Spoilers! Okay, with the spoiler tag out of the way, let me start by saying issue one hundred and five of The Walking Dead is a great jumping on point! At least it’s as good of one as any. Even though I’m the one who just did it here, I honestly don’t know why we feel the need to announce these things. The very first comic I ever read was Amazing Spider-Man #357. Yep, I just jumped right into the middle of the series, right into the middle of an arc, and I didn’t expect the entire industry to reset itself for me. Now here I am, writing and podcasting for a comic book website, so obviously I was able to get into it. I’ll get back to this point later, but first I will dish out some quick Walking Dead catch up. So Negan, the big bad, is basically running a protection racket and demanding a tribute of supplies from every survivor community he encounters. One leader, Rick, is bowing down for now to buy time to figure out what to do, but hasn’t even let his son Carl in on the play, so it seems realistic to Negan. Carl tried to take matters into his own hands, and wound up a captive in the enemy camp. So is this Negan guy likable at all? Well no, we can never forgive him for what he and Lucille did to Glenn. I have to admit though, he does have some charisma, and I enjoyed seeing him take Carl under his wing and treat him like the little brother he never had – or maybe lost. The ebb and flow of the tension is palpable, with both smaller currents and larger tides. The threat of “the iron” and Carl’s fate are on our minds the whole time. With an unpredictable and unhinged character like Negan, it only takes a sentence to put someone’s life in peril. There’s a scene towards the end where he’s taking warm up swings with the bat while forcing young Carl to sing for his “punishment,” and you have to cringe and prepare for the worst all while being lost in this utterly creepy, chilling scene. It’s beautiful. Now let’s get back to the idea of this as a “jump on” issue of The Walking Dead. That might seem unlikely, given that the whole focus is mainly on one set of characters, and only one individual was from the main group that the series follows. I like this as a starting point because it works well as a stand alone issue. Obviously it’s still part of a larger narrative, but I read it and felt like a full story was told here. If this was my first issue, I’d have been satisfied and it would have left me with a good impression. I also try to imagine what it would be like if all I knew of The Walking Dead came from this one issue, and I think it would give a person a really interesting perspective. If this was anybody’s first issue, I’m jealous.
What was your first issue of The Walking Dead?