The Walking Dead 3: Safety Behind Bars

walking dead volume 3 safety behind bars
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 7/10

A comic book zombie story allows for longer, interesting plots

A bit too many red herrings

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Walking Dead

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Charlie Adlard

# of Issues: 6

Release Date:  May 2005

walking dead #13 cover safety behind bars

The Walking Dead #13

Reprints The Walking Dead #13-18 (October 2004-April 2005).  Rick has led the group of survivors to a high security prison, and it looks like it could be a chance to build a home.  First they must deal with the zombies inside of the complex…and the surviving prisoners.  When Rick is forced to leave to settle unfinished business, a murder occurs…and the killer is not one of the dead.

Written by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead Volume 3:  Safety Behind Bars is an Image Comics horror comic.  Following The Walking Dead Volume 2:  Miles Behind Us, the collection features art by Charlie Adlard.  The issues in the volume have been collected and reprinted in multiple versions including The Walking Dead Omnibus—Volume 1 and The Walking Dead Compendium—Volume 1.

The Walking Dead had already hit its stride at this point and was winning multiple awards.  Some of the pacing on the earlier issues was slow and even here, Kirkman could pick up on the writing…but as seen with Invincible, that isn’t his style.

The Walking Dead 3:  Safety Behind Bars adds another aspect to the survivor’s tale that carries on for multiple issues.  The taking of the jail, and the defense of the jail really help give credit to the series.  In a regular zombie survival story, a storyline like the jail would have to be rather quick to fit in the context of the story as a whole.  Since The Walking Dead has endless possibilities and endless time in the comic book form, Kirkman has time to develop these themes.

walking dead #17 cover rick grimes

The Walking Dead #17

The typical “red herring” murderer criminal line played out as expected, but the result (the death of the kids) was pretty shocking.  It does a great job showing just how far the series can push the characters and that no one is safe.  This also goes for the double suicide of Tyreese’s daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris.  This seems a little overdone and expected, but it still was done with a different twist.

The Walking Dead isn’t for everyone.  Some feel the whole “zombie” thing is being driven into the ground (much like vampires, etc…I guess werewolves are next).  Kirkman does have the opportunity to expand on a somewhat tired market and find different aspects that can’t be explored in an hour-and-a-half movie (like Rick going back to put Shane out of his undead misery).  This early adventure is a good sign of things to come and what Kirkman might have planned for the long run.  The series has a solid cast, a great direction, and tons of room for development.  The Walking Dead 3:  Safety Behind Bars is followed by The Walking Dead 4:  The Heart’s Desire.

Preceded By:

The Walking Dead 2:  Miles Behind Us

Followed By:

The Walking Dead 4:  The Heart’s Desire

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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