The Walking Dead, Vol. 4: The Heart’s Desire
Series: The Walking Dead #4
Published by Image Comics on April 28th 2009
Genres: Graphic Novel, Horror
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Also by this author: The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye, The Walking Dead, Vol. 02: Miles Behind Us, The Walking Dead, Vol. 03: Safety Behind Bars
Illustrator: Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn
Life in the prison starts to get interesting for Rick Grimes and the rest of our survivors. Relationships heat up, fizzle out, and change entirely almost overnight. By the end of this volume, relationships between key characters are radically changed, setting the stage for future events in The Walking Dead.
Volume four is my least favorite edition thus far, as I’ve given it a mere three stars. A redeeming quality of this installment is the introduction of the katana-wielding, zombie-enslaving Michonne, by far the most awesome character in the AMC show.
Michonne makes a big entrance, saving Otis, who had stayed behind at the Greene family farm to watch over the livestock and had begun making his way to the prison, from a gaggle of zombies.
The core group is immediately suspicious of Michonne, confiscates her swords and keeps watch on her. Rick and company then must kill another horde of zombies after someone leaves the cell block door open to the armory after gathering more weapons. Rick ends up shooting Dexter in the head, but pretends it was an accident; Tyreese knows the truth, but says nothing.
Allen is bitten in the leg by a zombie, of course, prompting the group to opt for cutting off the leg in an attempt to prevent the zombie ‘virus’ from spreading and ultimately causing Allen to turn.
One thing really grossed me out in this volume: Michonne seduces Tyreese, who is in a relationship with Carol, by giving him oral sex, which Carol witnesses. Carol reacts by attempting suicide and Michonne’s place in the group is further questioned. Tyreese lets it slip that Rick purposely killed Dexter and a fight ensues, resulting in Rick falling over a railing and being knocked out for a while.
Allen eventually dies and is shot in the head so as to prevent his reanimation. When Rick awakens from his blackout, he learns that Tyreese has told the rest of the group about Rick’s murdering Dexter. The group has decided to make Rick one of four co-leaders, also including Tyreese, Hershel, and Dale, in order for absolute power over the crew to be impossible.
At the end of the volume, Rick proclaims that the survivors are in fact ‘the walking dead’ and argues that everyone should stop pretending the world will ever return to normal. I feel that this volume was a turning point in the series, especially with Rick’s proclamation. However, I was not fond of Michonne’s being so sexualized, as she didn’t seem that way in the TV series episodes I did watch.