibly his baby die horribly like Rick did.
2. No matter where you go, there you are.
Ah, community. The hallmark of civilization. Groups of people, living together in harmony, mostly. So why is it that whenever Rick and the Scooby gang show up at a place that seems all well and good, everything falls apart? Bad timing? Bad luck? Your guess is as good as mine, but here’s a list of places they’ve been and the outcome:
• Atlanta Survivors Camp- Attacked by walkers, people die.
• Wiltshire Estates- Attacked by walkers, people die.
• Green Family Farm- Attacked by walkers, people die.
• Meriwether County Correctional Facility- Attacked by walkers/humans, people die.
• Woodbury, Georgia- Attacked by walkers/humans, people die.
Sensing a pattern yet???
• Alexandria Safe Zone- Big surprise here- Attacked by walkers/humans, people die.
• The Hilltop- Attacked by walkers/humans, people die.
• The Sanctuary- Attacked by walkers/humans, people die.
• The Whisperer’s Camp- Attacked by humans, people die
There you have it. Now, all of the locations that our group has encountered are not listed here, just a few of the major ones, but as you can see one big thing sticks out. Death and destruction follow our heroes anywhere they go. What did I learn?
Besides the fact that we are doomed to repeat the past? Well, first, Rick is one big old bad luck charm. Secondly, home is where hell is. Finally, it doesn’t really matter where you go in the apocalypse, death will surely find you, like a never ending Final Destination movie.
3. Curse loudly, and carry a big stick.
Ah, Negan. The baddest of the bad guys. The swear-master general. Ruthless, cunning and devastating. Is this what becomes of people in a zombie apocalypse? Is there a need to be a total bad-ass in order to survive?
Let’s look back at some of our villains:
The Governor: No, not Arnold Schwarzenegger. Poor Brian(Philip) Blake. All he wanted to do was build a happy community that he could totally rule with his undead daughter by his side. Eventually, he becomes a psychotic, rapist and murderer and eventually is disfigured by Michonne, and killed by Lilly Caul. As far as a villain goes, he was shocking to say the least, but not ruthless and cunning enough to be the baddest of the baddies. What little humanity he may have had left in his psychosis was carved out by Michonne until all he had left was revenge.
The Hunters: Not necessarily evil, as much as lazy, the Hunters started out the apocalypse scavenging and hunting for food. Eventually as game became scarcer, they decided to hunt the most dangerous game they could, humans. Chris, the leader of the Hunters, even explains to Rick, how easy it is to come to terms with eating people, once you eat your own kids.
They don’t want to do it, but they have to, in order to survive. Eventually, they capture Dale, cut off his leg and proceed to eat it, not realizing it is ‘tainted meat.’ This leads Rick and the group to mutilate and kill the Hunters.
Alpha: Leaders of The Whisperers, and one of the more ingenious villains to come out of The Walking Dead. In order to survive, they wear the skins of zombies and walk quietly among them, thereby concealing their human existence. Alpha is cold, cunning, and completely ruthless. In fact, in order to prove a point to Rick, she sneaks into Alexandria to kidnap and decapitate several members of the community, including some major characters. She then places their heads on pikes, Vlad the Impaler style, as a sort of border fence. Eventually, she is brought down by the one man more ruthless, more cunning, more unforgiving than any other villain in The Walking Dead universe.
Which brings us back to Negan. So, what did I learn from this?
First off, I wouldn’t want to be a kid in his gym class. But, it seems in order to survive in a zombie apocalypse, you better be one bad mother f**ker. Shut ‘yo mouth!
4. You belong in a museum.
You ever notice the survivors in The Walking Dead are always going crazy looking for weapons and shelter, but never, ever, ever find themselves thinking about going to a museum? Even Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man went to a museum! This thought first crossed my mind when the survivors reached The Kingdom. Some of the survivors that lived there were wearing armor, and carrying swords very similar to samurai. However, it turns out they made these items themselves.
My question is this…we know that Alexandria is very, very close to Washington D.C.. In fact, Glenn and Heath make a run there to scavenge for supplies. So why did they not go to one museum to look for armor, weapons and other useful items that may have helped them? It is mind boggling. Especially in Washington D.C..
So what did I learn from this? Well, besides the survivors being pretty dopey for not taking advantage, I learned that my first run is to a museum. Nobody steal my idea.
So there you have it. When confronted with a zombie apocalypse, my strategy, according to what I learned from The Walking Dead comics is to:
• Count on people…to a point.
• Keep moving, because nowhere I go is safe.
• Become the absolute worst version of myself that I can without remorse or regret.
• Head to a museum for weapons and armor. Plus, shelter for a bit.
That’s my plan. Here’s the thing though. I live on an island in the biggest city in the world, New York. My chances of getting anywhere in a zombie apocalypse are slim to none, and slim left town. So, feel free to use my suggestions for yourself if you get caught up in the end of the world. Also, if you see me stumbling around, looking for brains, say Hi before you put me down for good. Thanks. (Yes, I totally put my hometown museum, The Museum of Natural History as the picture.)