100 Issues In: Our Top Ten Characters of "The Walking Dead"

2012 has been a big year for fans of “The Walking Dead,” as companies of all kinds are realizing the franchising potential for the hit award winning comic book series. “The Walking Dead” has emerged as hit novels, popular board games, prized collectibles, popular toys, hit video games, a record breaking television series now about to reach its third season, and most importantly, the original comic book series is about to reach 100 issues this July. After ninety nine issues of unmitigated drama and compelling writing with rich characters and gripping horror in the world of the walking dead, Robert Kirkman is delivering issue 100 in July promising surprises, and material that is sure to shock, sadden, and excite loyal readers like myself. In honor of issue 100, we’re counting down our top ten characters of the Walking Dead from issue 1-100.

We warn you, if you’ve yet to complete all ninety nine issues leading in to one hundred, we will spill spoilers about character deaths and plot points, so display caution, and don’t come complaining later on.

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The PC Thug: R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie

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Dear Dwayne McDuffie,

Ever since hearing about your death, I can’t help but think what a huge loss the comic book and pop culture world has suffered. No really, I think it’s no understatement that the news of your death is leaving a giant hole in the comic book world, and since the announcement of your death my mind has shifted from “Oh that’s pretty sad… wait… man that sucks… wait… wow, that’s shitty… oh god… we’re fucked.” Because let’s face it when was the last time we had someone like Dwayne McDuffie say “Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if minorities weren’t cliches and stereotypes?” And yes, wouldn’t it be amazing if our minority heroes weren’t secondary sidekicks or poorly promoted rehashes of the same old formula we’ve seen day in and day out?

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A Tribute to Superman: Fifteen Greatest "Superman: The Animated Series" Episodes

I won’t deny that “Batman: The Animated Series” isn’t one of the greatest animated series of all time. As a capsule of the nineties, it was a bold and daring new vision of the Dark Knight free of camp and void of pandering to kids with mature storylines that were never overly violent. Timm paved the way for his version of the DC Universe, and with it the demand for Superman came very soon after. “Superman: The Animated Series” did not last as long as “Batman” nor was it as widely revered, but we prefer it over the former, mainly because Timm’s vision of Superman was also bold and daring. It was light without being joyful, it was dark enough to give Superman an adult edge, and it enlisted some of the most brilliant voice cast of all time from Tim Daly, Dana Delany, Clancy Brown, and Lisa Edelstein. “Superman: The Animated Series” fizzled out once “Batman” ended mainly because DC wanted a younger “Batman” world that became “Batman Beyond” and “Superman” was just not a priority anymore.

After the demand for “Justice League” arrived, “Batman Beyond” also fizzled out, but the imagining of “Justice League” in animated form brought Superman back to the fans where he was allowed to lead a group of super titans in to hell. But for a moment, Superman was granted a moment in the spotlight, and Timm introduced some elements in to the lore that would be used later on. A more suave less geeky Clark Kent, a Lex Luthor who became a corporate tycoon, and the birth of his assistant Mercy Graves, a spitfire bodyguard and chauffeur for the bald baddie. It continues to be one of my favorite animated series of all time, and of the nineties and these are fifteen of my favorite episodes counting down to the best episode of the entire series run. Most of the information and stills for this list were compiled with the help of DCAU Wiki Page.

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Jolting Tales of Tension in the EC Comics Tradition!

ECI know that I may not be touching on anything novel here when I say that horror comics aren’t a dead art form, but you have to appreciate that people keep saying it after the horror comic was officially dead for a number of years. For a long time I suffered through endlessly cheesy and insipid “horror” themed comics from Marvel and DC both of whom always possessed a respectable amount of monsters and goblins, but no blood and zero realism whatsoever. Even when they evoked the moods of EC Comics, they chose to adamantly steer away from anything grisly or disgusting, thus it was PG horror that felt often like a dry hump for the respectable horror fan.

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Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #4 of 4

For the past four episodes we’ve witnessed what was once the mysterious origin of Cassie Hack. And when all is said and done, I would have liked it to remain mysterious. When “Hack Slash” made its transformation from Devil’s Due title to Image Comics title, there of course had to be changes made. And this series is basically starting over. Sure it’s telling stories not even the old fans have ever read, but it’s basically taking all of the past storylines and completely ignoring and forgetting them.

For now, I hope. The demon dog, the supporting characters, Cassie’s connection to past slashers, the revelation she is likely a lesbian, it’s all gone. Again I’m not sure what creator Tim Seely is planning for future issues, but the entire saga is restarting and I’m just so anxious for the narrative to get back to where it used to be.

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Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #3 of 4

Well up until the third issue, “My First Maniac” was a decent prequel to the Hack/Slash run on the Image tag. While I miss Vlad, and every other supporting character, I’ve been giving Cassie Hack and her first adventure in to the slasher realm a fair chance and this third issue really hasn’t been doing it for me. Mostly where the issue should be mostly about being a slasher throwback it instead takes itself very seriously and doesn’t seem to be having any fun with the concept at all.

I’m still not sure if this is the same Cassie Hack from Devil’s Due, and I’m still trying to figure out the elements of this villain. Not only are the supporting characters so utterly boring and tedious to endure, but Cassie is also having the life sucked out of her by these vapid characters all of whom lack any form of empathy.

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Hack/Slash: My First Maniac #2 of 4

See, I understand what the purpose of this prequel is. Before now, Cassie Hack’s origin has only been told in bits and pieces here and there. We know about her mom, we know she became a slasher hunter, and we know somewhere down the road she eventually met Vlad and they paired up to fight evil.

But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we went back to the normal flow of the series with the normal characters. While I definitely want to know about Cassie Hack and her story, I miss the other characters. It’s tough to sit and read an issue without Vlad harping poetic about his latest kill, or the Hack/Slash team helping the duo along for the ride with pokes at the slasher genre.

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Hack/Slash My First Maniac #1 of 4

This is the story of Cassandra Hack, a young nerdy woman whose own insults and tormented high school life led her tortured obese mother to seek revenge on all of the young girls who made Cassandra’s life difficult and painful. Cassandra lived to see her mother become a classic slasher, a woman called the lunch lady who hung and mutilated and devoured these girls and it was up to Cassie to bring her down once and for all.

Now that Tim Seely and “Hack/Slash” have moved from Devil’s Due to the higher profile Image comics to stand alongside the greats like The Walking Dead and Invincible, Seely and co. are working backward now to tell the story of Cassie Hack and how she became Cassie Hack and learned to hunt down the undead killers known as “Slashers.”

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