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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

Issue 18 is the eighteenth issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the sixth and final part of Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars. It was originally published on April 20, 2005. The deluxe colored version was released on July 7, 2021.

Plot Synopsis

Lori thanks Allen for watching Carl and asks her son if he's okay. Crying, Carl asks if his father is crazy and if he's going to kill him. Lori reassures him that that's not the case, informing Carl that the man Rick attacked was bad and that he killed Rachel and Susie and tried to kill Andrea. Carl asks if he was bad like Shane and Lori confirms that he was a lot like Shane. Carl says that he only killed Shane before he killed anybody and Lori reassures him he did the right thing, with Rick unexpectedly chiming in saying he himself did the right thing as well. Rick asks Allen to give them some privacy, and proceeds to reassure Lori he is not making these decisions lightly. While he concedes that he may not have sounded completely rational outside, he assures her that he was. He explains that group looks to him to keep them safe and he owes it to them to do everything in his power to do so. He implores Lori to see his side of things, as he needs her on his side more than anyone. Lori replies that she doesn't know what she sees anymore, as she finds it hard to think straight, either because of exhaustion or the pregnancy. She knows she's overreacting, but can't seem to stop herself, and adds that she's never had this much stress in her life. She goes on to apologize for her behavior, and agrees that Thomas should be executed.

Dale walks Andrea to their cell so he can patch her up. He says that though Hershel could probably do a better job, he doubts he's in the mood to do anything. Andrea's not in a good mood herself. She asks if Thomas cut her ear and Dale confirms, telling her that her lobe is gone, but she'll still be able to hear. Andrea doesn't care about her hearing, as she doesn't want to look like a freak but Dale reassures her she'll be as beautiful as ever once he cleans her up. Rick comes by to get his hand cleaned up. Dale is shocked at it's appearance, thinking every finger in Rick's hand is broken. He doubts it will heal well or even if Rick will be able to use his hand again, but Rick says he'll worry about that later. Right now he just wants to make sure he doesn't get an infection on top of everything else, adding that he doesn't regret a thing.

Rick goes to Dexter's cell to release him, telling the inmate he's off the hook. Dexter asks if that's all he's going to say, and Rick confirms, asking if Dexter is going to start trouble. Dexter asks if they still have all the guns and Rick replies that they to, though they don't want to use them. Dexter is happy to hear this, and goes on to ask who the actual killer was. Rick informs him it was Thomas the "tax evader". Dexter notes that he didn't know what Thomas was in for, but he knew it wasn't tax evasion, adding that he never trusted him and that he doesn't trust a lot of people now.

Due to Billy's previous remark, Hershel flies into a rage, yelling at his son and beating him at the same time. After he's done, he warns Billy not to talk back to him again. Rick arrives to inform Hershel that they found the culprit. Hershel immediately wants to see him, and Rick obliges.

Dale asks Andrea if she feels any safer in the prison. He expresses his doubts in Rick's leadership, and notes that the death toll hasn't died down. He wonders what would happen if someone more organized wanted to take over the prison, as such an enticing location has to be a target. Andrea asks Dale if he wants to leave, and he replies that he's thinking about it. He proceeds to weigh the pros and cons as Andrea tells him that while she doesn't like the idea of abandoning everyone, she'll go wherever he goes.

Glenn and Tyreese, who were watching Thomas, decide to lock him in the freezer that the inmates had previously been using as a bathroom, in order to "Put the waste with the waste" as Glenn explains. Rick reminds them that the freezer is air tight so he will suffocate, so they remove him and take him to the cell block. As they are doing so, Hershel tells Thomas that he'll let the Lord be his judge and that he forgives him. Rick informs Hershel that they are still going to hang Thomas, but Hershel says that he knows and wants to watch.

After they lock Thomas in a cell, Glenn goes to see Maggie, asking her how she's holding up. She informs Glenn that she doesn't think she's going to love him anymore, not seeing the point in it since he's just going to die like everyone else.

Later, Patricia frees Thomas, believing him to be just a sick man that needs help, but he then attempts to kill her. During the brief struggle, Patricia manages to call for help, and scratches Thomas' face, freeing herself. Patricia is furious, telling Thomas that she was going to help him only for him to grunt obscenities at her. Tyreese points a gun at Thomas, but before he can shoot him, Glenn and Maggie approach from behind, and Maggie unloads six rounds from her pistol into Thomas's back. Maggie confesses to the gathered survivors, "Now I feel a little better", and the survivors proceed to the main gate of the prison.

Hershel requests that Thomas' body be thrown to the zombies to be torn apart and devoured. Lori asks Rick what he's going to do with Patricia, but Rick doesn't see what they can do, as he doesn't think they can beat her into submission or lock her up. They're not animals, after all. Rick says he'll talk to her, when suddenly Dexter, accompanied by Andrew and armed with shotguns from the armory, says there is no need for that, as Patricia is with them now. Dexter then puts the shotgun to Rick's head and tells him to "get the fuck out of his house".




  • Last appearance of Thomas Richards. (Alive)
  • The jacket that Amy wears every time she appears is seen hanging in Dale and Andrea's cell.
  • The cover of this issue features the group looking at someone hanging off-screen, presumably from a noose. This is most likely supposed to be Thomas Richards due to Rick's promise to hang him, however, it never actually ended up happening.

Cutting Room Floor

  • Lori was originally still present in the prison yard for Rick's announcment that they would hang Thomas, and was going to respond with "Like hell you are!"
  • The scene right after when Rick goes to visit his family was going to be more heated, with Lori not wanting Rick to see Carl since the latter was too afraid of him.
  • There was going to be a scene explaining how Patricia got ahold of the key to Thomas' cell.
  • Thomas was originally going to be hanged like was shown on the cover.
  • The cliffhanger of the issue was going to be Lori telling Rick she wants a divorce.
    • Once this was scrapped, the issue was supposed to end with Dexter and Andrew voluntarily leaving the prison.


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