The Walking Dead written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore, begins with police officer Rick Grimes, the central character of The Walking Dead saga, as he's injured in the line of duty. When he finally awakes from his coma he finds himself in a deserted (?!) hospital, a la 28 Days Later. Scared and confused he “bumps into” Morgan and Duane Jones living in a neighbor's abandoned house, who explain to Rick the new conditions of the zombie infested world around them. The media is shut down, and the last broadcasts encouraged people to head to the cities for protection. Oh, and we can't forget the staple defense against the new breed of walking dead, “A good blow to the head will take 'em out.” Being a police officer Rick swings by the police station for guns, ammo and a car, then sets off to the nearest major city, Atlanta, to find his wife Lori and son Carl.
Upon arrival in Atlanta, Rick finds himself in a city over-flowing with the undead. Luckily he's rescued by canned-good harvester Glenn, who leads Rick to a small camp set up on the outskirts of the city where he finds, as luck would have it, his wife and son..
Additionally we meet Allen (shoe salesman), Allen's wife Donna and twins Billy and Ben, Dale (traveling salesman, the man with the RV), Jim (mechanic), Carol (Tupperware saleswoman) and her daughter Sophia, sisters Amy (clerk) and Andrea (junior in college) and fellow police officer Shane, Rick's best friend who just happens to be in love with Rick's wife. And thus the stage is set for the strongest aspect of this graphic novel, its focus on the interpersonal conflicts associated with love and loss in the post-apocalyptic landscape.
With this, the first volume of “The Walking Dead ... the zombie movie that never ends”, Kirkman never strays from the conventions set by zombie poster boy George Romero, specifically in reference to his 1978 masterpiece Dawn of the Dead. But unlike others in the genre, character-driven The Walking Dead paints an honestly-intricate, personal portrait of what it's like trying to maintain a sense of life in a world surrounded by death. This graphic novel, despite treading well-worn territory, brings with it a fresh perspective and feel in its approach.
The Walking Dead is excellent across the board. Robert Kirkman's characters are well developed and his use of tension and release is always engaging, never forced. Moore's beautifully crisp illustration and detailed shading bring life to Kirkman's vision, providing reality and depth to its scope. Fans of all-things zombie should definitely check this out. With a “bang” of an ending, The Walking Dead left me hungry for more. -- 144 pages