THIS IS AN UPDATED VERSION OF A POST FROM LAST YEAR (and the year before)! We’re not about to reinvent the wheel. And there are spoilers for the the show up through this last season, obviously.
One of the things I hear a lot is that fans of the show are hesitant to get into the comic for fear of spoilers. Which is fair enough, but let me say two things:
1) The show and comic follow the same general course, but events happen at different times (or not at all), characters have different arcs, some of the characters are different, etc.
2) There are 77 issues (almost 13 full Volumes) you could safely read without getting ahead of the show. If you read ALL of Volume 13 (which covers through issue 78) you’ll get just a tiny bit ahead of the show.
The other thing I get asked a bunch is “Do I need to start at the beginning?” No, of course not. The show isn’t THAT different. I DO recommend it, because I think some of the stuff that didn’t make the show is really interesting. But if you definitely don’t want to read ALL of the comics, and you want to be super duper lazy, go ahead and start at Volume 12, which is where the group arrives at Alexandria (but you’re going to wind up wanting all the other comics anyway).
So what’s going on in the comic up through Volume 13? In short, Volume 1 covers Rick’s time in the hospital, his trip to Atlanta, and his meeting up with Shane, Lori, and Carl at the campsite. Volume 2 covers the trip to Hershel’s farm and the brief time there. Volume 3 and 4 are the first parts of the prison story, up to just before they see a helicopter crash in the distance. Volume 5 deals with the introduction of Woodbury and the Governor. Volumes 6, 7, and 8 contain the rising tension in the prison and the Governor’s final attack on, and the destruction of, the prison. Volume 9 finds Rick and Carl on their own and introduces Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene after the group reunites. Volume 10 is the group on the road, including a reunion with Morgan. Volume 11 has the Ben & Billy storyline (which became Mika and Lizzie on the show) as well as The Hunters, which were the leftover cannibal Termites in the show (no Terminus here). Volume 12 has the Eugene revelation, Aaron’s arrival, and the group enters Alexandria. Volume 13 deals with the drama and dangers inside Alexandria. If you finish this Volume you’ll maybe be a bit ahead of the show (assuming because I have a feeling events in issue 78 will be heavily modified for TV—haven’t seen it so I can’t tell you definitively).
Here are some reasons to check out the comic:
-It’s a great first comic for people that have never read a comic before.
-It’s a great comic even if you’ve read 1,000 other comics.
-Find out what happens when Tyreese meets Rick before Rick loses it.
-Andrea is much cooler, and very much alive.
-Tyreese is an F’ing badass.
-There is no Daryl, which may sound like a negative, but it affects the group dynamic greatly.
-Returned Morgan is NOT the same, revitalized kung fu expert he is on the show. He’s closer to how he was in “Clear.”
-Aaron’s intro is almost identical in the show. Pretty cool!
Incidentally, all of our Volumes are available right in our online shop. Convenient!
Little heads-up from a reader: If you jump in on a particular arc, like I read people saying that they wanna jump in at the point where the show is currently, that’s cool… but I bet it won’t take long for you to regret that you didn’t start at the beginning. You also won’t be able to stop reading to coincide with the show. I just can’t see it happening & that one’s speaking from experience! Might as well start at the beginning & prepare to get sucked right in! The comic is addictive. You’ve been warned.
What she said.
Well said. I read the comic from the beginning and I loved it and even without having Daryl it’s still good. I love all the transitions from the comic to show but it’s still worth watching because things are changing so much. I recommend reading the hunters arc up to where we are in the show for first timers. As far as season 6 i see nothing but straight fire *No spoilers* the comic and show are both addicting
If a person didn’t want to start at the beginning, I’d definitely say at least go back to the hunters’ arc! That’s my fave!
First comic I ever picked up (in the form of Compendium 1) but I quickly blew through that, compendium 2, the Volumes I needed to get to the single issues, then the single issues to get completely caught up (at Issue 119). I now read it on Comixology the day it comes out AND get the print version from my Local Comic Shop. You CANNOT read just one arc and you are very likely to find yourself sucked into even more comics. I remember the day I added more comics to my pull box at my Local Comic Shop after months of just getting The Wlaking Dead. The guy that works there was like “YES! I knew it was just a matter of time before you crossed to the dark side!” My advice to anyone who loves the show and is unsure about reading the comic: try the first compendium. I can guarantee you won’t be able to stop there.
“events in issue 78 will be heavily modified for TV”
Oh? That’s… interesting, in what way? Theoretically of course…
No “Carl’s character is much more dynamic and active and it’s much harder to hate him for the few of you who still do” point?
Well, that’s what comments are for.
It really is a great comic for non comic readers, ive literally never read a single comic in my life and now i religiously read four, FOUR!
6 here. 4 are Image.
The show aint got NOTHING on the comic the comic is WAY BETTER hands down. If your wanting to read a good story that will have you glued to the pages then you found the right book go check it out i promise you will not be disappointed.
agreed. the show has too many unnecessary fillers and questionable decisions. (the hunters entering the church for example, dafuq?)
Hunters were hunting & underestimated their prey.
I completely know what you mean @Bsur but In the context of the show’s storyline I think it made sense.
The church was a plot device, a great killing ground; trick the enemy into it, block their exit, kill them.
Not you too, MikeJLacey!
If you haven’t started to read The Walking Dead Comics… GET ON IT ALREADY!!!
I start reading the Comics when season 1 came out. Read through the first 9 volumes and started picking up the individual books. Enjoyed the books so much i went back to collect all the individual books. i have all except the first print of #1, but i have EVERY issues (excludes some conventions ones). great story, a must read from the beginning. All characters are better in the book. (Carl, Rick, definitely Andrea and Tyrese, can’t forget Glen)