Walking Dead Art Makes Rick’s Darkest Murder Tragically Beautiful

Rick Grimes did many questionable things during the zombie apocalypse, and in a new variant cover, his darkest death mixes tragedy and beauty.

In the new deluxe editions of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead series, fans can revisit the harrowing journey of Rick Grimes and its motley band of colorful survivors as they navigate a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse. And now, the latest variant cover for an upcoming issue has made one of Rick’s most brutal kills a tragic beauty in a way fans never expected.

Seen on the cover of the next variant of The Walking Dead Deluxe #36written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, artist J. Totino Tedesco presents a scene from this issue as disturbing as it is integral to the Walking Dead story told. And while fans will have to wait a while longer to add this cover to their physical (or digital) collections, the image has already been posted by Tedesco to its Twitter feed for all to see.

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Depicting a moment after Rick has tracked down a fleeing Martinez as he attempts to surrender to the Governor and his people in Woodbury, Rick sees red as he believes Martinez will unleash hell on his group at the nearby jail if it is allowed to reach its destination. Catching up with Martinez in a ramshackle RV, Rick Grimes charges straight at the poor guy, smashing his body in a way that Martinez can’t easily recover from. And as Rick stands over Martinez, Rick shouts in his face, calling out a man who, in Rick’s mind, has threatened his very livelihood, immediately giving cover artist J. Totino Tedesco a brutal moment to illustrate in a spectacular way.


Showing Rick as he chokes Martinez with his good hand, Tedesco’s cover is drawn to bring the gory realism of Rick’s death to life, while deftly blending the beauty of the overgrown landscape around them. Pinning Martinez as he takes his own life, Rick Grimes’ face is depicted in a twisted state of emotional rage, and despite the dark reason behind this murder (because it is what it is, murder) , juxtaposing the vivid burst of red flowers around their struggling bodies add a tragic and beautiful element to a scene that ends up affecting Rick more than it lets on.


Acting as one of the series’ first defining moments for Rick as he grapples with what needs to be done to keep his friends and family safe, killing Martinez was undoubtedly a tough decision to make, but a decision Rick knew he had to go through with anyway. Appearing as the villain in this instance as he ruthlessly strangles Martinez to death, this murder eventually causes Rick to re-examine how he acts as the figurehead of his group, even leading him to later tell his wife, Lori, that he turns into an animal, this kill further acting as a pivotal moment in his long personal journey to become one of the most important and popular heroes of The Walking Dead universe.


So while Rick and his fellow zombie apocalypse survivors are forced to accept death and violence as a means to an end in a world now full of them, this specific murder is the one that changed Rick more. than most. Rick Grimes committed heroically violent acts to keep his community together throughout The Walking Deadis nearly two hundred issues, and with this latest variant cover, his darkest death becomes memorable.

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