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The Walking Dead, Vol. 05: The Best Defense (The Walking Dead #25-30)

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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  15,561 ratings  ·  557 reviews
As the survivors settle into their prison home something has drawn them out into the open... out of the prison... out of their sanctuary. This is a major turning point for the overall story of The Walking Dead, setting the stage for years to come.
Paperback, 136 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Image Comics (first published January 1st 2006)
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World War Z by Max BrooksThe Zombie Survival Guide by Max BrooksThe Walking Dead, Vol. 01 by Robert KirkmanFeed by Mira GrantPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Zombies!
69th out of 1,295 books — 3,675 voters
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Graphic Novels With The Best Artwork
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel ♥Reads Ravenously♥
3 very conflicted stars

First off I like this series. This is a great look at how humanity either deteriorates or survives in a world where so much of human kind is gone. From a survival aspect this book is fascinating.

On the other hand, I have come to the conclusion that Robert Kirkman hates women. I mean, really. Lori is unbearable and whines about the effort her husband makes to create a better place for them. Carol is a giant fucking mess and (view spoiler)
...more
Anthony Chavez
The last volume I kept thinking this is a little whiny, the characters did a lot of complaining and grieving, I thought to myself something needs to happen, something to jar the characters and drive the plot forward. It looks like we have a villain here in volume 5.

Our travelling band that has settled in a prison sees a helicopter, LIFE is out there! They then see said chopper crash and they want to learn where they are from and see if they are ok. When they see boatloads of footprints surroundi
...more
Becky
Whoooo-eee! These just keep getting more and more intense! I'm definitely glad that I haven't been reading these as they came out, because waiting in between episodes would be torture! I meant to take a break from these and read something else for a bit... but damn if it isn't hard to put them down! I need to know what happens.

This one is just as crazy as the last one... only now we have a few new faces to look at for a bit. They are ones that I hope to not see for very long. My hope is that th
...more
Justin
Be warned: minor spoilers ahead.

All right. Before reading this volume, I went back and reread all of the trades up to this point, in order to recapture the narrative and get back into the spirit of the story for Halloween. A few things I noticed during the read-through:

1. I appreciate the switch to Adlard’s art after the first story arc. While Moore made the characters much more distinguishable from one another, he also lent an exaggerated aspect to their features and expressions that was almost
...more
Sam Quixote
The Walking Dead continues to be an exercise in how much darkness the audience can endure with Robert Kirkman getting increasingly darker with each succeeding volume.

Besides the very graphic nature of the series already featuring an ample number of decaying zombie corpses feasting on human flesh before being shot/hacked at in the head, we’ve had execution-style murders, multiple suicide attempts, amputation and decapitation, child murder, and now: repeated gang rape! … Where will Kirkman go nex
...more
Kimberley doruyter
lost hand, traps and torture.
oh my god :o
Yonaily


I think this new experience will teach Rick not to trust in anyone. This volume is the darkest one. We are introduced to new characters, and things get really bad. I loved it! It was creepy, bloody and things I did not expect to happen, happened. I feel bad for Michonne. But I know she's a badass, and I'm sure she will make The Governor pay for what he's done. I can't wait to that. Definitely my favorite issue so far.
Craig
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna
Wow. Robert Kirkman, you've reached a new low. I would have given this a lower rating if it did not feature such great pacing and psychotic characters. I was disgusted by the Governor and I am not awaiting his appearance on the television show. I know that Michonne will survive, but I almost felt ill at the depravity featured in this volume. There are major triggers that I suggest you be aware of before you read. I will continue with the series but I can't wait until someone gives the Governor w ...more
Jennifer
The Best Defense, the 5th volume in The Walking Dead series, introduces The Governor, a man who seems poised to become a villain more dangerous and deadly than any zombie we've seen thus far. The character is intense, and more importantly, unpredictable.

When Rick, Glen and Michonne (who I still dislike immensely, although she definitely grows on me in this volume) leave the safety of the prison to check out a downed helicopter, they're brought to The Governor. What he does to each of them is un
...more
Melissa
I was so unprepared for this emotionally. While the previous volumes were full of angst to the highest degree, I feel... distraught. Nauseous. A little like I need to cry. The turn things have taken is so dark, but at this point I truly can't say whether I think it was for the best. (view spoiler) ...more
Emily
I have to take a pause and just recap the emotions I've been feeling while reading this series. I think this volume in particular really brings to light the depravity of humanity when faced with something like the zombie apocalypse. Kirkman really shows all aspects and possibilites of what humanity might go through, whether it be good or bad and he covers all aspects of coping, grieving, surviving, and trying to live in a completely different world. I'm constantly impressed by the thought that w ...more
Danielle
*4.5*

This isn't going to be a full review because I can't think of that much that I really want to say about it...

I think this one might be my least favourite so far? I'm still not even sure why? On the one hand I think I wasn't as invested in it as I was with the others but then the more I think about it I actually was? So I'm not sure what happened here to be honest...

There were parts in this one where I felt absolutely terrified for certain characters and it really kept me on the edge of my
...more
Lisa
Carol is crazy! I really wished that the Governor wouldn't make an appearance. I hate him with all of my being.
Tyler
This volume begins with further clearing out of the prison. Glenn and Maggie are exploring and stumble up the armory. It contains both riot gear and shot guns. This discovery gets the group thinking. They siphon gasoline from cars surrounding the prison to power the RV. Rick, Glenn and Michonne are sent out to explore the area. While away, they spot a helicopter. It quickly crashes. Michonne, Glenn and Rick run to the crash site, finding footprints and tire tracks. Thinking there might be anothe ...more
jae!
oh my freaking god! I hate the governor!
Nayeomi
wow i forgot how intense The Governor was in the comics.

Although TWD is serving two different platforms, they have both quite made the storyline perfect in their own respective media.
Oh, quick trivia. Daryl is NOT on the comics. Norman Reedus (he's been a nameless fave of mine in his earlier works what with that bad ass face and his usual Reedus SWAGGER. It's all him.) originally auditioned for Merle Dickson's character but producers got so impressed they made a whole new character out of him.
...more
Chris
Reviewed first at Brunner's Bookshelf

I am a huge fan of the Show Walking Dead. I love Zombies and great characters, and the show, as well as the graphic novels has both and so much more. My wife and I were hooked from the very first episode and after two and a half seasons of the show we decided it was time we read the comics. Friends of ours who have read these said we were missing things from the story and that certain events might make a little more sense had we read the comics. We read the f
...more
Stephanie W
After reading book 5, my review of book 4 should have been higher than I gave it. Book 4 showed the impending savage nature of humanity while still being beautiful subtle until the emotionally jarring outburst in the closing pages of the story. Yet I didn't want to give it 5 stars because, for the most part, nothing happened. The action was stagnant even though the characters gained quite a bit of depth.

Because of my previous rating, I must give book 5 only 3 stars, as it has been the weakest bo
...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey Trinkner
This volume begins with further clearing out of the prison. Glenn and Maggie are exploring and stumble up the armory. It contains both riot gear and shot guns. This discovery gets the group thinking. They siphon gasoline from cars surrounding the prison to power the RV. Rick, Glenn and Michonne are sent out to explore the area. While away, they spot a helicopter. It quickly crashes. Michonne, Glenn and Rick run to the crash site, finding footprints and tire tracks. Thinking there might be anothe ...more
TW Brown
The Best Defense is volume five of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead graphic novel series. It is this episode that I foresee considerable problems in converting it to a television show. More on that later.

Rick Grimes’ proclamation at the end of The Heart’s Desire that “we are the walking dead!” was the dramatic conclusion to a lengthy speech. The story picks up a short time later. The rift in the camp between him and Tyreese remains and things inside the prison actually seem to be proceeding. I
...more
John
I've been waiting for Kirkman to deliver on the promise, in the intro to collection #1, that The Walking Dead will be about characters. If you can call the cardboard cutouts that Kirkman moves through various well-drawn panels characters, then he has achieved something, namely movement. He has not managed to convey a sense of character, and if he was close then he squandered the opportunity. Much of the story's dynamic died with the character of Shane, the best friend and adulterer, but even tha ...more
The Flooze
Exciting and disturbing. The flap copy is right: this is an installment that changes things.

Only a week has passed since the chaos of the last volume. Oddly, all that uproar seems to have been beneficial. The group is working together peacefully, settling in - and no one else has died in the meantime! Hooray!

Of course it doesn't last. That would be boring.

For all the criticism you can throw at Rick, Tyreese, Dexter, and Herschel for their moments of savagery, The Best Defense introduces the wors
...more
Lloyd
Reading through this great series again, I can honestly say that Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" hasn't yet let up. His "zombie movie that never ends" keeps getting more intense... and more addictive.

As I've mentioned before in reviews of previous volumes, this isn't just a zombie book. This volume proves to be the most intense, disturbing, and visceral of the series thus far and that has almost nothing to do with the presence of undead corpses shambling about. Protagonist Rick Grimes and hi
...more
Elizabeth A
Volume 5 contains issues 25-30.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, zombies are not the scary part of this story. Something happens that makes a couple of people leave the prison to investigate. I thought I would be happy to get away from the whining for a while, but I was so wrong! A little whining never hurt anyone. There are some very disturbing developments in this installment, and I actually had nightmares last night. Note to self: do not read this series before bed.
Dominic
As you may see by the previous ratings, I really enjoyed the first four volumes. This is where it all goes to shit, in my opinion.

While I appreciate terrible villains, and there are certainly enough in this book, Kirkman just takes a questionable idea and runs full-fricken-tilt out of the window with it to the farthest (laughable) extreme. The tenor of the books prior really set a more realistic tone, where this marks the wild-and-woolly adventure into pandemonium.

At this point, it's barely plau
...more
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Robert Kirkman is an American comic book writer best known for his work on The Walking Dead, Invincible for Image Comics, as well as Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of the original co-founders of ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Walking Dead (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 02: Miles Behind Us
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 03: Safety Behind Bars
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 04: The Heart's Desire
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 06: This Sorrowful Life
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 07: The Calm Before
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 08: Made to Suffer
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 09: Here We Remain
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 11: Fear the Hunters
The Walking Dead, Vol. 01: Days Gone Bye The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 The Walking Dead, Book One The Walking Dead, Vol. 02: Miles Behind Us The Walking Dead, Vol. 08: Made to Suffer

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“The second we put a bullet in the head of one of those undead monsters -- the moment one of us drove a hammer into one of their faces -- or cut a head off. We became what we are! And that's just it. THAT's what it comes down to. You people don't know what we are.

We're surrounded by the DEAD. We're among them -- and when we finally give up we become them! We're living on borrowed time here. Every minute of our life is a minute we steal from them! You see them out there. You KNOW that when we die -- we become them. You think we hide behind walls to protect us from the walking dead?

Don't you get it? We ARE the walking dead! WE are the walking dead.”
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“Don't you get it? We are The Walking Dead!” 28 likes
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