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The Best Defense

(The Walking Dead #5)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  24,812 ratings  ·  1,060 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.
Comics, 136 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Image Comics (first published September 27th 2006)
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Cathy Wow, thanks for spoiling me. Please put stuff like this behind a spoiler tag in the future, thanks.

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  24,812 ratings  ·  1,060 reviews

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Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Governor is here!!!

This is the fifth volume of the softcover editions of "The Walking Dead", collecting the comic book issues from #25 to #30.

Creative Team:

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Illustrators: Charlie Adlard

Additional gray tones to inking: Cliff Rathburn

Chapter Five


Wait... you’re feeding them? What the hell are you feeding them?

Enter: The Governor...

..., no time to introduce him! Run, everyone! RUN!!!

Rick’s group is finally establishing a secure place in the priso
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)
Sean Barrs
“Well stranger, we’re feeding them strangers”


I have a new favourite line. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be funny, but it did give me a good laugh. It was such a quick and ironic twist of fortune. Rick let his guard down for one moment; he believed what he saw, and because of this he almost got everyone killed. After this he’ll never trust people again. In this crazy fucked up world you just can’t take people on face value anymore. There’s almost always a monster lurking beneath.

The group
Tina Haigler
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Holy shit balls! No one died this time! I'm honestly still in shock. It was definitely gruesome though, with plenty of traumatic content. Normally it's more about who died, and who's left to mourn them, but this one introduced evil of a whole new variety - the Governor. A survivor from a neighboring town, he holds a position of power, and is clearly a deranged sadist. I know from this moment on, I will be looking forward to him dying a very disturbing death. Even if I don't enjoy another page, I ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
Not as entertaining as the previous instalments, I feel this is largely setting up a longer storyline with a new ‘big bad’ by laying down the groundwork of hostility and suspicion.

As always, it’s the characters that intrigue more than the zombies, and the belief that nobody should be making themselves comfortable. Things can change in the blink of an eye, and the overall tension that permeates each page helps to increase this feeling of anxiousness. You never know when, or how, a character is go
3.5 stars.
My least favourite volume so far. It just wasn't up to the standard of the other volumes. I think the artwork is definitely growing on me though. I really liked it but they removed Tony Moore from doing the covers and that makes me sad. I absolutely adored his covers and I can definitely tell the difference between the old covers and the new ones. The new covers don't seem to be as detailed or eye-catching but I do like them, just not as much as I loved the old ones.

The story in this
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nicole Alycia
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The governor in the comics makes the governor in the show look like a choir boy .... damn he's one fucked up character. ...more
Holy shit!!!! This is my favorite volume so far out of the five I've read! I'm so happy because I really hated the 4th volume and I almost wanted to stop reading but I told myself not to and I kept reading out of curiosity and this fifth volume is amazing! Two words: The Governor. One of the biggest and baddest villains in The Walking Dead history was finally introduced and he is even more terrifying in the comics than he was in the show, and that's hard to believe but it's true! He's scary as f ...more
Anthony Chavez
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ayman Gomaa
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
i give this volume 3.5\5 it was really exciting and really dark so lets say the real evil starting from here
finally The Governor is showed and he is really making rick and michonne suffering already but sadly this is just the beginning , the first villain we see in the walking dead and he is really physco , crazy and sadist shit , some of us love some villains but this one all agree on hating him :(

Getting even grimmer. The story may have taken one turn too far for me..
We are still in prison... again... and we finally make the acquaintance of The Governor...


From that point onwards it gets really violent and brutal. We have definitely entered the world of the very, very mature reader. Wow. Good though, if you can stomach the violence. Practically makes me quake in my fluffy socks in anxiousness and fright regarding volume 6...
Dec 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I like the story arc this thing is taking, but the human depravity stuff is killing me. It just feels like the author really wants to remind me over and over again how awful some people are in this new world. Some stuff makes sense, some stuff just feels over the top.

Imma keep readin em tho.
Darren Hagan-Loveridge
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Enter the Governor and his reign of terror. This one is so dark
Negan cuts off Ricks hand, nuff said.
Sam Quixote
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Ryan Buckby
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First read: February 23rd 2016
Re-read: May 25th 2019

this issue of the comic book series was brutal and crazy! so much is starting to happen and of course i get left on a cliffhanger!

The governor is very different from the television show don't get me wrong both the comic and tv counter part are both maladaptive and cunning, However i think the comic book governor comes out as the more brutal one it makes me sick in what he did to Rick and Michonne.

I'm so so happy that they changed Carol fo
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Woodbury. The volume that took this series from innovative character driven end of the world saga to innovative character driven horror saga! Kirkman really gets to the darkness and wantonness of humanity as some of Rick's group run into another group of survivors, surviving in a very different way than they are.

The violence is extreme and scarring, yet in truth a necessary way to portray just what people will do and tolerate to survive. Welcome to Woodbury. 9 out of 12.
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The abundance of bad decisions and the fucking governor!
Tan Markovic
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Brutal and gruesome. Loved it.
Wren (fablesandwren)
The group sees a helicopter crash and Glenn, Rick and Michonne go out to investigate it and run into Woodsbury people... oh, and Carol ask Lori a really really ridiculous question that I had to read again to make sure that really just happened.

Well, one thing is for sure: The Governor is even crazier and grosser in the graphic novels than in the TV show.

Seriously this series is not for the light hearted. Especially this volume. This is a graphic, GRAPHIC novel for adults, and adults with str
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Being a huge fan of the show, I wanted to see how the original writing started and how the show writers followed and deviated from the comics. My dislikes were that the comics are much more crude, crass, and unnecessarily violent. I did like the change in relationships and how people worked together differently, and the comics have a different creepiness feel than you get watching it on TV. Overall, I prefer the show, and probably will not finish out the comic book series.
Okay. The series is back on track. The last volume read like an episode of One Tree Hill, but we're back to zombies, survival, and the ACTUAL, REALISTIC human responses to a post-apocalyptic event.

Again, documenting for posterity, the differences I can recall between this volume and season five of AMC's version.

a.k.a.- spoilers. Don't read on if you don't want them.

Last chance.

Here goes.

Straight up: Carol be cray-cray. Like, propositioning members of the group for disgusting sexual fetishes
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphics, 2020-read
The trigger warning issue. Intentional maiming, torture, and rape. Definitely more real difficulties face the gang and so they have less time to spend on manufactured ones.

Rick, Michonne, and Glenn find Woodbury and meet The Governor, who is a lot less polish and a lot more thug in the comic than he is on the show. Still psycho though.

Finally! A surprise shock original to the comic that I wasn't expecting.

Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comix
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fjodor Doktorjetski
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: walking-dead
*hooked* *obsessed* *excited*
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Play Book Tag: The Walking Dead, Volume 5 by Robert Kirkman ⭐️ 1 7 Aug 25, 2016 03:29PM  
the walking dead (volume 5) 3 34 Nov 10, 2014 11:12AM  
the walking dead volume 5 1 14 Aug 22, 2011 09:58AM  
the walking dead volume 5 1 12 Aug 08, 2011 09:53AM  

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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

Other books in the series

The Walking Dead (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Days Gone Bye (The Walking Dead, #1)
  • Miles Behind Us (The Walking Dead, #2)
  • Safety Behind Bars (The Walking Dead, #3)
  • The Heart's Desire (The Walking Dead, #4)
  • This Sorrowful Life (The Walking Dead, #6)
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  • Fear the Hunters (The Walking Dead, #11)

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