Issue 23 is the twenty-third issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the fifth part of Volume 4: The Heart's Desire. It was originally published on November 1, 2005. The deluxe colored version was released on September 15, 2021.
Rick takes Tyreese aside and accuses him of being responsible for Carol's attempted suicide. Tyreese punches Rick and tells him not to say that again. Instead of backing down, Rick says Tyreese practically slit Carol's wrists for her. Tyreese kicks Rick but immediately breaks down in tears, denying any culpability in Carol's mishap and apologizing for losing his temper with Rick.
Rick says Tyreese will bear the blame if Carol dies and warns Tyreese not to punch him again. Tyreese accuses Rick of having gone insane, but Rick responds by recalling how brutally Tyreese murdered Chris. Tyreese claims he killed Chris not out of rage, but in cold blood, simply finishing the job Chris had started in the botched suicide pact with Julie, but he admits he let Chris reanimate so he could continue punishing the corpse.
Glenn and Maggie appear on the scene as Rick asks if Tyreese feels ashamed to be a murderer. Glenn steps in and tries to calm the pair. Tyreese says he feels no shame over killing Chris for killing his daughter and counters by recalling Rick's own murder of Dexter, which Rick defends as justifiable because Dexter intended to kick their group out of the prison.
Tyreese then brings up Rick's mutilation of Allen. Pushing Tyreese against the balcony railing, Rick says he only mutilated Allen to save his life. Tyreese punches Rick again and asks if Rick means to kill him, too. Rick maintains that he is not a killer, but, Tyreese tells him he's acting like one.
Suddenly, Rick passes out and tumbles over the railing to the cellblock floor below, and Tyreese sustains a foot injury jumping down after him. Glenn and Maggie tell the men to stop fighting, but, Tyreese already has and just wants to see if Rick is okay. Rick wakes up and kicks Tyreese in the face, yelling that Tyreese called him a killer, but, then turned around and tried to kill him by pushing him over the rail. Tyreese explains that Rick simply blacked out and fell, but, Rick refuses to believe him. Rick tells Tyreese to stay down because they're not done yet.
Lori comes running down the stairs, and Glenn fills her in on what has transpired. Lori asks Rick if he thinks he has suffered any broken bones, and he says it feels like it. Lori tries to help him to his feet, but, Rick falls right back down. Sitting, Rick declares to Tyreese that everything he does is intended for the good of the group.
Andrea comes downstairs and tells them Allen has died. Rick says he'll handle the task of shooting Allen to keep the dead man from returning as a zombie and sarcastically asks if Tyreese thinks he'd enjoy that too much. Rick limps off alone to dispatch Allen, and the others hear the subsequent gunshot.
- Rick Grimes
- Lori Grimes
- Allen (Corpse)
- Maggie Greene
- Hershel Greene
- Michonne Hawthorne
- Allen (Off-Panel)
- Last appearance of Allen. (Corpse)
- This is one of a few issues with very few scenes, as the fight between Tyreese and Rick takes up nearly the entire issue.
- This is the first issue Carl Grimes doesn't appear in.
- Tyreese was originally going to purposefully fling Rick off the railing.
- Dale, Otis, and Patricia were originally going to show up after Lori.
- The Walking Dead #23, IGN, Hilary Goldstein, (November 9, 2005). "As this series progresses, a formula is becoming apparent. Rather than the typical "Creature of the Month," Walking Dead has the "Internal Conflict of the Month." This time it's Rick and Tyreese. Good drama, nice outcome..."