The Walking Dead Creator Scrapped a Comic Prequel

Robert Kirkman reveals scrapped plans for The Walking Dead: Volume 0.

The Walking Dead spanned 193 issues across 32 volumes, but there was nearly a prequel volume exploring the days before "Days Gone Bye." The six-issue first volume of Robert Kirkman's zombie comic began with small town sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes waking up from a coma one month into the apocalypse, sending Rick on an undead odyssey from Cynthiana, Kentucky, to Atlanta, Georgia, to find his wife and son. By the final page of issue #2, Rick reunited with his family in a camp outside walker-swarmed Atlanta along with his police partner — and best friend — Shane Walsh.

Shane was escorting Carl and Lori to her parents' house in Atlanta, only for a flashback in issue #7 to reveal the moment they arrived to find the city overrun by the dead. It was during this time that Shane and Lori began an affair that resulted in pregnancy. As it turns out, Kirkman conceived a Walking Dead prequel comic set during that eventful 349-mile trek from Cynthiana to Atlanta with original series artist Tony Moore, who ended his run as interior illustrator after the first six issues.


The Walking Dead Deluxe #7


"I had always considered doing a volume 0 that would be Shane, Lori and Carl's trip from Cynthiana, KY to Atlanta, GA," Kirkman wrote in the Letter Hacks section of The Walking Dead Deluxe #85. "I even wrote a few pages of a script. There was a time early on I'd thought of it as a cool project to do with Tony Moore, but in the end it just never came together. At this point, we'll probably never see it."

Kirkman eventually penned a prequel — Here's Negan, a standalone volume exploring Negan's origins at the onset of the zombie apocalypse — and 2020's Negan Lives one-shot, the only Walking Dead issue written by Kirkman since Image Comics published the long-running book's final issue in 2019. In a previous issue of TWD Deluxe, Kirkman cast doubt on ever reviving the series but didn't rule out future one-shots or a self-contained spin-off from another writer.

"I gave 16 years of my life to this world. I may dabble in it at some point in the future, but I doubt I'll ever return to do a full series," Kirkman wrote in a recent installment of Letter Hacks. "But... I'd never say never."

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