Study Guide

The Walking Dead Violence

By Robert Kirkman

Violence

[Man with a shotgun blows a giant hole in Rick's chest] (5)

On the very first page, Rick suffers a gory wound at the hand of a shotgun-wielding crazy person, letting us know that this is not going to be a walk in the park. It foreshadows the even worse stuff to come.

FWUMP! "AHH!" (24)

And with a "fwump" right out of a classic Batman comic we meet our first disgusting decomposing corpse, with exposed intestines and half his face missing. At least this one isn't still moving! Still, we get a glimpse of what's ahead.

"Uungh." (32)

That's zombie for "Hello, lunch," we guess. This is a full-page panel crammed full of dead bodies in various states of decomposition and dismemberment. And one of them is talking. Get us out of here!

SNAP! (39)

A zombie's head snaps off, and there appear to be maggots crawling out of his flesh. Yep, this is disgusting. And Rick lands face first on him, making it even more barf-worthy. This picture's worth a thousand barf-worthy words.

[A horse is ripped to pieces.] (211)

This is one of those scenes where we're glad the book is in black and white, not color. But even in monochrome, the horror of the horse being devoured shows through loud and clear.

[Allen tries to get a clear shot at an approaching zombie.] "Move, Donna! Dammit, move!" [Dale chops a zombie's head off with an axe.] (363-366)

These scenes show us that the camp isn't the idyllic paradise it first seemed to be. Zombies find their way to the camp, too. And they're just as hungry as the ones in the city.

CHOMP! "Yahhh!!" (493)

Rick's bitten by a zombie here, which should be a death sentence, but luck or fate (or the demands of the storyline) intervenes and the creature's teeth aren't able to penetrate his leather jacket.

"Gar!" "Yeargh!" (597)

The people in the camp think they're safe. Safety in numbers, y'know? But when Amy goes to the camper during dinner, she's surrounded by zombies and killed right in front of everyone. They can't do anything to stop it. Much of the horror is in the characters having to watch others die and not being able to prevent it.

"My family!" WHACK! "My family!!" SPLACK! "You killed them!!!" SPLUCK! (628-630)

During the zombie assault on the camp, Jim goes into revenge overdrive, shooting a zombie over and over again. He seems to think that this violent outburst will somehow help him avenge his family, but the zombies will never end and his family will never come back. By this point, he's operating on sheer violent instinct.

BLAM! (752)

We've seen a lot of violence over the last hundred pages, but this one of the most shocking images. Seven-year-old Carl shoots Shane, who is about to shoot Rick. Maybe. Do you think Shane actually would have shot his friend? What's shocking about this is that all the other violence so far has been seen as necessary and inevitable. A zombie's coming at you; what else can you do? This one's way different.