The Walking Dead #19 Homage Covers

1st Appearance Homages, Comic Homages, Homage Covers

The Walking Dead #19 (June 2005)

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Inker: Cliff Rathburn

The Walking Dead #19 introduced the katana-wielding fan-favorite to readers, who quickly welcomed her into The Walking Dead universe. The character would later appear in The Walking Dead television series on AMC, where she also proved to be a popular addition. In the comics and on the small screen, the character is introduced as an outsider who quickly proves to be a valuable and resourceful asset to a small, close-knit group, led by Rick Grimes, as they struggle to survive both the living and the dead. In both mediums, Michonne is first seen leashed to two “walkers” who have had their jaws and arms removed to make them harmless to her. These walkers, readers and viewers learn, are Michonne’s zombified boyfriend and his best friend. Michonne, despite no history of martial arts training, chooses a katana, a Japanese sword, as her weapon of choice against the dead and the living alike. Her companions, the walkers, camouflage her amid the ravenous zombie masses. In the comic, Michonne is a former lawyer and divorcée, who lost custody of her two daughters during her divorce. Her daughters are now missing, as Rick Grime’s family had been at first. For the series, Michonne has a son, not daughters. The overall story of The Walking Dead, as faithful readers and viewers know, diverge as well. In the comic, Michonne and Rick, the group’s leader, respect and understand one another, having shared similar losses during the zombie apocalypse. The series, however, takes their relationship further, making them eventual lovers, due to their similar and shared respect and losses, one might argue. That Michonne is black has proven to be a point of admiration and contention with both readers and critics. Admittedly a strong character in the comics and in the series, the character has been said to have fallen into the “strong black woman” trope on the small screen, lacking development. Whatever her shortcomings, Michonne has proven to be a mysterious and resourceful character. Michonne ranked #86 on IGN Entertainment’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes list. Rolling Stone‘s Noel Murray, who ranked Michonne first among the AMC Walking Dead characters, describes the character’s complexity best:

“She survived on her own for months, figuring out how to thrive in the wilderness under the harshest of circumstances. Yet she’s also adapted well to living in a group, and has even started to draw on her pre-apocalypse past as a mother and an academic to start thinking about how best to rebuild society. Savage when she has to be, tender and affectionate with her friends and lovers, both nurturing and deadly as they come, this character (courtesy of Danai Gurira’s continually extraordinary performance) represents this series at its best. Michonne hasn’t lost touch with her humanity. And she’s a thrill to watch on a killing spree.”

 

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