The Walking Dead is back with Season 4 and while season 3 was a near disaster, things seem to be back on track. It also didn’t hurt that the writer (Scott Gimple) of one of Season 3’s best episodes (Clear) is now the show runner. I’m painfully aware that I’m in the minority who thinks that Season 2 was actually the best so far.
I started reading The Walking Dead comic when issue #3 was just coming out and even back in 2003, I considered it to be one of the best zombie comics (actually one of the best comics overall), I’d ever read. One of the good and bad things about the TV Show is how it changes the comic’s storyline. Good because long time readers can have a relatively new experience with the show. Bad because many times the changes to the storyline were weak compared to the comic’s up’s and down’s (sometimes they were better too).
Having read the comics and watch the TV show, here are a few really big differences between the two:
1) Lori and the baby
Comic: Lori has the baby. It’s a few weeks old when both Lori and the baby are shot as they flee the prison.
TV Show: Lori dies while giving birth. The baby is birthed through a makeshift cesarean and is still alive, being raised by Rick and Carl.
2) Shane’s Death
Comic: Shane’s death happens really early in the comics at Issue #7. Shane lures Rick into the woods to secretly kill him after Lori sides with Rick. Carl witnesses this and Carl shoots Shane in the neck, killing him.
TV Show: Rick kills Shane with a knife after Shane lures him into the woods and is about to kill Rick. (Shane’s character is much more interesting in the TV Show. I miss the tension Shane brought to the group).
3) The Governor
Comic: Michonne is repeatedly raped and tortured by the governor and his men. Once freed, she finds the governor and tortures him. Then cuts off his right arm, all his fingernails, his testicles, and his left eye. Through Woodbury’s medical technology, they are able to help the governor survive. Later, during an attack on the prison, his men end up turning on the governor, killing him, and throwing him to the zombies.
TV Show: Michonne stabs the Governor in the eye with a piece of glass during their fight. But he has not suffered any other injuries. He ends up killing all his own people (except a couple of henchmen) at the end of Season 3 (the opposite of what happened to him in the comic) and is still at large.
4) There’s no Daryl in the comic
Comic: Seriously, he doesn’t exist in the comic. He was made for the TV Show only.
TV Show: Behind Rick, Daryl is far and away the most popular character on the show. He’s one of the pleasant surprises where the comic was changed and the show is better for it.
I’m still amazed at how consistently brilliant The Walking Dead comic was up until about issue #95. The TV Show is not as consistent but does have its moments. I hope Kirkman hasn’t run out of ideas because I love his realistic zombie world and I’d be happy for 95 more quality issues of this continuing story of survival.