The Walking Dead #163: Perils of jumping into the comics

John and Dwight - The Walking Dead issue 166 cover, Image Comics and Skybound
John and Dwight - The Walking Dead issue 166 cover, Image Comics and Skybound /

In honor of Image Comics’ 25th anniversary, the supersized issue of The Walking Dead #163 is on sale this week for a quarter. Should you jump in?

The Walking Dead #163 is on sale this week for a quarter. You might have heard about it because the issue is part of the Image Comics 25th anniversary celebration. Undead Walking’s resident comics expert Adam B. Carlson has recapped and reviewed the issue and talked about the issue’s significance in great detail.

You may have heard me mention the fact that I have not read the comics. I will read them eventually, but it’s really nice watching the show without knowing what’s going to happen. Or what could happen. Or who should be dead already.

However, I bought The Walking Dead #163. It’s New Comic Book Day today (every Wednesday for those not in the know) and I was at my comic shop buying my weekly comics. I had already planned on buying the comic because I wanted it, and the idea of spoilers doesn’t bother me. What was interesting is how the guy who runs the shop was pushing the book today.

As I stood at the counter to pay for my purchase, the clerk told me all about #163 (not realizing that it was buried in my stack of comics) and I listened because I was curious about what he was telling customers. It was a supersized issue, he said, and it only cost a quarter because it’s a special anniversary edition. If I’ve ever wanted to check out The Walking Dead comics, now is a great time to do it. (It was at this moment when he discovered my copy in the stack)

This started me thinking.

I once asked Adam if he thought there was a way for new comic fans to jump in somewhere other than the first issue. He wasn’t keen on the idea. Generally speaking, it’s really hard to buy a comic book that isn’t a zero issue or first issue and understand what’s going on. Sure, there are ways to get caught up quickly through the help of recaps, reviews, and Internet searches, but jumping in blindly is a tricky thing.

I read the issue when I got home. I had no idea what was going on, but there were a few things that surprised me in it. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but it definitely gave me pause. (I admit that I immediately went and read Adam’s recap so I’d understand what I read, and it was immensely helpful)

More from Undead Walking

So if you’re thinking about jumping into comics with The Walking Dead #163, understand what you’re doing. There will be lots of stuff you won’t understand because it hasn’t happened yet on the show, and that means that it’s all spoilers. If spoilers don’t bother you, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, buy it and put it aside for a while until the show catches up.

(My quick review: It was a really great book even though I didn’t know what was going on!)