Dale and Andrea hook up
Verdict: Weird, and Worse
I always liked the father daughter relationship that these two had in the show, and having them hook up in the comic just is weird, and gross, particularly since Andrea seems even younger than she was on the show. Also as a side note, at the point where I stopped reading the comic, Dale isn’t dead yet. Not sure if I feel it’s better or worse to keep him around. Probably better, he was a good character and a vital part of the group.
Alan and Donna
These two may have been in the show briefly, but I’ll be damned if I can remember them. In the comic, Donna dies and Alan goes all suicidal. From what I can tell, he’s shaping up to be the Shane equivalent since Shane is dead, and he’ll press Rick on issues. I miss angry Shane instead.
Otis isn’t fat and doesn’t die
Here’s a moment that doesn’t happen because Shane is dead. There’s no trip into town for medical supplies for Carl, and therefore no shocking moment where Shane sacrifices Otis to get away. It was jaw dropping on the show, but doesn’t exist here.
Carl Wakes Up Right Away
They dragged Carl’s coma out for WAY too long on the show, and I was glad to see him up and about in a few pages in the book.
No Missing Sophia
I’m tempted to say better, but the moment where she comes out of the barn as a zombie is by far the most astonishing scene in the show so far, and if they had to look for her for a whole season to make that happen, it was worth it.
Verdict: Better, sort of
In general, there’s a lot more sex in the book so far. I guess a reaction to stress perhaps? It works in the comic, but I think it might feel pretty out of place in the show.
The zombie barn isn’t a secret, and opening it is an accident
Again, another moment gone because Shane isn’t around. Him busting open Hershel’s secret zombie barn to show how “the world has changed, and we have to change” was one of the best moments of the show. The zombies escaping by accident in the book wasn’t nearly as dramatic.
They leave the farm peacefully
A zombie herd swarming the farm is a much more compelling way to leave than Hershel simply kicking them off, and the most action-oriented episode of the entire series was just a few pages of dialogue on the book. I ended once they roamed around and found the prison, which is how season two ended. No sign of the samurai zombie slave owner.
There are definitely things I like more about the book, like how they don’t drag out plotlines and how they are better able to develop the characters through dialogue. But I really don’t see how people are saying that the comic is SO much better than the show. Perhaps it’s “consumption bias,” as whichever you view first will be better than the other, because things don’t match up to your initial experience, but the central thread for me is Shane’s death. Because they did that so early, the most gripping moments from the show, killing Otis, the zombie barn release, Sophia’s reveal and Rick and Shane’s standoff, never happen. Am I wrong to say those were great moments in the show, and it’s a bit sad they weren’t in the comic as well?
So from what I’ve read in twelve issues, I really do like the show better. The art is great, the characters are well written and it’s a fantastic series, but I think the creative choices the show has made that separate it from the comic have made the story better for the most part, at least so far. Feel free to disagree, but remember, please no future spoilers.