If You Love ‘The Walking Dead’ On TV, Read These Comics Next
The Walking Dead has proven to be possibly the biggest crossover hit from indie comics to the mainstream, and is one of those special television shows that feels like an event that you have to talk to someone about as soon as it’s over. Now in its sixth season, with the comic just passing the 150 issue mark, The Walking Dead as a franchise is a runaway success that shows no signs of stopping, even producing its own TV spin-off in Fear the Walking Dead.
If you’re a fan of the shows, the comic, or both, we’ve got some recommendations for other comics you might want to pick up next.
Following the success of The Walking Dead, it was no surprise that AMC would look to comics again for another potential hit show, and later this year we’re finally getting a live-action adaptation of Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon’s Preacher.
Preacher is about a man of the cloth who gains the heavenly power to compel people to do whatever he says, and alongside his ex-girlfriend Tulip and vampire best friend Cassidy, he takes on a mission to find God and hold him accountable for his creation. If you like The Walking Dead, you’re going to want to get a jump on Preacher before its own show debuts.
While missing the fantastical elements of The Walking Dead, Southern Bastards is a compelling human drama about a small town in Alabama where two things remain paramount: Christianity and high school football. Coach Boss runs the town, but when Earl Tubb, son of the one-time sheriff, returns to Craw County after a forty year absence, things begin to unravel.
Southern Bastards skirts conventional narrative tropes and remains thoroughly unpredictable. The team of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are one of the best examples of a creative team working in unison in comics today, and each issue will have you clamoring for the next one.
While Southern Bastards eschews any fantastical elements, Brubaker and Phillips’ Fatale ramps them up to extreme. Best known for their noir work on Sleeper, Criminal and The Fade Out, this series is still well within that wheelhouse while adding a large helping of Lovecraftian horror.
Fatale follows a seemingly immortal woman named Josephine through the decades, cursed with the ability to infatuate any man she comes across, whether she wants to or note. The series flashes through the decades and the trail of inadvertent destruction she leaves in her wake as she seeks to understand what happened to her and tries to avoid the cult trying to capture her.
If you follow The Walking Dead less for the zombies and more for how society changes following an apocalyptic event, then DMZ is the comic for you. The series is set in the aftermath of a Second American Civil War, where America is divided between United States of America, and the Free States of America.
In the middle is the island of Manhattan, which is now the titular Demilitarized Zone, the comic follows reporter Matty Roth who is embedded there. We see Matty meet the best and the worst that the DMZ has to offer, and as the readers’ attitudes to the war changes, so do Matty's, but not necessarily in the same direction.
Uber is a speculative fiction book that under any other circumstances would be way too on the nose, but Gillen and White have managed to turn it into one of the most exciting (and violent) comics on the stands. The premise asks, what if the Nazis developed super-powered soldiers on the eve of their defeat, and World War II became a superhuman arms race?
The series brings in real life participants from all sides, from Alan Turing to Joseph Goebbels, as well as focusing on the super-powered soldiers, or “Battleships”. The series is far more nuanced than you might think from the premise alone, examining the ethics and morality of the superpowered conflict and addressing the loss of humanity that comes when a soldier is viewed as nothing more than a weapon by everyone around them.