The story begins before the zombie outbreak has happened where sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes and his partner, Shane, are in a shoot-out with a prisoner who escaped jail in Grant County. Rick is shot in the chest, while trying to flank the prisoner which puts him into a coma. A month later, Rick wakes up in a hospital bed and finds himself in an abandoned hospital. He falls out of his bed and calls for help, but no one comes. After dressing himself, he explores the hospital, finding a corpse which falls backward into the opening elevator; as well as a cafeteria door that is blocked by a piece of wood. Rick removes the piece of wood and opens the door only to find multiple zombies inside the room. One of the zombies lunges at Rick which causes them to fall down a set of stairs where the zombie's head becomes decapitated.
Severely confused, Rick leaves the hospital (after locking the door with his belt to stop the other zombies) and finds a bicycle. As Rick walks toward the bike, he sees a zombie that has deteriorated to nothing more than bones. At this sight, Rick temporarily breaks down. Shortly after, Rick returns to his home and finds that his house had been looted and that his family, Lori and Carl are gone. Upon exiting his home, Rick is knocked unconscious by a boy with a shovel. The boy's father quickly tells him that Rick is not a zombie and they bring him inside. Rick wakes up and has dinner with the man who's name is Morgan Jones. The boy that hit Rick in the head with a shovel is Morgan's son, Duane Jones. Morgan explains to Rick the nature of the outbreak, which started just over a month ago. Rick finds out that before the media shut down that the government told everyone to relocate to major cities.Rick decides that Lori would have taken Carl to Atlanta where her parents live. Rick, Morgan, and Duane go to the police station in order to get supplies. Rick gives Morgan and Duane some guns and a police car, while changing into a police uniform and filling a bag with guns to take with him. Morgan and Duane decide to stay behind while Rick leaves in search of his family in Atlanta. The goodbye is interrupted when a zombie appears behind a fence and Rick nearly shoots it, though Morgan tells him not to waste the bullet and the two part ways. Later, Rick returns to find the severely decomposed zombie from earlier and puts it out of its misery before continuing on to Atlanta.
On his way to Atlanta, Rick's car runs out of gas and he is forced to scavenge for gasoline at a nearby home. Inside the home Rick finds the remains of a family that committed group suicide. After throwing up from the smell, Rick continues to explore the property where he finds a horse inside of a barn. Rick takes the horse as well as an hatchet as a weapon. Rick talks to the horse and starts thinking about how things were before the outbreak. He also reminisces about the day that his son Carl was born. Rick realizes that thinking about the good old times make the outbreak seem much worse.
Rick arrives in Atlanta and enters the city to find it in ruins and overrun by zombies who swarm him and knock him off his horse. As he sees his horse being eaten by zombies he begins shooting and trying to escape the zombie onslaught. He runs into an alley where he meets a supply runner called Glenn. Glenn tells Rick to stop using his gun and to follow him. Rick and Glenn exit the city safely. Glenn explains to Rick that everyone in the city died in under a week and Rick momentarily breaks down thinking that his family has been killed. Glenn then explains to Rick that there is a camp outside of the city where there are a group of survivors and that his family might be there.
When Rick and Glenn get to the camp, Rick is reunited with his wife, Lori, and his son, Carl. He is also reunited with his partner and best friend, Shane who has been protecting Rick's family since the outbreak. Then Rick is introduced to many other survivors. Allen and Donna are husband and wife and Ben and Billy are their twin boys. Carol is the mother of Sophia. Amy and Andrea are sisters. Lori explains to Rick what happened during Rick's coma as well as how they set up camp when they found Atlanta impossible to enter. That night, Rick and Lori talk about everything that has happened and Rick admits how scared he actually was. The next day, Dale tells Rick to be careful around Shane because he thinks Shane is in love with Lori and that he isn't happy about Rick being back. Rick and Shane go hunting while Lori, Donna, and Carol wash the laundry. Rick and Shane observe a zombie eating a deer. Meanwhile, as the women go back towards camp after finishing their laundry, they are attacked by a zombie. Dale decapitates the zombie before it bites Donna but they find that the head is still alive. The zombie that Rick and Shane were observing suddenly reaches for them. Rick hits the zombie in the head with his axe. The two men hear a gunshot and race back to camp. Lori cries to Rick and relays story concerning the zombie attack. It is revealed that Shane does indeed love Lori when he sees Rick and Lori hugging, now jealous. Later that night Rick and Shane talk about moving the camp to a safer area. Shane argues that they aren't moving the camp because if the government starts cleaning up the outbreak, the government would start with a major city and they would be found sooner. Rick finally agrees not to move the camp, but insists that they need to find more guns to protect themselves. The following day, Rick asks Glenn if he could come with him to get supplies in Atlanta. One of the purposes it to obtain firearms for the group. Jim, who happens to be the sole survivor from Atlanta, tells them the location of a gun store which is five blocks from where Rick and Glenn first met. Rick has an idea. He takes Glenn to the zombie that he and Shane had studied the day before. Rick's theory is zombies don't attack each other because of the stink of death. His plan is to rub the zombie's body parts on their clothes so that they will smell like the zombies. The plan works and they are able to go deeper into the city to obtain the firearms. While exiting the city, it begins to rain which washes away the zombie stench off. This causes an attack by the zombies. A zombie bites Rick on the shoulder as they make their escape from the city. Safely outside of Atlanta, Rick checks his shoulder only to realize that the zombie hadn't bitten through his jacket. As they head back to camp with the guns, Rick tells Glenn not to tell Lori about the zombie attack. Meanwhile, Shane and Lori talk discussing Rick going into the city. Shane wants to come inside out of the rain and offers to "keep her company". Lori rebukes him and says that he needs to stop this now that Rick is back. Shane asks Lori about the night they spent together on their way to Atlanta (strongly hinting that they had sex). Lori tells Shane that that night was a mistake. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the group have target practice with the guns that Rick and Glenn brought back from the Atlanta gun store. Andrea quickly proves that she is the best shot in the group. Rick allows Carl to practice which causes a disagreement between him and Lori. Rick, Shane and Dale later discuss Donna, who has been complaining about Andrea and Amy staying in Dale's camper, and the upcoming winter while chopping firewood. Shane yells at Rick to shut up about everything, leaving Rick speechless. While eating dinner that night Rick asks the others what their lives were like before the outbreak. Dale says that he was a retired salesman who was traveling with his wife in their RV when the outbreak came. Dale's wife died in the initial outbreak while they were at a campsite leaving Florida. After burying her, Dale came to Atlanta to find his cousins. He met Amy and Andrea stranded because their car had ran out of gas. Andrea was driving Amy back to college so that they could have some bonding time. Andrea had a job as a clerk at a law firm. Glenn was a pizza delivery boy who was swimming in debt and was nearly forced to ask his estranged parents for money when the dead started rising. Allen was a shoe salesman in a mall who was also struggling to make ends meet. Jim simply says that he was a mechanic. Finally, Carol talks about how her husband, a successful car salesman, committed suicide when he saw his parents being eaten by zombies. She also implies that he was abusive and simply convinced her to stay with him long enough to care for Sophia. Amy goes to the RV to use the bathroom when she sees a zombie which forces her to unknowingly back up into another zombie which bites her in the neck and kills her. The survivors are attacked by a group of zombies which they are able to fight off. Carol and Sophia are saved by Glenn as Andrea grieves over Amy's body, oblivious to everything. Lori is nearly killed by a zombie but is saved by Carl who shoots the zombie. Jim launches into a rage and attacks a zombie while yelling at it saying that it killed his family. When all the zombies are dead Andrea shoots Amy in the head in order to prevent reanimation. It is then revealed that Jim was bitten in the arm when he killed the zombie, though he says it is just a scratch. The next day a funeral is held for Amy. Shane, Donna, Dale and Rick all take turns eulogizing her and Jim has perhaps his biggest speech, saying that nobody deserves this kind of death, especially a nice girl like Amy. Andrea is in a depression and Jim falls desperately ill. Meanwhile Rick, Shane and Carl go hunting and Carl tells Rick that they don't need as much food because Amy is dead and that Jim is too sick to eat. Shane yells at Rick saying it wasn't his fault. When they return, Donna informs them of Jim's request to leave him outside of Atlanta. Jim hopes that once he turns, he can reunite with the zombified members of his family. The group bring him to the outside of Atlanta to say goodbye. The following day Shane tells Rick to get ready to go hunting. Rick tells Carl to stay behind so that he and Shane can talk. Shane starts yelling at Rick and punches him. Lori then punches Shane which causes Shane to mentally snap and run off. Rick goes to follow Shane and Carl follows his father in turn. When Rick catches up to Shane, Shane starts yelling at Rick about how Shane just lost his respect and how Lori would have changed and loved him if Rick hadn't returned. Shane then points his gun at Rick and is about to shoot him when Carl shoots Shane in the neck. Shane died choking on his own blood. The volume ends with Carl saying "It's not the same as killing the dead ones, daddy." Afterwards, Rick replies, "It never should be son, it never should be."
Lori Grimes is having a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak, where she's waiting outside of Atlanta in a jammed line of cars, where she is confronted by Shane. Lori expresses her regret about leaving Rick behind at the hospital but expresses comfort about how Shane accompanied them. The two of them end up having passionate intercourse on the grass not far away from their car.
In the present, the survivors are burying Shane. Rick is still in shock over Shane's attempt to murder him and expresses worry about the mental stability of the rest of the group. Lori spits on Shane's grave. Dale then tells Rick that the group want Rick to be their new leader. Dale talks with Rick about Shane and tells him that Andrea thinks Christmas is coming up. Rick immediately tells Dale that he wants to skip Christmas this year so none of the kids get upset. Rick asks Carl if he wants to talk about what happened with Shane, but Carl doesn't say anything. The group then departs from their camp using the RV. They continue on their journey until they need to clear some cars that are blocking the road. While clearing the cars, the group are surprised by the sudden arrival of Tyreese, his daughter Julie and Julie's boyfriend, Chris. Rick nearly kills Tyreese after mistaking him for a walker, but the group quickly allow the new arrivals to join them. Lori is not happy about this and tells Rick not to be so trusting of other people, even if they have kids with them. The next morning, Tyreese and Rick are discussing how the apocalypse has drastically changed them and the people they know. Tyreese explains to Rick that a few weeks ago, while scavenging a nearby country store for supplies, an old man who was supposedly the nicest old man anyone could ever meet had been living in the store and attempted to rape Julie. However, he was able to kill the man before he could rape her. This reveals that, similar to Rick, Tyreese is willing to do what is necessary in order to survive, regardless of how gruesome it may be. Tyreese feels that the apocalypse has changed him even more than it had changed the old man as he feels no remorse for killing him. Rick later explains to Tyreese the names they gave zombies which were roamers (who are always on the move) and lurkers (who are content with sitting around all day until they smell or see food nearby) because not far ahead they see two roamers heading toward the group, Rick and Tyreese quickly and quietly kill the zombies, Rick uses his axe and Tyreese uses his hammer. The following night, the other group members are quickly warming to Tyreese especially Carol who starts to flirts with Tyreese, he evidently returns the feelings. Lori reveals to Rick that she believes she is pregnant and then she tells the group that she is pregnant. Everyone is happy for the Grimes family but they are all worried because of the lack of doctors and medical care. Dale quickly confronts Rick about the fact that the baby might be Shane's based on the timing, but Rick cuts him off saying that he is aware of it but he can't bear the thought or he will lose his mind.
The group continues on their journey until they come across a group of houses enclosed by a fence, titled "Wiltshire Estates." The group decide to stay there since they think they will be able to start a new life there. Tyreese and Rick proceed to clear a house but Rick is attacked by two zombies. Tyreese hears Rick shouting for some assistance and Tyreese football tackles one of the zombies that was about to kill Rick. After they kill both zombies Tyreese reveals details about his past as an NFL player. This house that Tyreese and Rick cleaned out is loaded with canned goods and there are enough rooms for everyone to bunk with their families which leads them to think that they may have found a permanent sanctuary. They end up spending the night inside the cleared house. What they don't notice is a snow covered sign at the entrance to the enclosure that reads "ALL DEAD DO NOT ENTER".
In the morning, Rick and Lori are discussing how Carl is handling their situation and also about how they are going to give the baby a happy life. Donna talks with Allen about how happy she has been lately, having taken hope from seeing Dale and Andrea overcome their losses, their new sanctuary and that they couldn't have found nicer neighbors. The group plans to split and clear each of the houses. Rick notices the sign while fetching a gun for Tyreese and, shortly after, the group is attacked by a big group of lurkers which had been hiding in the houses. Donna is killed in the attack, leaving Allen devastated. He wants the group to leave him behind but is convinced otherwise by Rick who tells him to think of his children, Billy and Ben. Tyreese and Rick return to the house for Chris and Julie (finding them on the verge of having sex) and they all manage to escape the massive horde by jumping on the roof of the RV. The group then narrowly escapes from Wiltshire Estates in the RV. The survivors continue on. Rick and the others show concern for Allen's deteriorating emotional state. As the group's food supply begins to diminish, Rick, his son Carl, and Tyreese go hunting for some food. During the hunt, Carl is accidentally shot by a farmhand named Otis who mistakes them for zombies. Rick nearly kills Otis in a fit of rage before realizing that Carl is still alive. Otis informs them that one of the people at the farm where he has been staying has medical experience. Otis leads Rick to the farm with Carl as Tyreese informs the group of Carl's accident.
At the farm, Hershel Greene manages to extract the bullet from Carl and save his life. Hershel invites the group to stay while Carl recuperates and introduces the group to his children: his oldest daughter, Lacey Greene, his son Arnold Greene, his daughter, Maggie Greene, and his youngest son, Billy Greene. Hershel also introduces his twins Rachel Greene and Susie Greene, Otis, and Otis' girlfriend, Patricia, who live up the road but are staying with Hershel and his family since Hershel's home is more safer for them.
As the group settle in, Andrea tries to talk with Allen about getting over Donna and not shutting down for the sake of his sons, but this just makes Allen extremely angry. Sophia is relieved that Carl is fine and pecks him on the cheek. Dale talks with Lori about the fact that her baby might be Shane's but does not want her to tell Rick as Rick is the one stable person in the group and is needed to be their leader. After dinner, Glenn talks with Maggie about how he feels sorry that he didn't try to talk to Carol sooner and maybe start a relationship with her as he doesn't want to be alone forever. Maggie agrees to sleep with him as she doesn't want to regret anything either. Hershel converses with Rick about a permanent place for the group to sleep but tells Rick that he doesn't want to sleep in the barn as that's where he's keeps all his dead ones. Hershel explains to an angry Rick about his views of the zombies as still being living people and not wanting to kill them in case they suddenly turn back to normal, and he explains that his eldest son, Shawn Greene, is in that barn with also many neighbours and random zombies that wandered onto Hershel's Farm.
The following day, the group is practicing how to shoot firearms when Hershel stops them because the Thompson house is getting riddled with bullets across the way. A zombie then appears and Hershel attempts to get the zombie inside the barn. As Hershel opens the barn, a zombie suddenly falls through and opens the barn doors all the way, allowing all the trapped zombies to break out. Arnold saves his dad from being bitten but is bitten by his zombified brother. The group begins to kill the zombies as Lacey is torn apart by a few of them. Finally seeing that his son will never be normal again, Hershel takes Maggie's gun and shoots his three children to prevent reanimation. He briefly puts the gun to his own temple but is stopped by Rick.
The next day, Hershel discovers Glenn sleeping with Maggie and gets into an angry argument with her, but he leaves them be for the time being. Rick and Allen talk about Donna while cleaning up the barn to sleep in. Rick asks Hershel if they can sleep in the house, but Hershel angrily tells Rick that he expects the group to leave the farm soon. Lori angrily confronts Hershel, saying that Hershel is sentencing them to death by forcing them out. Hershel maintains that he has to look out for his own family and eventually puts a gun to Rick's head to force them to leave. The group finally decides to leave Hershel's farm. Otis tries to talk with Hershel who is now convinced that he has lost his mind after nearly killing Rick. Glenn stays behind to pursue his relationship with Maggie. After some unsuccessful raids and hunting parties, and the group becoming increasingly starved, Dale and Andrea stumble upon an abandoned prison. Rick tells the group that they can clean it up and make a life here, and pronounces it home.
Rick Grimes and Tyreese come out of the RV complaining about sleeping there again. Rick divides the group into jobs of cleaning up the prison, exploring the area around the gates to make sure it is secure, and looking after the children. Andrea, Tyreese and Rick lock themselves in the outer fence of the prison to clean out the zombies in the prison yard. At first they manage to clear it using only their melee weapons however more zombies come out of the prison doors and they need to defend themselves using their firearms. Andrea has to run back to Allen, who is outside the fence on watch on the roof of the RV, crying because the loss of his wife, Donna. Andrea reaches him and asks him to open the door. Inside the RV, Chris and Julie are babysitting Carl Grimes, Sophia, Billy and Ben. Chris starts complaining using insults and is told by Carl he shouldn't curse because he is still not an adult, but Carl only receives a rude answer. Sophia asks Carl if he wants to be her boyfriend while playing go fish, though he refuses. While patrolling along the fences, Lori and Carol are discussing how depressing life is at the moment and talk about if the prison will be perfect enough for a new life.
The trio manage to kill all of the zombies by having Andrea and Rick fire as Tyreese reloads the guns in case any more exit from inside of the prison.
That night Sophia complains she's still hungry but they don't have any food left; Rick says tomorrow they'll attempt to find the stockpile of canned food inside the prison, because if they are lucky it was overrun before it was looted. Allen sarcastically points out that "Hopefully it's just full of flesh eating monsters and our baked beans are still intact in there." While on watch on top of the RV, Rick and Tyreese discuss how safe the prison is and how they can't spend another night in Dale's RV.
The group is awoken by Lori Grimes running outside to throw up due to her morning sickness. The group is divided into groups; Rick and Tyreese will clear inside of the prison, Lori, Andrea and Allen clear the bodies while Dale covers them, and Julie and Chris must babysit again. While clearing the prison Rick and Tyreese encounter a closed door to the cafeteria which is barricaded with a police baton. When they burst in, they find four other survivors;? Dexter, Andrew, Axel and Thomas Richards.
The rest of the group gets inside the cafeteria where they eat for the first time in quite a while. Rick informs the survivors about what has happened to the world while they have been isolated and Dexter tells them what occurred in the prison during the initial outbreak a month ago. Contrary to what Rick thought, the four survivors are inmates, not guards. Lori angrily asks what they did to be put in prison; Dexter says murder, because he killed his ex-wife and her boyfriend; Andrew was a drug dealer; Axel was done armed robbery; Thomas Richards said "tax evasion". It is also implied that Dexter and Andrew are in a homosexual relationship. Then Dexter shows Rick and his group around the prison, they reveal they had to use the freezer as bathroom after the buckets were all filled with excrement.
While touring the prison, Dexter asks Rick if he is going to get a gun and asks why he should trust the group. Rick says that they haven't killed him yet, so he'll have to trust them. The group open the doors to the gym. Seeing it is full of zombies, they decide to "deal with it later". Then they go to the laundry room, the shower room, the garage with several prison buses, some police cruisers and some motorbikes still inside, then they go to the C-Block. While setting up their rooms inside the block, Rick proposes bringing the Greene Family to live with them, so they can grow food inside the fence and learn how to farm for a long-term life. Rick and Dale head to the farm in the RV. The group at the farm accepts Rick's offer and leave for the prison after they have collected their belongings because the farm was getting attacked more often, Otis stayed behind to watch over the farm and all the livestock.
Back at the prison, Rick and Lori discuss living with the prison inmates and Lori also has an awkward conversation with Carol about her baby. Hershel talks with Rick to apologize for nearly shooting him and thanks him for the great opportunity to start a new life at the prison.
The following night Chris and Julie are having sex then commit to shoot each other in a suicide pact. After hearing one shot, Rick runs to find Tyreese hugging his dead daughter's body and Chris saying they were supposed to kill each other at the same time. Julie turns and attempts to bite Tyreese, who attempts to reason with her to try and get her to not be dead anymore. Rick can't get a clean shot so Chris shoots her. Tyreese then chokes Chris to death in an insane rage and then continues to mutilate the animated corpse of Chris (off-panel). The next day, while burning their bodies, Rick is disconcerted by Tyreese because he showed no emotion whatsoever and smiling at him. While discussing it they realize that they don't need to be bitten for them to turn. Rick suddenly realizes that there is something that he needs to do. Rick informs Lori, Carl and the rest of the group that he will be gone a couple of days to do something.
Ricks returns to the Atlanta camp to kill the reanimated Shane. He tells zombie Shane that he was a good man and he regrets all that happened between them. Then Rick shoots Shane in the head, but doesn't rebury him.
Glenn and Maggie Greene start to explore the Prison, Glenn and Maggie stumble upon the barber shop in the prison where they have sex and cut each others hair. Glenn and Maggie return and Susie and Rachel, the twins, want go to and check it out so Maggie takes the twins to the barber shop.
Tyreese, Andrea, Billy Greene and Glenn head into the gym to clear it of all the zombies; however, after forming a plan to stay as a group and kill the zombies by moving out making sure no zombies get past them, Tyreese attacks the zombies suicidally and the rest are forced to leave him inside as he is swarmed.
Hershel starts to search for Rachel and Susie, he can't find them and he gets mad, he finally finds the barber shop, he opens the barber shop door and finds the decapitated heads of his twin daughters, Susie and Rachel Greene. Glenn shoots their heads and Dexter is "arrested" because everyone thinks Dexter is the murderer. When Rick returns back to the prison, he is informed about the death of Tyreese, Rick goes into the gym and find Tyreese sitting in the corner of the gym, having killed all the zombies. Andrew talks with Dexter in his cell about leading a mutiny by procuring the riot armory and arming themselves.
While Andrea is in the laundry she gets attacked by Thomas Richards, who is revealed to be the real killer. Andrea runs out into the open with Thomas in insane rage. Rick begins hitting Thomas to the point where he breaks his hand. Although Thomas didn't manage to kill Andrea, he did cut her on her left cheek and cut off her left earlobe. Rick introduces the new rule "You Kill You Die", though Lori objects to the capital punishment Rick has in mind with hanging Thomas. They lock Thomas in the fridge because of the smell but then he is taken away after Rick tells them he'll suffocate. Later Patricia frees him, but he attempts to kill her and is shot by Maggie. Hershel is the only one to watch as the zombies outside eat Thomas' dead body as a form of closure. Dexter, Andrew and a defecting Patricia use the guns from the armory to threaten Rick's group into leaving The Prison by telling them to "Get out of my house".
The volume starts with a mysterious woman with two chained up, armless and jawless zombies accompanying her, she hears gunshots and follows it, outside is not far from the gates is Otis, he is heading for the prison after he had stayed behind at the Greene Family Farm to take care and manage the livestock, and only now decided to head for safety. He soon ends up surrounded by zombies. He is rescued by Michonne, the mysterious woman at the start, who helps Otis fight off the zombies.
Inside the prison yards, a horde of zombies pour out from Block A after Andrew forgot to close the prison doors after gaining weapons from the armory within. Dexter and the other survivors are forced to work together to wipe out the zombies. Rick Grimes waits for an opportunity and shoots Dexter through the head. When the battle ends, he claims Dexter must have caught a stray round. Tyreese saw the shot, but says nothing. Andrew runs off suicidally through the open prison gates without a word. Axel allies with the other survivors. The gates are then opened and Otis travels in stating that he was saved by Michonne, Michonne then asks if that has earned her a place to rest, Rick agrees but only is she was to hand over her weapon, which was a katana, and kill the two accompanying zombies.
While cleaning out the rest of the prison, Allen is bitten on the leg. Rick, Axel, Dale and Tyreese carry Allen out to the yard where Rick amputates Allen's infected leg, hoping to catch the infection in time, Hershel then shows up and helps by cutting some of Axel's horse-like hair to stop the bleeding. Hershel and the others finally start up the garden while Dale and Andrea promise Allen that they will care of Ben and Billy for him.
Michonne seduces Tyreese, and Carol sees Michonne giving Tyreese a blow job and attempts suicide. Carol survives, and Rick confronts Tyreese, blaming him for Carol trying to kill herself. Tyreese announces that he saw Rick kill Dexter. The argument soon spirals out of control as they call the other one insane and the two fight, which ends after Rick mysteriously blacks out and falls over a railing. Andrea comes down to tell everyone that Allen has died either from the infection or from blood loss. Rick then shoots Allen, preventing reanimation, and while being confronted by Hershel and Michonne passes out once again. When he awakens, he learns that the entire group now knows about Dexter's murder. They have decided that the pressure of being their "leader" is beginning to cause him to crack, and they have made him merely one of four "co-leaders," with the others being Tyreese, Dale and Hershel. Rick meets with the others outside to explain his reasons for killing Dexter and that they are going to have to start acting like savages most of the time if they are to survive, and they will have to stop deluding themselves that society can ever be rebuilt the way it was. He finally screams out "You think we hide behind walls to protect us from the walking dead! Don't you get it! We are The Walking Dead!".
While further clearing out A-block Glenn and Maggie discover The Prison's armory, complete with shotguns and full riot gear. Inspired by the new equipment, the group plans to siphon gasoline out of the remaining cars in the prison parking lot to use to power the generator and Dale's RV. Glenn and Rick head out and soon spot a helicopter in the sky, which immediately crashes. Glenn, Rick and Michonne find the crash site but it is deserted. The only clues are several footprints and tire tracks heading from the wreckage. Rick decides another group that was closer to the site must have taken the survivors, and they decide to follow the tracks.
Back at the prison, Carol continues to act bizarrely toward Lori, finally suggesting a polyamorous marriage between her, Lori and Rick. Lori refuses and Carol becomes angry, storming off in the process. Dale and Andrea decide to raise Ben and Billy together.
Rick, Glenn, and Michonne eventually end up in the town of Woodbury. They meet a guard, named Caesar Martinez, and find a well-armed and well-organized group of citizens leaving on four clear and walled off city blocks, led by a man known as The Governor. The Governor explains that the National Guardsmen abandoned a nearby station, leaving behind weapons and equipment. The Governor leads the group to an arena surrounded by a ring of leashed zombies, which is used for staging brutal fights between living humans. The Governor tells Rick they feed the zombies people that stumble into Woodbury. Before Rick can respond, Rick is forced down on a table and interrogated at gunpoint by the Governor, who wants to know where Rick's camp is. When Rick and the others say they are the only ones, The Governor cuts off Rick's right hand. Michonne tackles the Governor and rips off his left ear with her teeth. Rick is sent to the infirmary for immediate treatment by Dr. Stevens so the Governor can continue to extract information from him. Glenn is locked in solitary confinement, and Michonne is brutally raped and tortured by The Governor.
The next morning, the Governor returns to his home and it is clear that none of the other survivors in the town know of his true nature, as he acts friendly and fatherly toward them. The Governor returns to his home, where he has kept his undead niece restrained and several aquariums with zombie heads inside them (they have replaced television). Later, he talks to Glenn, who has become deranged from his lengthy stay in confinement. He tells Glenn that he plans to question him, but begins by raping and torturing Michonne again, ensuring that Glenn hears her painful cries.
In the infirmary, a conscious Rick talks to Dr. Stevens about the Governor, whose real name is Philip (as a matter of fact, it's Brian). Dr. Stevens tells Rick how Phillip emerged as a leader. It became apparent that he was evil but no one challenges him because he kept everyone safe from the zombies. The Governor then enters and manipulates Rick into revealing that there is indeed a nearby camp, and he wants the supplies it has for Woodbury.
Back at the prison, the group begins to worry about Rick, Michonne, and Glenn, who have now been missing for two days. Otis tries to patch things up with Patricia. Lori worries about Rick, and when Carol tries to help, she is roughly turned away, as Lori mistakes her friendly comfort for another romantic approach. Tyreese returns to the prison after searching for the missing survivors and tells the others that he found the car stuck in the mud, but it was the only trace of their presence.
In Woodbury, Rick Grimes is bonding with Dr, Stevens and his nurse, Alice, when one of the town's gladiators, Eugene, arrives and kills his opponent, Harold who had accidentally knocked out Eugene's teeth. After the confusion, Caesar Martinez comes to check on the doctor and is surprised by Rick's injury.
Low on gladiators, The Governor offers Michonne to fight it out in the arena in exchange for a rest period from her daily torture. He explains that the arena fights are staged to look good, but not deadly. She agrees to fight Eugene, and in the arena, decapitates him and then the surrounding zombies without hesitation. The onlookers protest the extreme violence, and Michonne is quickly knocked out again. Meanwhile, Martinez breaks Rick out, taking Dr. Stevens, Alice, and Glenn with him so that they can escape the Governor as well. When they rescue Michonne, she says she will catch up later and leaves to take her revenge. In the confusion of escape, Dr. Stevens is bitten, but asks to stay a zombie rather than be killed. Back within the town, Michonne arrives and tortures The Governor, using several objects such as a drill, a hammer, her own katana, a torch and even a spoon, to the point of severe mutilation. When she is interrupted by the arrival of The Governor's henchmen, she quickly escapes. Michonne later arrives at the crashed helicopter, meeting up with the others.
After a fight against zombies back to The Prison, they return to find the gates open, the prison overrun by hordes of zombies, and Dale's RV seemingly abandoned. Rick's group finds Dale and Andrea hiding in the RV, who tell Rick that the other survivors are hiding in C-Block. Rick kills an undead Otis, but is reunited with everyone else.? Hershel says his wound was just a scratch from friendly fire, and Glenn finds a female zombie and takes its ring off, presumably to ask Maggie to marry him. Andrea catches Michonne talking to her other self, and Tyreese takes Rick off zombie duty due to his amputated hand.
In the confusion after clearing out the zombie infestation, Rick notices Martinez is missing, and assumes that he has gone back to Woodbury to tell the survivors there where the prison is. Rick immediately sets off after Martinez in Dale's RV. He catches up to him before he makes it to Woodbury and proceeds to ram him with the RV, crippling him. Martinez protests that he wasn't going to bring the Governor, only the people who deserved to be safe in the prison. Regardless, Rick kills him and leaves his body to reanimate.
Back in the prison, Glenn asks permission to marry Maggie from Hershel, to which the tearful father agrees. Glenn then proceeds to propose to Maggie and the two become engaged.
After Rick's return, he calls for a group meeting where he finally reveals where Glenn, Michonne, and he have been for the past few days. He instructs the group to prepare themselves for the upcoming fight with the Woodbury survivors.
Lori Grimes confronts Rick about her sexual encounter with Shane and the fact that her baby might be his, but before she can fully admit her mistake, Rick tells her that he knows, and that he just can't hear her say it. Glenn and Maggie are married by Hershel in a small ceremony in the prison's cafeteria. Life appears to go on as "normal" in the prison, with the survivors beginning to harvest their garden and even having basketball games.
Tyreese, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne and Axel go out in the RV to search for the national guard station used by the Woodbury survivors to stock up on weapons and supplies for the incoming onslaught from Woodbury. The group finds the base and takes several guns and canisters of gas, as well as a large army truck to gather even more supplies in. To prevent the people of Woodbury from taking more supplies, they blow up the depot. They then stop at an abandoned Wal-Mart for additional supplies, where they are confronted by Bruce Cooper, Sam and a few other armed thugs from Woodbury. Glenn approaches the Woodbury men and attempts to negotiate but Bruce recognizes Glenn from his time in Woodbury and shoots Glenn in the waist. A gunfight breaks out, and the Woodbury men are defeated. Maggie rushes to Glenn, thinking he is dead, but his prison riot armor saved him. Glenn's ribs are badly damaged and the group quickly drives away from the site.
Back at the prison, Lori goes into labor. Billy Greene is sent to keep the generator on. He brings Dale with him, and they realize there is hardly any gas left to power the generator. They leave the prison gates to siphon gas from the cars in the parking lot, and Dale is bitten in the leg by a zombie. Glenn's party arrives at the same time and brings Dale and Billy inside. Lori delivers a baby girl with the help of Alice. Shortly after the birth, Dale's injured leg is hastily amputated by Rick. Lori then decides on the name Judith for her newborn daughter.
Dale, despite being bitten, seems to show no signs of turning. Following Dale's injuries, Andrea is spending more time with Tyreese. Dale suspects something, but Rick is convinced he is simply overreacting. Outside, the others capture a zombie and hold it hostage for study at Alice's request. Carol meanwhile is losing her grip on her sanity. After having sex with Billy she goes outside and allows the captured zombie to bite her on the neck. Both she and the zombie are shot. Dale learns to walk with a peg leg that Tyreese and Andrea made for him. Glenn and Maggie decide to try and have a baby. Just as life is settling down once again, Rick and Hershel look outside and see several cars and army trucks roll up. The Governor exits a functioning tank and orders his soldiers to 'kill them all'.
This arc begins with an extended flashback to explain what the Woodbury survivors have been doing. Michonne has mutilated The Governor badly. His bodyguards, Bruce Cooper and Gabe find him after breaking his door. Michonne is able to escape, and Bruce thinks she's dead when she leaves Woodbury. Bruce gets Bob and his gay lover, the town drunk and a former army medic. After a little fight with Bruce, he's ready to patch The Governor up.
A week later, The Governor wakes up. Gabe is with him, and tells the news. The Governor is surprised hearing Bob patched him up. Gabe informs him that Caesar Martinez left with Rick and the others. The Governor knows that, saying it was all his plan to discover the location of The Prison, and expects Martinez to return soon. After recovering in his apartment, Bruce comes to tell him they have found Martinez, zombified.
The Governor speaks to the gathered Woodbury people and tells them that the prison survivors are a group of savages who must be destroyed. While they begin searching for the prison, Bruce is fatally shot by the survivors after they raid the guard station. The Governor shoots his friend in the head. Gabe finally locates the prison while the survivors are having shooting practice, though the governor plans to wait longer and pull them into a false sense of security. The Governor finally prepares his large army and they leave for the prison in numerous cars, trucks, and also bringing a functioning tank. As the shooting begins, Rick and the others dive for cover while? Andrea climbs to the top of the guard tower. The Governor ceases fire to offer surrender to the prison survivors, though he quickly gives up and orders the army to resume firing. Rick quickly runs inside and tells Lori to take Judith and head underground and hide. Andrea begins picking off men from the army. She is however, non-fatally shot in her attempt to shoot; killing many before passing out. The Governor tries to intimidate the group by using his tank to clear away the piled zombies at the gate. Despite superior numbers, the Woodbury army is poorly trained and are forced to fall back as Andrea kills too many of them. Rick's group begins to debate whether they should remain inside the prison or go on the offensive. Before they can decide, Rick emerges from the prison with a bullet wound in his abdomen and collapses. He, Andrea, and a wounded Axel are taken to the prison hospital by Alice.
Dale, Andrea, Billy, Ben, Sophia, Glenn and Maggie Greene flee the prison in the RV in order to avoid the confrontation they expect from the Governor. Rick gets a blood transfusion from Patricia and starts to recover.Tyreese and Michonne decide to tail the Governor and the townspeople in the hopes that if they kill a few more, it will discourage their attack. Tyreese is captured after killing a couple townspeople and is told that Michonne is dead. The survivors still inside begin to prepare, though many of them believe they will not survive another attack. The Governor returns to the prison with Tyreese as his prisoner. He tells them he has Michonne as well and they must let him in or Tyreese dies, with Tyreese selflessly shouting at the survivors not to let them in. The survivors refuse to let him in and the Governor decapitates Tyreese using Michonne's katana. They leave Tyreese's body in front of the prison gates for the zombies as they flee. The Governor tells the Woodbury people a false story about how Rick and his people killed Tyreese, but Michonne then shows up right behind him with a gun to his head. Gabe opens fire at Michonne, but she fires back, clips the Governor, kills one of his men and escapes. The Governor and his army return to the prison and launch another attack. Axel is killed, but the prison survivors are able to successfully defend themselves. The Woodbury army is further destroyed and demoralized by Billy hurling a grenade into their midst, killing several of them. Gabe tells the Governor that Woodbury's army must regroup, but the Governor refuses. Gabe is shot and killed by a returning Andrea in the RV. One of the Governor's henchmen drives a truck into the RV, injuring Andrea. As his army seeks to retreat, the Governor orders the IFV to drive over the fences. Rick and his group rush to escape while the Governor and his army invade the prison. Rick rushes into the cell-block, looking for Lori and Judith and eventually finds them with Alice pointing a gun at them. Alice explains that it was a ruse in case the Governor found them.
Rick, along with his family and Alice, attempt to escape to the truck. Meanwhile, Patricia and Billy Greene are shot and killed by the overwhelming number of invading soldiers. Billy's death demoralizes Hershel to give up. Rick gives up their position by yelling for Hershel. The Grimes family attempt to get to the truck under heavy fire while Alice covers them. Alice is quickly gunned down and executed by the Governor. Shortly after, Lori and Judith are both killed by Lilly who shoots Lori in the back with a scatter gun. Lori falls to the ground, crushing Judith, as Rick watches in horror while attempting to escape with Carl. The Governor orders his men to stop firing at them, as he is certain they will be overwhelmed by the zombies out in the open, and then executes Hershel. Lilly realizes that Lori was carrying a baby and calls the Governor a monster. She hits him with her rifle and puts the barrel in his mouth. A horde of zombies, however, break through the hole in the fence and attack the Woodbury army. The Governor gets up, shoots a zombie and urges the group to move into the prison, yelling that they can still rebuild the ruined prison later. As the remnants of the army are overwhelmed, Lilly gets to her feet and shoots the Governor in the head and pushes his corpse into a mass of zombies, buying the Woodbury army time to flee. She then leads the remnants of the army into the prison. They are eventually heard running out of ammo as the prison is overwhelmed by masses upon masses of undead. Rick and Carl narrowly escape the prison and embrace each other after experiencing such devastating loss, the prison in ruins behind them as zombies approach.
Morgan is outside chopping wood. Then he comes in and talks to Duane. They talk and Morgan gives Duane a gameboy for Christmas since they don't know the exact date. He tells Duane to conserve his batteries because they are hard to find. He then talks to Duane about paying for everything they "stole" to survive. He says sorry because the thoughts are sad and he should not be talking about this stuff but Duane didn't pay attention because he was playing his game. He then says Merry Christmas to Duane.
- Rick Grimes and Michonne are currently the only two to have been featured on all covers of the Compendiums.
Walking Dead Video Games
|The Walking Dead Comic Series • The Walking Dead TV Series|
|Consoles||Video Game • Survival Instinct|
|Social and Online||Social Game • Dead Reckoning • Atlanta Run • Chop Shop|
|Apps||Dead Yourself • Left Behind • Assault • Pinball • ZombiECards • No Man's Land • Road to Survival|
|Other||Deluxe TV Games|
Walking Dead Books and Magazines
|The Walking Dead Comic Series • The Walking Dead TV Series|
|Novels||Rise of the Governor • The Road to Woodbury • The Fall of the Governor • Descent|
|Hardcovers||Book One • Book Two • Book Three • Book Four • Book Five • Book Six • Book Seven • Book Eight • Book Nine • Book Ten|
|Omnibus Deluxe||Omnibus Vol. 1 • Omnibus Vol. 2 • Omnibus Vol. 3 • Omnibus Vol. 4 • Omnibus Vol. 5|
|Compendiums||Compendium One • Compendium Two • Compendium Three|
|Specials||Free Comic Book Day Special • Michonne Special • The Governor Special • Tyreese Special • Morgan Special|
|Survivors' Guide||Guide A-C • Guide C-H • Guide H-O • Guide O-T|
|The Covers||Volume 1 • Volume 2|
|Other||The Official Companion Book • Just Another Day at the Office • Triumph of The Walking Dead • Cutting Room Floor • Script Book • 100 Project • All Out War AP Edition|