Robert Kirkman, Charlie Allard and Cliff Rathburn (Second publishing, 2013).
After reading The Walking Dead (Compendium One) what else was there to do but read compendium two? I am a huge fan of the AMC television series which introduced me to the fact that the show was created from a comic book series. The tv show films an entire season, then takes a long hiatus, so superfans are left out in the cold. I’ve been contemplating watching the spin-off: Fear the Walking Dead, but I am kind of prejudiced against it. I watched the first three of four episodes and found the characters so unlikeable that I actually WANTED them to be eaten by zombies. I may go back for another try since the regular series does not return until OCTOBER! From a writing perspective, one of the most fascinating ideas surrounding The Walking Dead is not only that the comic is an on-going affair, the creators are actually involved in a re-write of the original material as they make the tv show. How interesting would it be to create something once, decide that you’d like to try an alternate version, then put it in your own tv show based on the same material. It’s a true-to-life ongoing revision!
Compendium Two opens with Chapter Nine: Here We Remain. We open with the struggles of father Rick and son Carl. The young son is coming to learn that his dad cannot protect everyone at all times; each individual must be responsible for their own safety. Rick is losing a small portion of his sanity every time he hears a phone magically ring, he answers, and he hears the voice of his dead wife.
Chapter Ten: What We Become. We see Maggie try (unsuccessfully) to hang herself. We meet the group of creeps who terrorize Rick and Carl to the point where Rick takes a big chunk o’throat out of one of the bullies; (a classic scene in the tv show). Morgan re-appears after not being seen in ages.
Chapter Eleven: Fear The Hunters. We have twin boys (instead of the tv sisters) who end up meeting tragedy when one of the brothers kills his twin because he cannot understand murder or death. Dale and Andrea had taken these boys in as their own. Carl suggests that the murdering brother (a mere child) should be killed because he is a danger to the group. The idea is viewed as obscene by the adults around him. Dale is knocked out and taken by a rival group. (Taken on by another actor in the show), Dale’s leg is prepared and eaten by a cannibal group of humans. After they have ingested the meat, Dale reveals that he had been bitten; they were eating tainted meat. The cannibals drop off Dale, sans leg, in front of the church where our group is holed up. This leads to one of the show’s cliffhanger lines when Rick says, “They’re fucking with the WRONG people.” Both Rick and Carl have to admit that they have crossed over into new territory at this point in the story: they’ve killed living people. Carl later confesses that he killed the murderous twin boy, Ben. (In the show it was Carol who shoots the little girl from behind by telling her to look at the flowers. Classic.)
Chapter Twelve: Life Among Them. Rick and Carl discuss the philosophy of how to remain human in this inhumane world. Eugene finally admits that he’s been lying to the group in order to be protected by them. They meet Aaron who takes them to Alexandria. With other children laughing and playing, we come to understand that Carl no longer knows how to be a kid. We learn that Michonne used to be lawyer. Our group now finds it difficult to act “normal” like all the other people in Alexandria. It feels fake, shallow and strange. Our group had been stripped of their guns coming into the town; Glenn is now given the job of secreting the guns back to their owners.
Chapter Thirteen: Too Far Gone. Carl actually sees his father on the phone talking to a ghost.
Chapter Fourteen: No Way Out. Keeping the walls secure around Alexandria becomes a full time job. Morgan gets bitten by a walker on the arm and without much ado, Michonne cuts off his arm. Morgan shares wisdom with Carl about the importance of caring. Morgan dies from his wounds. We get to see another classic cliff hanger from the show in which the group is trying to escape an over-run Alexandria by drenching themselves in death-goo. This is when Rick’s would-be girlfriend’s son starts talking too loud drawing the attention of the walkers. As Mother and son are eaten, Rick has to sever her grip with an axe. Then Carl gets his eye shot out! The team knows they must band together to solve their problems.
Chapter Fifteen: We Find Ourselves. Rick recognizes that as he meets people now he is evaluating if he should kill them or not. What value do they hold? Can they be trusted? What use will they be? He says that contemplating killing them now seems a casual, routine thought. Rick says he felt he actually died a long time ago. Andrea jumps his bones by kissing him…(to make Rick feel alive, I guess?).
Chapter Sixteen: A Larger World. Our group meets the character Jesus who says he comes from a settlement on a hilltop. A scuffle ensues and the hilltop leader, Gregory, is stabbed. Our group learns about a rival group led by a guy named Negan. Our group view the hilltop as just another place to take over and command. They want to stop fighting and start living.
This is where compendium two ends. (I did not mean to get into all that, but I got carried away. It was interesting to note the titles and seeing their progression.)