Every year, San Diego Comic-Con is full to overflowing with all manner of exclusive scoops, reveals, and, most importantly for collectors, tons of event-specific merchandise. Over the last few years, one of the biggest draws at the geeky gathering has been AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead. As the series gears up for its fourth season, set to premieres this October, it will again have a strong presence. Now we have a preview of a graphic Comic-Con poster, as well as a look at the latest incarnation of the show’s rotting antagonists.
Not only is this poster just gory and awesome, but it comes from acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross, who has worked on a ton of high-profile titles, like The Avengers, Batman, and Spider-Man, just to name a few. Usually handles the covers, but has been known to knock out an entire book as well. This image is actually far more in line with Robert Kirkman’s comics, which serve as the source material, than the show itself. You could easily picture this swarm of undead flesh-eaters gracing the cover of an issue, or of a trade paperback collection. The pages of the issues themselves may be black and white, but the covers are in bold color, like this. But as you can clearly see, it is specifically to tease season four of The Walking Dead, and has nothing more to do with the comics than that.
It’s hard to have a show about a zombie apocalypse without any actual zombies. You could pull it off for a while, but eventually you’ll have to show the undead or the audience will get restless. For all of the inconsistency in The Walking Dead from a character and story perspective, for all of the sizeable problems it has, the one thing that has never been an issue is the special effects. This is primarily due to Greg Nicotero, and while we could discuss the various failings and shortcomings of the show all day long, you never hear complaints about his creature designs and make up work.
The walkers have changed and evolved over the course of the show. As time passes their bodies grow more and more desiccated, their clothes increasingly ragged, and their overall physical appearance degenerates. Age and the elements are tough on all of us; the walking dead are no exception. This is a trend that looks to continue into the next 16 episode run, as this guy has definitely seen better days. Seriously, he looks like he’s been living in a drainpipe since the outbreak started, which honestly is a distinct possibility. How many times have we seen long abandoned cars with biters trapped inside, sometimes years after the fact?
When The Walking Dead returns there will be a significant gap between the end of last season and the beginning of this one. The premiere episode is called “30 Days Without an Accident,” so make of that what you will. It’s been a busy time for our merry band of survivors, what with the new additions to the prison population, the deaths of numerous friends and relatives to grieve over, and their old pal The Governor (David Morrissey) still wandering around free as a bird. You can bet there will be an “accident” before we get too far into the season.