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!