As much as I love Charlie Adlard, and I accept that he is The Walking Dead artist, I have to say, when re-reading this issue, that it’s a shame Tony Moore isn’t a faster artist. Issue one is beautiful - Especially as I’m reading the oversized omnibus version for this review.
Much like 28 days later, this starts with Rick waking up in hospital without the first clue as to what’s happening. The first page shows how he ended up in hospital - he gets shot − and page two is a beautiful full page spread of him waking up.
Like 28 days later, he’s tired, confused, and weak. He tries to call a nurse but works out pretty quickly that something’s up.
Robert Kirkman is such a good writer now that it’s interesting to read something he’s written from so long ago. The line ‘Did everyone just take a break at the same time?’ seems like such an unnecessary way to tell the reader that the hospital is deserted. We can already see that. I’m certain that he would edit that out now, George Lucas style, if he could.
A complaint that is often levelled at TWD is that it’s slow paced. This issue is anything but. Within the first few pages, Rick has been shot, woken up in hospital, seen a zombie, and then walked into a canteen full of zombies. The splash page when he opens the door to the canteen is amazing.
The next few pages see Rick escape the hospital, find a bike and a rotting corpse that’s still alive, have a breakdown and then ride away.
He heads home. The detail on these pages is astounding. I wonder if this book would have been as popular if we’d had this level of art throughout but had to be content with 8-10 issues per year?
Rick finds nothing at his home and when he goes out in the garden, Morgan’s son, Duane, knocks him out with a shovel. Introducing other characters this early is a good way to get Rick and the reader up to speed. Rick decides to head to Atlanta to try and find his wife and kid because Morgan tells him that the government advised people to do that.
Before he leaves he gives Morgan a police car and some guns. He then returns to the corpse outside the hospital and kills her. He sheds a tear for her passing and then leaves town.
This is a great issue. The art is beautiful, the story moves at a good clip and it sets up the entire series with minimal exposition. The TV series stayed true to the plot of this issue.
8 out of 10.