Written by Amanda Pampuro
The fish tanks are stacked against the wall where the big screen TV used to be. Each is filled to the brim, soaking severed heads in bloody brine. After meeting each waterlogged eye, the man they call the Governor mutters, “fifty-seven channels and nothing on.”
As originally envisioned by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard in their comic series The Walking Dead, the Governor is one of the most vile, limitless villains of recent times. Though the survivors in the series meet hardships and scrap with other desperate groups, their view of the world remains optimistic, there is hope, they think maybe things can get better—until they meet the Governor. By forcing himself to face all the evils of the post-apocalyptic world, the Governor takes them on, becoming a character too intense for television.
If I believed in conspiracies, I might wonder if Image’s re-releasing issue 27 is their way of asserting the original Woodbury tale. While transmedia is a brilliant concept—why limit yourself to one medium?—I often find its execution chaotic and redundant. Though the AMC series The Walking Dead has broken away from the comic’s storyline, it continues to draw characters from its cast, flattening their lines and simplifying their motives. I am going to say it doesn’t matter what AMC or the novelization did to the Governor, he is a fantastically terrifying character, and if his debut issue doesn’t suck the eyeballs out of your skull, then consult your doctor about depression.
Besides the first issue, issues 19 and 27 are up for ridiculous bids on eBay. Thank you Image for reprints! Though I’m not die-hard (or rich) enough to spend my paycheck on collector comics, Michonne and the Governor are two monsters that set the Walking Dead apart from the rest of the genre. I haven’t actually drawn up a list, but the Governor would still be in my top twenty-five worst people to cross.
When you first meet the Governor, he might seem kind. He will probably take you on a tour and show you the fantastic fort he secured for his people. He might even take you to that night’s MMA-zombie match. But be careful, if you think there is something menacing about his smile, if you think that he is hiding something, follow your gut, and get the hell out.