Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Saying Goodbye to The Walking Dead Comic Book

July 10, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Walking Dead

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! 411’s Comic Reviews: Batman: Damned #3, Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1 and more!

On with the show!

Last week we discuss Comic Books That Deserve a TV Show!. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Ken Wood: “I would love a TV show based on Spawn, the Wildstorm universe, Gen 13, the Wicked and the Divine, and Supreme. Also, Brigade and Blood Strike are great comics. These could be some violently fun shows. It would be cool to have some old Valiant comics turned into shows, Turok, Solar, Ninjak.”

John: “Girls – (Image 2007)
It tells the story of the people of Pennystown, a community of 63 who
are cut off from the rest of the world and attacked by a group of naked,
flesh eating, egg-laying women, as well as other bizarre dangers. If you want to replace Westworld or Game of Thrones can you imagine an HBO series.

Rachel Rising – (Abstract 2016)
It tells the story of Rachel Beck who wakes up in a shallow grave as she tries to figure out who tried to kill her.

Crossed – (Avatar 2008)
Crossed is a anthology series about a group of sex crazed violent monsters who take over the world. The series covers side stories about the survivors who might be just as bad as The Crossed.”

El Atomico: “I want a Squadron Supreme mini-series!”

mbattagl: “It’s already been co-opted by scyfy but I can’t wait for the DMZ live action adaptation.

It’s a story about a second US civil war kicking off in the present day. The us government winds up having to fight a Confederacy of militia group that Ally up and the battle lines get drawn smack dab on Manhattan island. A journalist tried to get into the island to report on the conflict and winds up getting stuck there so he’s forced to learn about all the factions involved while trying not to get killed.”

RudoWakening: “The Wicked + The Divine
Southern Bastards

Elia Notari: “Certainly not Saga (Image 2012)
It has great characters and an engaging story, but in my opinion it works purely within the comic book medium, it’s not going to have the same impact as a live action show or as an animated TV show.

Lazarus (Image 2013)
This is it! This series would do wonders on TV, it’s actually in production with Amazon, which is also producing the Invincible animated series”

D2Kvirus: “Whiteout (Greg Rucka, Oni Press, 1998) – a small town murder investigation with a twist, namely it’s set on McMurdo Station in Antarctica as the winter storms are closing in…and to be honest, the story deserves better than the flaccid film adaptation it got

The Sword (The Luna Brothers, Image, 2008-10) – inspired by John’s suggestion of Girls, I’ll go for another Luna Bros comic, one which begins where a three siblings show up on the doorstep of a normal suburban family accusing the father of being a mystical figure before murdering the entire family with their superpowers barring one, the disabled daughter who they leave to die in the burning remains of the house – only for her to discover the mystic sword the three spoke of in the basement which gives her the powers to seek vengeance upon the three…and as soon as I typed all that out, I discovered somebody’s optioned it for a film. Sod it.”

gooched: “Batman. Not interested in more Batman movies, he doesn’t need big blockbuster films like some other big characters and he’s had his limelight in that area anyway.

They seem to be obsessed with making an almost infinite amount of Batman related tv shows without just going full on Bat.

There’s enough untouched excellent storylines to do a 10 ep 7 season hbo show, and it’s a huge mainstream property it would be a hit I think.”

SO MANY GREAT COMMENTS LAST WEEK! To read all of last week’s comments go HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…

The End of The Walking Dead

It’s extremely difficult to pull off a real surprise these days. With social media, spoilers float up and down the timeline. To be able to end a long-running, incredibly successful comic series is near impossible.

The Walking Dead stumbled on the scene back in 2003 and quickly gained a following with its raw storylines, memorable characters, and “anyone can (and will) die” attitude. it launched a blockbuster television show on AMC, a spin-off, and a planned series of movies. With all that, you’d think something would leak, that there was no way Robert Kirkman would be able to shock the fans one more time.

But that’s exactly what Kirkman managed to do when he ended The Walking Dead last week.

To pull it off, Kirkman and Charlie Adlard coordinated with publisher Image Comics to advertise the next three issues, complete with cover art, to retailers. Giving no hint or clue of what was to come.

“Personally … I hate knowing what’s coming,” Kirkman wrote at the end of issue #193. “As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I’m nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can feel when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel […]

The Walking Dead has always been built on surprise. Not knowing what’s going to happen when you turn the page, who’s going to die, how they’re going to die … it’s been essential to the success of this series. It’s been the lifeblood that’s been keeping it going all these years, keeping people engaged. It just felt wrong and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths … from Shane all the way to Rick.”

In a cool reveal, Kirkman also talked about how the series almost ended with the “No Way Out” storyline, which went from issues #80 to #84. Kirkman said the storyline “ended with Rick proclaiming Alexandria was a place worth fighting for, that they could no longer keep moving from place to place… they had to take a stand, lay down roots and start building from there. Their nomad days were behind them.”

Following that speech, readers would turn the page to see Rick’s face as an old statue with vines growing on it. From there, “We’d keep zooming out until we saw that the statue was in Alexandria, the same place where he gave the speech, but it was different. It was old and rundown, broken windows and missing doors. We would keep zooming out until a zombie walked by, then another… and we’d see that Rick had brought them to Alexandria, given this grand speech about rebuilding civilization and succeeded to the point that they built a statue to honor him… but in the end, the dead won. Society crumbled again, this time seemingly for good… and that was it.”

Kirkman admits that it’s a “terrible ending… [that] made the whole story pointless. What can i say… I was young and most of the endings I wrote or came up with way back then… were pretty bleak. So that ending… in hindsight was embarrassingly bad, but more than that, I wasn’t ready to end this series. Not by a long shot.”

Now we’re at issue 193 and the story is done. I’ll be doing a review in tomorrow’s 411mania Comic Book Review Roundtable but I truly enjoyed the issue. It was a fitting end to the series and gave the reader closure.

One thing though. I’ve always wondered what another writer would have brought to the table. It’s no secret Kirkman is in high demand and has a number of projects on his plate. But what would have happened if he had passed off The Walking Dead to someone else to see how they’d enrich the story?

It’s for naught but while the comic book is done, it’s influence will be felt for years to come. And kudos to Kirkman and the team for pulling off one last surprise.

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!

article topics :

The Walking Dead, Steve Gustafson