Title: The Walking Dead Compendium Chapter #2 – Miles Behind Us
Written by: Robert Kirkman
Art by: Robert Kirkman, Cliff Rathburn & Charlie Adlard
Published by: Image Comics
Release Date: May 19th 2009
Miles Behind Us is the perfect title for the second chapter of The Walking Dead Compendium. The group goes through a lot in a few short pages, moving from one temporary home to the next. After Shane’s death, Rick is appointed the leader of the group and takes the mantle of their wise protector. He takes the group from one location to the next as they attempt to find solitude. Along with their travels, they encounter Tyreece, his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris. Tyreece establishes himself as a strong protective figure, much like Rick and Shane. While Chris and Julie give off the vibe that they’re planning something against Tyreece for the duration of the chapter. The group then finds an estate known as Wiltshire Estates. The thought to be sanctuary ends in tragedy and the group moves on. After Carl is accidentally shot by a hunter, the group is invited onto a farm owned by a man named Hershel and his family. The group stays with Hershel for some time, but after a heated disagreement they move on and find an abandoned prison.
The majority of the chapter focuses on the group trying to find a permanent place to stay, however, the overarching theme of this issue is that of death, and how we cope with it in differing ways. The chapter starts with the group surrounding Shane’s grave. Saying goodbye to a man the group had grown weary of, and in his last moments was seemingly gripped by insanity. We get to see the moment in which Lori and Shane arrived in Atlanta, within a flashback. We see the pair gripped in passion as Lori exclaims her gratefulness to Shane for securing her and her son’s safety. The pair makes love. Then returning to current events we see Lori stay behind while everything else leaves, only to spit on the man’s grave. We see here how hate will follow through even into death for those we once cared about. However, we see several other reactions over the course of the chapter portraying grief and what comes with it for different people. Allen spends much of the issue traumatized by his wife, Donna’s death. Lashing out at any character that tries to tell him to get a grip. Rick nearly murders a man who accidentally shot his son. Enraged by the fear of losing a loved one. While Hershel the owner of the farm shows an inability to let go. Keeping his now zombified son, chained up in his barn. Believing he has a curable sickness, rather than just accepting he has moved on. This then puts the rest of his family in danger, and his oldest son and daughter die as he attempts to round up a walker and put it in the barn with the rest of the undead. Hershel then blames Rick and the group for their deaths and orders they leave his property, before then considering suicide. This chapter develops the characters of the franchise by showing how they all deal with death. Some with anger, some with ignorance and some with a total loss of self.
The chapter also developed several relationships. Of course, we’ve already discussed the triangular relationship of Rick, Lori and the now passed Shane. Which was made more complicated by the fact that Lori is now pregnant, the baby’s father unknown. But we also saw Dale and Andrea’s relationship grow sexual as they both consoled each other over the loss. While Glenn formed a relationship with Hershel’s daughter, Maggie. The pace of their relationship changing from a quick fuck to proclaiming his love for her was a bit much for only a few pages but was still interesting.
Overall Miles Behind Us is a solid chapter. The group finally found a place of solace and many characters developed due to the grief they felt. The review for the previous chapter, Days Gone Bye is also live on the site. When discussing the chapter we said, “So to conclude, as a lover of the show and avid fan of the games, I enjoyed my time with the first chapter of the Walking Dead Compendium. The art is stunning and the story itself loses some of its flares through sharing an overall plot with the TV show but does enough differently to keep me guessing.” Make sure to also check out our weekly previews of the TV show, where we go into detail over where the series is heading next. For everything on the Walking Dead or to check out Chapter 1’s review, stay tuned to Thenerdstash.com