The Walking Dead Creator Explains Shock Death in Color Reprint

Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Deluxe. Sink your teeth into pages from The Walking Dead Deluxe #41 and relive the shocking death of Carol — this time in color. The latest issue of the reprint series, presenting The Walking Dead in full-color format for the first time, colorizes Carol’s fate nearly 15 years after the issue’s original publishing date on August 29, 2007. Written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard and colors by Dave McCaig, the colored edition includes new commentary from Kirkman about Carol’s suicide-by-zombie bite on the final page of issue #41.

In the comics, Carol is a single parent to Sophia after her daughter’s father dies by suicide at the onset of the zombie apocalypse. As part of the early Atlanta group of survivors, Carol befriends Lori Grimes and begins a relationship with Tyreese when the group hunkers down on the Greene family farm.

(Photo: Image Comics)

After Rick Grimes and his band of survivors relocates to a prison where they encounter the katana-wielding warrior Michonne — and the villainous Governor of Woodbury — Carol grows depressed over Tyreese’s infidelity. She attempts suicide and is later rebuffed by Rick and Lori when she proposes a polyamorous relationship with the Grimes couple, worsening her fragile mental state.

In issue #41, Carol asks Lori to take care of Sophia “if something were to happen” to her. Carol suddenly dies by suicide when she leans in close to a walker in the prison courtyard, allowing it to bite her neck. (Carol succumbs to the fatal bite and is put down with a bullet when her corpse reanimates in issue #42.) See the original black and white version compared with the colored page below.

(Photo: Image Comics)

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Comic book Carol “was meant to represent a character at their breaking point, utterly broken by the world of The Walking Dead,” Kirkman wrote in the “Cutting Room Floor” bonus feature backing up The Walking Dead Deluxe #41. “The trauma was too much for her to overcome, unlike her television counterpart.”

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Explaining Carol’s grim fate in the comics versus her live-action counterpart, who has survived through the final season, Kirkman continued, “In the comic, Carol wasn’t played by an actor like Melissa McBride. Actors can really drive story, especially on a TV show. Watching the show come together season after season, every choice the actor makes influences the story moving forward, and it can lead to interesting changes and evolution. Hence, TV show Carol.”

The Walking Dead Deluxe #41 is now on sale. The Walking Dead Deluxe #42 is available to own July 6.