The Walking Dead is a monthly black and white American comic book series published by Image Comics beginning in 2003. The comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, who was replaced by Charlie Adlard from issue #7 onward, although Moore continued to do the covers until issue #24.
The story chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse. The series won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at the San Diego Comic Convention. A television series was announced to be in production on August 11, 2009 and premiered on October 31, 2010 on AMC.
The Walking Dead is centered on Rick Grimes, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, the characters become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse, most notably Rick's.
In the beginning of the series, Rick and partner Shane are in a firefight and Rick is shot and enters a coma. Upon waking in a hospital, he discovers the undead are in the building and town. Rick returns home and shortly decides to go to Atlanta, where the survivors were told to await help, to find his wife Lori and son Carl. He discovers the city is crowded with zombies and bumps into Glenn, a scavenger for a band of survivors. Following Glenn, Rick discovers Lori and Carl are okay along with Shane, who is less than happy that his former partner has returned. He also meets new survivors.
The group searches for a place to call home, settling in a couple of temporary camps, including a prison, which comes to the attention of an insane man calling himself the Governor. The Governor runs his local city, Woodbury, Georgia, like a dictator and tortures Rick (including cutting off one of his hands) and other members of his group, culminating in an all-out assault on the prison. Several of the main characters die in the battle, including the Governor himself. After the prison is made unsecure by the attack, Rick and the surviving members leave with others to Washington, D.C. for a chance to cure the infection. However, they soon find this to be false. They are eventually recruited to stay in a secluded and secure township on the outskirts of Washington DC. Each person tries to find a semblance of real life, but Grimes doesn't trust the leader of the town, a former US Congressman. He becomes the Constable, attempting to keep the peace in the town. The town is now in danger, as a skirmish with a group of bandits attracts a horde of zombies from DC.
To date in the comic book series, every deceased human being has risen as a zombie, as long as they still have a working nervous system. It is unclear how long a person must have been deceased before they are reanimated: Tyreese's daughter "comes back" within a few minutes after death, but Shane's body does not reawaken until well after having been buried. Zombie body fluids getting on a human will not infect them. It is not the bite itself that zombifies a person, all the bite does is cause a serious infection, which kills within days. Promptly removing the limb of a person bitten will ensure survival.
The zombies crave living flesh. Some, dubbed "roamers", travel constantly and will chase prey or noises for many miles. "Lurker" zombies await prey to come close to them, and retaliate if they are disturbed, by a zombie or non-zombie alike, although it will chase after the non-zombie. It is not specified how a zombie becomes either type. Other zombies vocalize and make grunting or moaning sounds at times or constantly, but some do not. All the zombies move much slower and more irregularly than humans, and humans can easily outrun or even briskly out-walk a zombie. As depicted in the comics, the zombies can very briefly move more quickly, by lunging. A zombie may grow tired of roaming after running out of willpower.
Zombies may follow something that has caught their attention for hours, such as a gunshot, after which they may follow in the general direction for days, even if they have forgotten what they originally were pursuing. Zombies may also follow other zombies, believing other zombies are pursuing food sources. This can create herds of "roamers", all following each other under the assumption that some of them are pursuing victims, regularly growing in size and absorbing more zombies.
The only way to kill zombies is by destroying the brain, though some characters prefer decapitation, which leads to the heads still trying to bite. Zombies do not notice humans who smell like zombies, such as when Rick and Glenn rub "zombie grime" on their body and walk nonchalantly near hundreds of zombie. It is still unsure whether a zombie who is around a human for long enough will become acclimated to them and generally stop attacking. In Woodbury, the "Governor" kept his zombie daughter in his house for a long time, yet she still attempted to attack him and others. He eventually removes her teeth and while she can attack, cannot bite. The character Michonne traveled for an extended time with her zombie ex-boyfriend and zombie friend, leading them behind her by a chain. It appears that she has removed their jaw bones and/or teeth and says, "These two stopped trying to attack me a long time ago."
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