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The Walking Dead read order: The Walking Dead universe in release and chronological orders

With over 200 comic book issues, as well as prose novel and game tie-ins, the Walking Dead comics universe can be hard to figure out... so let us help!
The Walking Dead
Charlie Adlard (Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment)

Want to know how to read The Walking Dead in order? The Walking Dead comics inspired a hit TV show, multiple spin-offs, and a whole bunch of video games that have proved incredibly popular. If you’re eager to see where it all began and read The Walking Dead comics in order, we’re here to help you wrap your head around the timeline.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to read The Walking Dead comics in order, so that you can enjoy the journeys of Rick and the crew in the original black-and-white comic books. We’ll also include any other tie-in media that is part of the comic universe, including novels and some of the video games that we referenced above.

How to read The Walking Dead comics in chronological order

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead #1 comics released way back in 2003, almost a decade prior to the first episode of the TV series. However, the TV shows exist within their own separate universe, so it isn’t included in this list. We have a seperate guide to how to watch The Walking Dead TV series.

Within The Walking Dead comics universe, there are various spinoffs to note, including graphic novels that expand on individual characters, novels that continue arcs from the comics, and video games that exist within the same canon. However, many of these stories have some conflicting information on when certain events occur, with the date of the start of the outbreak proving to be a particular point of contention. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic about all that because we’re here to help.

Below, you can learn how to follow The Walking Dead comic universe in chronological order:

  1. Here’s Negan (Comic)
  2. 400 Days: Vince’s Story (DLC for Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 video game)
  3. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 1: A New Day (Telltale video game)
  4. The Walking Dead Michonne Special (Comic)
  5. Rise of the Governor (Novel)
  6. Just Another Day at the Office (Short story)
  7. The Walking Dead: The Alien (Comic)
  8. The Walking Dead Tyreese Special (Comic)
  9. The Walking Dead #1-4 (Comic)
  10. 400 Days: Wyatt’s Story (DLC for Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 video game)
  11. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 2: Starved For Help (Telltale video game)
  12. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 3: Long Road Ahead (Telltale video game)
  13. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 4: Around Every Corner (Telltale video game)
  14. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 5: No Time Left (Telltale video game)
  15. Road to Woodbury (Novel)
  16. The Walking Dead #5-12 (Comic)
  17. 400 Days: Russell’s Story (DLC for Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 video game)
  18. Typhoon (Novel)
  19. 400 Days: Bonnie’s Story (DLC for Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 video game)
  20. The Walking Dead #13-24 (Comic)
  21. 400 Days: Shel’s Story (DLC for Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 video game)
  22. The Walking Dead #25-48 (Comic)
  23. The Fall of the Governor (Novel)
  24. Descent (Novel)
  25. Invasion (Novel)
  26. Search and Destroy (Novel)
  27. Return to Woodbury (Novel)
  28. The Walking Dead #49-90 (Comic)
  29. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners (VR video game)
  30. The Walking Dead #91-126 (Comic)
  31. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1: All That Remains (Telltale video game)
  32. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2: A House Divided (Telltale video game)
  33. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: In Harm’s Way (Telltale video game)
  34. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4: Amid the Ruins (Telltale video game)
  35. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back (Telltale video game)
  36. The Walking Dead: Michonne (Telltale video game)
  37. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Ties That Bind - Part 1 (Telltale video game)
  38. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Ties That Bind - Part 2 (Telltale video game)
  39. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Above the Law (Telltale video game)
  40. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Thicker Than Water (Telltale video game)
  41. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: From the Gallows (Telltale video game)
  42. The Walking Dead #127-174 (Comic)
  43. Negan Lives (Comic)
  44. The Walking Dead #175-192 (Comic)
  45. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Done Running (Telltale video game)
  46. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Suffer the Children (Telltale video game)
  47. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Broken Toys (Telltale video game)
  48. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Take Us Back (Telltale video game)
  49. Clementine Lives (Comic)
  50. Clementine: Book One
  51. The Walking Dead #193 (Comic)

The biggest issue with working out this chronological order was the date of the zombie outbreak, as it has been stated as both July and October 2003, along with a scattering of other dates throughout the various mediums. However, the Telltale video game places it firmly in July, and the comics later retconned to align with this date.


How to read The Walking Dead comics in release order

The Walking Dead Deluxe #1 cover

While chronological order helps us understand the overall timeline of The Walking Dead’s comic universe, it might not be your preferred way of reading. After all, it loses a lot of the momentum through the final issues of the final volume, with #193 taking place after all other The Walking Dead media. If you’d rather follow The Walking Dead comic universe in release order, so that you can see what the experience would’ve been like as they came out, then read on.

Below, you can learn how to follow The Walking Dead comic universe in release order:

  1. The Walking Dead #1-90 (Comic)
  2. Rise of the Governor (Novel)
  3. The Walking Dead #91-96 (Comic)
  4. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 1: A New Day (Telltale video game)
  5. The Walking Dead #97-99 (Comic)
  6. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 2: Starved For Help (Telltale video game)
  7. The Walking Dead #100-101 (Comic)
  8. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 3: Long Road Ahead (Telltale video game)
  9. The Walking Dead #102 (Comic)
  10. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 4: Around Every Corner (Telltale video game)
  11. The Road to Woodbury (Novel)
  12. The Walking Dead #103-104 (Comic)
  13. The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 5: No Time Left (Telltale video game)
  14. Just Another Day at the Office (Short story)
  15. The Walking Dead #105-111 (Comic)
  16. The Walking Dead Season 1: 400 Days DLC (Telltale video game)
  17. The Walking Dead #112-114 (Comic)
  18. The Fall of the Governor Part 1 (Novel)
  19. The Walking Dead #115-118 (Comic)
  20. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1: All That Remains (Telltale video game)
  21. The Walking Dead #119-122 (Comic)
  22. The Fall of the Governor Part 2 (Novel)
  23. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2: A House Divided (Telltale video game)
  24. The Walking Dead #123-126 (Comic)
  25. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: In Harm’s Way (Telltale video game)
  26. The Walking Dead #127-129 (Comic)
  27. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4: Amid the Ruins (Telltale video game)
  28. The Walking Dead #130 (Comic)
  29. The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back (Telltale video game)
  30. The Walking Dead #131-132 (Comic
  31. Descent (Novel)
  32. The Walking Dead #133-146 (Comic)
  33. Invasion (Novel)
  34. The Walking Dead #147-151 (Comic)
  35. The Walking Dead: Michonne: In Too Deep (Telltale video game)
  36. The Walking Dead #152 (Comic)
  37. The Walking Dead: Michonne: Give No Shelter (Telltale video game)
  38. The Walking Dead #153 (Comic)
  39. The Walking Dead: Michonne: What We Deserve (Telltale video game)
  40. Here’s Negan (Comic)
  41. The Walking Dead #154-159 (Comic)
  42. Search and Destroy (Novel)
  43. The Walking Dead #160-161 (Comic)
  44. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Ties That Bind - Part 1 (Telltale video game)
  45. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Ties That Bind - Part 2 (Telltale video game)
  46. The Walking Dead #162-165 (Comic)
  47. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Above the Law (Telltale video game)
  48. The Walking Dead #166 (Comic)
  49. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Thicker Than Water (Telltale video game)
  50. The Walking Dead #167 (Comic)
  51. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: From the Gallows (Telltale video game)
  52. The Walking Dead #168-173 (Comic)
  53. Return to Woodbury (Novel)
  54. The Walking Dead #174-182 (Comic)
  55. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Done Running (Telltale video game)
  56. The Walking Dead #183 (Comic)
  57. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Suffer the Children (Telltale video game)
  58. The Walking Dead #184-187 (Comic)
  59. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Broken Toys (Telltale video game)
  60. The Walking Dead #188-189 (Comic)
  61. The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Take Us Back (Telltale video game)
  62. The Walking Dead #190-193 (Comic)
  63. Typhoon (Novel)
  64. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners (VR video game)
  65. Negan Lives (Comic)
  66. Clementine Lives (Comic)
  67. Clementine: Book One

The Walking Dead comics: What to read if you’re in a rush

The Walking Dead

Those lists above are pretty exhaustive, covering all of the comics, games, and novels that are set within The Walking Dead comics canon. If that’s all too much and you want to focus on something smaller, then we’re here to break down what you should read if you’re in a rush.

An obvious place to start is the main Walking Dead comic book series. This comprises 193 comics - which is still a lot - but tells one complete, epic tale of post-apocalyptic survival. If you’re coming from the TV show and are worried that it’s all been spoiled, then fear not! The TV universe deviates a lot, so The Walking Dead comics will still hold plenty of surprises.

If you want something more interactive, we’d recommend The Walking Dead Telltale series of video games. They’re set in the same canon as The Walking Dead comics universe and feature many characters from the main series, including Glenn and Jesus. They tell a complete, unique story that’s often regarded as one of the best video game tales of all time, letting you learn more about the comics side without spoiling what happens to Rick and the main group.

The games might appeal more to those who’ve come from the TV side and want to dabble in the comics universe without delving into almost 200 comics. The Telltale games are split into episodes, each of which last around a couple of hours, and let you make important choices to influence the story. They also don’t require much skill with video games, mostly relying on one button prompts or moving a cursor between dialogue options.

If you finish The Walking Dead Telltale video game series and want to pick up a book next, then pick up a copy of Tillie Walden’s Clementine. It’s the first book in an ongoing series that explores Clementine’s journey after the video games, and doesn’t require any prerequisite reading from the main comics series. Bear in mind that there is a short prequel novel named Clementine Lives, which bridges the gap between the end of The Final Season and the first Clementine book.

If you’re inexperienced with The Walking Dead lore, we’d steer clear of most of the prose novels listed here. Most of them tell the story of Woodbury, a key location in The Walking Dead comics, and explore the story of its citizens and leader, the Governor, before and after the comics Woodbury storyline.

However, we would recommend trying out Typhoon if you’re after one short read. It’s set in The Walking Dead comics universe, but takes place in China and has no ties to any of the other media mentioned here. Since it’s completely standalone, it acts as a great taste of The Walking Dead without getting involved into the overall lore of the comics universe.


That wraps up our guide on how to read The Walking Dead comics in order. If you’re more interested in the TV universe, take a look at our The Walking Dead watch order to follow the adventures of Rick and the group on screen.

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Hayden Hefford

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