‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 shambles out its first entry with Sunday’s “30 Days Without An Accident,” but how does it hold up to the comic book continuity? Life in prison takes a dangerous turn as the Woodbury population brings to Rick’s group a dangerous complication, even more than the walkers continually plaguing needed supply runs, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the season begins anew?
As AMC’s incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comic as well as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check it all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 premiere “30 Days Without An Accident” in the comments below!
AMC: Rick seems to have long since given up his violent, authoritative lifestyle, dedicating his purpose at the prison to keeping everyone fed through farmwork, to the point where Hershel and the “council” have to press on him to even pick up his revolver in venturing outside the prison to check the animal traps. As for the end of the Ricktatorship, we’ll learn more about the supposed council next week.
THE COMICS: Rick’s struggles with having “gone too far” remain a constant of the books, as the character has continually had to question the depths of his behavior in keeping others safe. That said, the Rick of the books never willingly parted with his weapons, and never participated in any of the prison farming efforts, other than to enjoy the literal and figurative fruits of the labor.
Given how much season 3 finale “Welcome to the Tombs” veered from the established canon in bringing the remaining Woodbury survivors into the prison, we thought it best to address how we’ll be proceeding with the comic-to-TV comparisons from here on out. Showrunner Scott Gimple surprisingly assured us that for all its fundamental “remixing” of canon, season 4 would contain some of the most direct comic adaptations yet, so we’ll keep to the bigger moments presented by season 4, and ignore the more drastic diversions.
That said, worth noting is that Daryl addressed a “Dr. S” among the extra population, which could reference comic character Dr. Stevens of Woodbury, though curiously season 3 already featured a minor incarnation of the character as a middle-aged woman.
AMC: We see that many of the Woodbury survivors have been put to regular task clearing walkers from the surrounding prison fences, given how some of them have begun to buckle under the undead’s increased numbers. The workers keep a stash of weapons hanging along the fence for this very purpose, though Karen’s seems to be a modified walking cane.
THE COMICS: Walkers were rarely numerous enough to cause any serious structural damage to the fences, though Glenn and the others repeatedly made sure to thin out their numbers for safety’s sake. In particular, Glenn improvised using knives with wooden boards attached, so as the corpses wouldn’t drag the knives through the fence with them as they fell.
Tyreese Gets a Little Love
AMC: In the time since being brought to the prison, Tyreese seems to have taken up a regular relationship with Karen, mentioning how he only took fence duty so as to get close to her. In particular, Tyreese seems to have a reduced appetite for walker violence, disliking their presence along the fences, as well as on supply runs.
THE COMICS: Having joined Rick’s group far earlier than in AMC’s version, Tyreese first took up with Carol, before his growing attraction to Michonne quickly complicated matters at the prison. Suffice to say, it didn’t end up too well for Carol, leading us to wonder if AMC’s Karen might share a similarly doomed fate.
AMC: Prior to the supply run, we’re introduced to Bob Stookey as a former army medic that Daryl had supposedly found on the road a week earlier. Bob quickly offers to lend his aid on the supply run, though his temptation to swipe a few bottles of alcohol eventually leads to the roof collapse that kills fellow teammate Zack, and nearly costs Bob his life as well.
THE COMICS: Significantly older and Caucasian to boot, the comic Bob Stookey was first introduced as a drunk with limited history as an army medic, whom the Governor’s men pressganged into saving their leader’s life after Michonne’s brutal assault. Bob succeeded in saving what remained of the Governor, though like the rest of Woodbury, he was never heard from again after the ultimate assault on the prison.
AMC: A minor production convenience to be sure, though it seems Hershel managed to find himself a prosthetic foot to increase his mobility, one that also saves actor Scott Wilson from spending the season on crutches with a green sock.
THE COMICS: While it was Dale who lost his leg in the prison in the manner that befalls AMC’s Hershel, getting Dale off the crutches proved a minor plot point in that Tyreese and Andrea conspired to build Dale a peg leg, and attach it in his sleep. Dale had originally mistaken their sneaking around for interest in one another, but quickly reveled in his increased mobility.
AMC: Though Carl now has several children his age among the influx of Woodbury population, he finds the idea of Carol’s “storytime” a bit too juvenile for his liking, especially after seeing his fellow youths naming the walkers outside the gate. Having seen his own mother die, Carl harshly reminds them not to forget what the walkers represent, or humanize them by giving them names.
THE COMICS: Both Carl and Sophia took time to observe and contemplate the walkers outside the prison fences, though by the time the group reached the Alexandria Safe Zone, a slightly-older Carl similarly chastised the other kids for enjoying childlike things like Halloween and candy, given the horrors waiting just outside the fences.
Answer Me These Questions Three
AMC: Rick’s new friend asks if she and her husband might join his camp, to which Rick responds that he’d have to meet the husband, and observe their answers to three specific questions, later revealed to be the number of walkers they’d killed, the number of living people they’d killed, and why. Suffice to say, the mysterious Irish lass doesn’t quite pass the test.
THE COMICS: Rick and his group never had any means as specific with which to determine if fellow survivors were fit to join their group, picking up Father Gabriel, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita with more involved conversations. If anything, AMC Rick’s “three questions” rule bears similarity to Alexandria leader Douglas (now that the prison has become a similar haven for others), who similarly insisted on talking to each survivor individually before inviting them to stay.
AMC: A combined team of Daryl, Michonne, Glenn, Tyreese, Sasha, Bob Stookey and Zack visit a local “Big Spot” for supplies, before Bob’s accident with a wine rack alerts walkers on the roof to their presence, and ultimately brings down a crashed chopper through the weakened roof structure, killing Zack along with it.
THE COMICS: Such a large-scale mission to a big name superstore strongly resembles an expedition to raid a nearby Wal-Mart, which ended in a different kind of disaster as Michonne, Andrea, Tyreese, Glenn, Maggie and Axel were forced to take down a group of Woodbury soldiers investigating their presence. Prior to the shootout, Maggie contemplated items from the baby department, as Glenn does in the AMC episode.
AMC: Putting on the pretense of “story time” until the parents leave the library, Carol puts down the book to bring out a cache of knives, intending to teach the younger survivors how to defend themselves with blades in case of emergency. Carl catches Carol in the act, for which she requests he not tell Rick of her actions.
THE COMICS: Impressively, no such classes were ever given to either Carl or Sophia, the youths of Alexandria or any of the other outlying communities, and certainly not by the comic incarnation of Carol. Granted, Carol never lost Sophia as on the AMC series, while the other traumas she experienced in her relationship with Tyreese and general sense of self-worth led to a vastly different outcome for the character.
Glenn and Maggie Make Two
AMC: Glenn initially urges Maggie to let him take her place on the supply run, though we’re not privy to the reason until later on, when Maggie reveals to Glenn that she isn’t pregnant. Glenn expresses his relief that they wouldn’t have to deal with such a difficult situation, especially given what happened with Lori, though Maggie doesn’t want the threat of death to prevent her from live a happier life.
THE COMICS: Talk of pregnancy for Maggie and Glenn similarly arose within the comic prison, with Glenn again hesitating to accept the relative safety of the prison to begin raising a family. The pair tried for the baby, though the war with Woodbury quickly complicated the matter and tabled Maggie’s potential pregnancy for some time.
Get Down With the Sickness
AMC: While an unknown illness seemed to pervade the hour, killing off both one of the prison pigs as well as a boar in the wild, it isn’t until the episode’s end that young Patrick seems to rapidly succumb to an illness with flu-like symptoms, rising as a walker shortly thereafter.
THE COMICS: Like any survivor, Rick and his group were always faced with the threat of disease and lacking medical provisions, though no illness ever appeared to operate so quickly as what killed Patrick in AMC’s version of events, and will come to threaten the prison population in the coming weeks. Beware within, indeed!
What did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 premiere “30 Days Without An Accident”? Does the new direction of the prison and threat to the survivors work for you? Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of season 4’s second episode, "Infected!"
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