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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

Issue 17 is the seventeenth issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the fifth part of Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars. It was originally published on April 6, 2005. The deluxe colored version was released on June 16, 2021.

Plot Synopsis

Andrea punches Thomas and reaches for her gun, but the murderer knocks her down and disarms her.

Lori finds Rick sitting outside despairing. She inquires, and Rick reveals he blames himself for Rachel and Susie's deaths, as he's the one that convinced Hershel to come live at the prison. Lori believes the notion preposterous, as with all the dead roaming around now that it's warm there is no telling what the situation's like on the farm, and adds that they have no time for Rick to blame himself. Rick apologizes, revealing that he hasn't slept since Chris and Julie died. Lori agrees that he needs to rest and goes on to ask where Rick had been yesterday. Rick reveals he went back to the camp to dig up Shane and shoot him.

Hershel sits motionless in his cell and starts saying he's sorry. This infuriates Billy, who screams at his father, blaming him for Rachel and Susie's deaths

Andrew goes to visit Dexter and asks if he's okay. Dexter declines, as he feels like a prisoner again. Andrew offers to get Dexter anything he needs. Dexter believes Rick's group to be crazy, so traumatized by the outside world they thought the prisoners were living the high life locked in the cafeteria. Now, Dexter claims, they are killing each other and blaming it on them. He instructs Andrew to find a way into A-block, where the guards stored riot gear and weapons. Andrew says they can bust out of the prison in a blaze of glory and Dexter agrees, stressing that this needs to happen before Rick's group decides to kill them all. He asks if Andrew can get in there and Andrew confirms.

Dale instructs Glenn and Axel in dispatching walkers piled up on the fence, something they need to do if they don't want the sheer mass of the undead to knock the fence down. He takes a knife and points it against a walker's head through the fence, then jams the knife into its skull using a hammer, though he fails to pull out the knife once the walker's corpse falls. Dale thinks he needs to think of another plan, but Glenn thinks he might be on to something with his original idea, and suggests nailing the blades through small pieces of wood so they wouldn't fall through the fence. Dale likes the idea, though Axel still wonders why they can't just hold onto the knife tighter.

Tyreese and Carol are cleaning the basketball court. Ty thinks it's going to be really nice but Carol says what would really be nice is some privacy, and Tyreese agrees. Carol points out Allen is watching Sophia and spots a clean spot on the floor. She proceeds to take her clothes off, and the two have sex on the floor.

Carl and Sophia are talking about Allen. Sophia doesn't like him and says he scares her. Carl agrees, saying that Allen used to be nice but now he's just weird. Switching the subject, he awkwardly tells Sophia he changed his mind and wants to be her boyfriend after all, as he thinks she's pretty. Sophia, overjoyed to hear this, kisses Carl on the cheek, much to his annoyance.

Suddenly, Andrea runs out into the yard screaming for help, with Thomas hot on her trail. Rick tackles Thomas and beats him severely, breaking his own hand in the process and mashing Thomas' face into a bloody pulp. Lori tries to stop him but to no avail. Eventually, Tyreese pulls Rick off Thomas. Glenn asks if Thomas is dead and Rick replies that he isn't, yet. Lori asks what he means by that and Rick bitterly asks her if she would have him just let Thomas go, hoping the next time he kills it's someone they don't know. He points out that Lori was pretty angry with Dexter when she thought he killed the girls. Rick stresses that they have to stop Thomas from ever killing again. Lori is disgusted with Rick's authoritarian tone, and firmly believes that no killing means no killing no matter what. She stresses that if they kill Thomas, they are no better than he is. She claims that exile is almost a worse punishment than death with the added benefit of not having any blood on their hands. She also suggests locking him up in the prison. Andrea furiously declines these suggestions, not willing to sleep in the prison knowing he could get out again and not willing to throw him to the zombies unless they can watch him get devoured. She points out what he did to her (referring to the scar he made on her face) as well as the girls. Tyreese claims that in any case they need to establish rules for this sort of thing, as they haven't done so yet. To this, Rick presents a simple law; You kill, you die. Dale agrees, Patricia cries that Thomas was so nice and Lori furiously asks Rick if he's just making the decision for all of them. Rick is confident in doing so, as the group put him in charge for a reason. Lori calls Rick a prick, telling him he's her husband, not her father, causing Rick to snap and tell Lori to "shut the fuck up". With Lori going back inside, Rick reaffirms his stance and declares they will hang Thomas tomorrow.



  • None


  • Rick establishes his new rule, "You kill. You die."
  • This is the issue in which Andrea gets her trademark scar, with Thomas slashing her cheek and slicing off a part of her earlobe in the process.

Cutting Room Floor

  • Thomas was originally going to lock himself with Andrea in a cell at the start of the issue.
  • Rick was going to talk to Lori about Shane more.
  • Andrea was originally going to lose her entire ear to Thomas' attack.
  • Rick was going to hit Lori when she tried to stop him from beating Thomas.


Comic Issues
Volume 1: Days Gone Bye Issue 1Issue 2Issue 3Issue 4Issue 5Issue 6
Volume 2: Miles Behind Us Issue 7Issue 8Issue 9Issue 10Issue 11Issue 12
Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars Issue 13Issue 14Issue 15Issue 16Issue 17Issue 18
Volume 4: The Heart's Desire Issue 19Issue 20Issue 21Issue 22Issue 23Issue 24
Volume 5: The Best Defense Issue 25Issue 26Issue 27Issue 28Issue 29Issue 30
Volume 6: This Sorrowful Life Issue 31Issue 32Issue 33Issue 34Issue 35Issue 36
Volume 7: The Calm Before Issue 37Issue 38Issue 39Issue 40Issue 41Issue 42
Volume 8: Made To Suffer Issue 43Issue 44Issue 45Issue 46Issue 47Issue 48
Volume 9: Here We Remain Issue 49Issue 50Issue 51Issue 52Issue 53Issue 54
Volume 10: What We Become Issue 55Issue 56Issue 57Issue 58Issue 59Issue 60
Volume 11: Fear The Hunters Issue 61Issue 62Issue 63Issue 64Issue 65Issue 66
Volume 12: Life Among Them Issue 67Issue 68Issue 69Issue 70Issue 71Issue 72
Volume 13: Too Far Gone Issue 73Issue 74Issue 75Issue 76Issue 77Issue 78
Volume 14: No Way Out Issue 79Issue 80Issue 81Issue 82Issue 83Issue 84
Volume 15: We Find Ourselves Issue 85Issue 86Issue 87Issue 88Issue 89Issue 90
Volume 16: A Larger World Issue 91Issue 92Issue 93Issue 94Issue 95Issue 96
Volume 17: Something To Fear Issue 97Issue 98Issue 99Issue 100Issue 101Issue 102
Volume 18: What Comes After Issue 103Issue 104Issue 105Issue 106Issue 107Issue 108
Volume 19: March To War Issue 109Issue 110Issue 111Issue 112Issue 113Issue 114
Volume 20: All Out War - Part One Issue 115Issue 116Issue 117Issue 118Issue 119Issue 120
Volume 21: All Out War - Part Two Issue 121Issue 122Issue 123Issue 124Issue 125Issue 126
Volume 22: A New Beginning Issue 127Issue 128Issue 129Issue 130Issue 131Issue 132
Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams Issue 133Issue 134Issue 135Issue 136Issue 137Issue 138
Volume 24: Life And Death Issue 139Issue 140Issue 141Issue 142Issue 143Issue 144
Volume 25: No Turning Back Issue 145Issue 146Issue 147Issue 148Issue 149Issue 150
Volume 26: Call To Arms Issue 151Issue 152Issue 153Issue 154Issue 155Issue 156
Volume 27: The Whisperer War Issue 157Issue 158Issue 159Issue 160Issue 161Issue 162
Volume 28: A Certain Doom Issue 163Issue 164Issue 165Issue 166Issue 167Issue 168
Volume 29: Lines We Cross Issue 169Issue 170Issue 171Issue 172Issue 173Issue 174
Volume 30: New World Order Issue 175Issue 176Issue 177Issue 178Issue 179Issue 180
Volume 31: The Rotten Core Issue 181Issue 182Issue 183Issue 184Issue 185Issue 186
Volume 32: Rest In Peace Issue 187Issue 188Issue 189Issue 190Issue 191Issue 192Issue 193