The Strolling Lifeless has a massively satisfying ending that ties up plenty of unfastened threads, however one unaddressed menace spells catastrophe for the survivors.
Whereas The Strolling Lifeless may be very clear in regards to the direct menace brought on by its zombies (aka Walkers), there’s an underlying hazard to the franchise’s particular zombie plague that is not addressed by the collection’ flash-forward conclusion. In reality, the difficulty stays such an issue by the comedian collection’ ending, it principally ensures humanity will as soon as once more be overrun by zombies.
Strolling Lifeless‘s zombie can kill with a single chew, however the franchise makes it very clear that each human is already contaminated with no matter causes them to rise once more. A zombie chew doesn’t instantly flip a sufferer right into a walker. Relatively, a zombie chew will kill an individual, and as soon as the particular person is lifeless, they rise once more, able to chew and switch the people round them. That is proved all through the collection, proper up till the penultimate concern 192, when Rick himself is shot and subsequently turns, shocking Carl when he comes residence to see his father. Nonetheless, within the subsequent concern’s flash-forward to the long run, the apparent implications of this truth stay unaddressed.
When a grown Carl Grimes cuts down a stray zombie in Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Strolling Lifeless #193, he instantly checks to see if it has bitten another person. His apparent concern is that if it has bitten one other particular person, they have to be tracked down earlier than they will flip others and create a gaggle of zombies too giant to be handled simply. As he would certainly perceive, a failure to take action would result in one other zombie outbreak, simply when the world is recovering from ‘the Trials,’ because the prior chaos is now recognized. The zombie is an outlier in a society which has now established an enormous protected zone which is reliably shielded from the remaining lifeless, and but this new civilization has an issue proper at its coronary heart.
Even with its ending, The Strolling Lifeless would not clarify how individuals address the truth that if somebody dies of their sleep, they will immediately develop into a zombie and assault society from throughout the protected zone – now populated by many individuals who did not stay via the primary outbreak and haven’t any expertise in staying alive. An individual affected by an sickness who dies at residence whereas their household are asleep may create a mini-outbreak that all of a sudden snowballs into a brand new outbreak, and likewise any sort of deadly accident may instantly create a zombie. Even the paranoid Carl shares a tent with a fellow survivor whereas out on errands.
There is no good solution to keep away from individuals dying and changing into a menace, however for a narrative that digs deep into the sensible and psychological measures survivors undertake throughout a zombie apocalypse, it is unusual that the comics by no means deal with how individuals take care of the potential of random loss of life – for instance, by ensuring all doorways self-locking or having individuals sleep in separate rooms to restrict the potential penalties of surprising loss of life – a certainty over an extended sufficient timeframe. Carl Grimes appears to acknowledge the complacency creeping into the world and means that it’s checked earlier than it is too late, however even he ignores society’s largest inside menace. Eventually, somebody will die unexpectedly in their very own residence, at which level the horrors of The Strolling Lifeless are prone to be repeated.
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