Issue 5 is the fifth issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and the fifth part of Volume 1: Days Gone Bye. It was originally published on February 1, 2004. The deluxe colored version was released on December 16, 2020.
Three weeks after getting the guns, Rick and Shane are teaching everyone how to shoot. Rick compliments Donna, saying that she has come a long way since they started. She thanks him, but adds that she's nowhere near as good as Andrea, but Rick admits that he and Shane probably aren't either. Both Rick and Shane compliment Andrea's shooting, but she brushes it off as nothing too complicated. Rick jokes that she should try telling his wife, before going to fetch Carl for target practice. As Carl runs off in excitement, Lori angrily glares at Rick. During practice, Rick commends Carl for his shooting. Carl asks if this means he will get to carry a gun like everyone else, and Rick supposes it does. With that, Shane concludes the practice and invites everyone back to camp, determining that everyone is now capable of defending themselves. Rick announces that Carl will now be armed, and while he acknowledges that some may be uncomfortable with this, he reaffirms his stance that everyone at the camp should carry a firearm, and assures the others that he will take Carl's gun away if he ever pulls it out outside of an emergency. Afterwards, Rick tries to convince Lori that Carl is safer this way, but Lori snaps back that Carl is seven years old. She doesn't believe it to be a good idea, and bitterly supposes that the end of the world means she doesn't get a say in parenting her own son. Rick reiterates that he will take Carl's weapon away if he treats it like a toy, but Lori angrily storms off. As the group heads back, Dale complains about the distance of the range from the camp, but Shane points out it's better than them attracting a pack of zombies to the camp with their shots.
Upon their arrival, Allen welcomes them back. Rick thinks that Allen could use some firearm practice too, but the latter prefers to stay and guard the camp, as he doesn't wish to find walkers digging through their stuff and isn't fond of the long walk to the range either. Donna shows her disgust of Andrea and Amy sleeping in the camper with Dale, deeming it "unchristian". Lori retorts that being judgmental is as well, prompting Donna to storm off in a huff. A couple of days later, Rick, Shane, and Dale go to get firewood. Rick mentions how Donna keeps complaining about Andrea and Amy sleeping with Dale in the camper, to which Dale adds that Donna hasn't shown any gratitude to him for saving her life. Rick jokes that Dale has earned the right to the company of two pretty young woman, since they'd be screwed without his camping equipment. Dale stresses that nothing is going on, and admits that he is too old for such adventures anyway. He explains that the two simply keep things clean, and give him some comfort since his wife passed away a couple months ago. Rick assures him that he doesn't have to explain himself to them, and dismisses Donna as "just an old housewife who doesn't have soap operas to keep her small mind occupied". After chopping wood for a while, Dale suggests they head back to camp, believing it to be enough for the cookout. Rick isn't so sure, and says that it will probably get quite cold tonight. This prompts Shane to suddenly snap at Rick that he is tired of his complaining, as he knows it's getting cold. He stresses that they're going to be fine, and refuses to move the camp. Both Rick and Dale are taken aback by Shane's outburst, with Dale commenting that Shane has problems when the latter leaves.
That night, the group gathers around a fire and feasts on a deer Shane shot earlier. Rick praises Dale's camping equipment, before asking the others what they did before the outbreak. Dale recounts that he worked as a salesmen for forty years, and spent two years traveling with his wife with the RV they bought. He mournfully remembers how his wife died at a campsite eighty miles south. After he buried her, he traveled to Atlanta, having family in the city and due to having heard on the radio that it was safe, but was blocked off upon arrival. He adds that he found Andrea and Amy along the way, and gave them a ride after their car broke down. Amy says that she was a physical education major and that Andrea was driving her back to college, while Andrea reveals she was a clerk at a law firm, and jests that the job is one of the few things she doesn't miss. Glenn says that he was a pizza delivery boy in Macon, and reveals that he was in a bad financial situation, so much so that he was considering begging his parents for help, despite never wanting to speak to them again. However, despite not having these problems anymore, he would gladly take them all back if it meant everything going back to normal. Allen says that he was a shoe salesman in Gainesville, supporting the rest of the family. Jim simply says he was a mechanic. Rick and Shane recount their stories, and Carol mentions that she used to sell Tupperware and her husband was a cars salesman, who had killed himself after watching his parents die in front of him. Amy excuses herself and goes to the RV to use the bathroom. She is startled by a zombie, but fails to notice a zombified Reggie sneaking up behind her. The survivors watch in horror as Amy is bitten on the neck, before Rick and Shane gun down the undead assailants. Rick and Andrea try to save Amy, but to no avail, as she bleeds out moments later. Shane alerts Rick to the presence of more zombies, which begin to swarm into the camp. Rick instructs Lori to hide with the children inside one of the cars, while the rest of the group pull their guns out to fight off the invaders. Dale tries to get Andrea to safety, but the latter refuses to abandon her sister. Lori leads Donna, Allen, Carol, and the children to safety, but the group is cornered by some zombies. Lori attempts to shoot a zombie advancing towards her, but fumbles and drops her gun. Before she is killed, Carl picks the gun up and shoots the zombie in the head. Carol is nearly bitten as well, but is saved by Glenn. As the group continue to fight, Jim is grabbed by a zombie and tumbles with it to the ground. He furiously beats it with the but of his gun while yelling at it for killing his family, until he is stopped by Shane. Once the attack is over, Andrea shoots Amy in the head to prevent her from turning into a zombie. Lori apologizes to Rick for doubting him. As they embrace, she is alarmed when she notices Jim has been bitten on the forearm, but the latter dismisses it as "just a scratch".
- Rick Grimes
- Lori Grimes
- Carl Grimes
- Reggie (Zombified)
- Last appearance of Amy.
- Last appearance of Reggie. (Zombified)
- Lori mentions in this issue that Carl is 7 years old.
- Reggie's death marks the first character to die in the Comic Series.
- This issue was released only 4 days after the previous issue, making it the fastest released issue.
- Page 6 was originally going to feature Rick and Carl bonding with Carl responding "I don't wanna shoot no dead people".
- Page 7 was going to have Donna gossiping about Andrea, Amy and Dale.
- Shane was originally not in the scene with Rick and Dale chopping wood.
- Everyone discussing their previous lives was originally going to be only a page long.
- Andrea was originally going to die instead of Amy.
- There were originally going to be two other series besides The Walking Dead set in the same universe. One of them was a prequel book set around a mechanic shop that would feature Jim as a main character, as well as his large family. The setting of the other book is unknown, but it would have featured a Jim cameo. Both series were ultimately scrapped.
- March 2004 Comic Book Sales Figures - Ranked #185 Overall