By: Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore (Illustrator)
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 1st, 2003
Genres: Mature Horror
My Review: (4.5/5 stars*)
The first issue of The Walking Dead is a thrilling apocalyptic flip-through with sharp dialogue and finely detailed artwork. It cuts straight to business with a shootout opening sequence and quick paced story-telling. As someone who has watched the television adaptation before reading the comic for which it's based off of I found it just as engaging in its original debut format. Moore's imagery really ties together the setting and makes the transitioning of scenes easier to understand and imagine.
Rick, a small-town cop, awakens from a coma to a world that isn't quite how he remembers it. Dead, mutilated, and dangerous animated corpses roam the streets and everyone still living and breathing has up and left the area. Alone, he's forced to navigate unrecognizable territory in order to track down his family who appears to have also evacuated.
Having read too little of comics to actually compare this one to others I still could see the workings and great story potential this first issue offers. It's hardly a perfect work with a few repetitive phrases, unexplained but assumed leaps, and little details provided on the characters themselves but it's a good start and preview into what's to come in a dark and savage zombie-infested world. Rick is a gun-wielding survivor with a clear goal and the drive to do what it takes to reach it. I like him as the hero but it seems he's headed down a much darker path. My next stop will be to the comic store to get the second issue! Be aware that this graphic novel has adult content that includes violence, gore, and strong language. It's recommended for older teens and adults. I think its TV fanbase will view it with as much attention as the show itself. Newly interested and seasoned graphic novel readers who like zombie stories will overall be satisfied with The Walking Dead.