Name: Michonne — 2005
First Appearance: Walking Dead #19
Robert Kirkman is an acclaimed comic book author and creator of The Walking Dead, Invincible, Haunt and other books under the Image imprint. He has written several stories for Marvel as well. I got to meet him a few years ago and he was seriously the nicest guy ever.
For those of you who don’t know anything about the Walking Dead let me give you the spark notes. Deputy Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to realize a zombie outbreak happened, he looks for his family, he finds his family and works with other survivors to fight zombies and survive.
Michonne survived the outbreak and found Rick’s group while traveling. She joined them on their journey to find a safe place away from the zombies and she was a stand out character the moment she appeared. She’s armed with a katana and two zombies leashed with chains to camouflage her smell from other walkers (zombies can smell living flesh). Brilliant right!?!? When I read that I wondered why it hadn’t been done before! She’s fearless and ready to fight for those she loves.
Not-so-fun-fact, her zombies are her boyfriend and his bestfriend that were turned. She removed their jaws so they wouldn’t be able to bite her and turn her into a walking corpse which is also brilliant.
Before the zombie outbreak she was a lawyer and a divorcee with two missing daughters. Her backstory is a little different in the television show airing on AMC. If you watch the show or read the comics this won’t be a spoiler, but if you’re planning on doing either I’d avoid this next part, you’ve been warned.
***SPOILER — In the comics her encounter with The Governor was a lot more brutal than the TV series. He kidnapped and sexually assaulted her but she got her revenge by mutilating him. She really messed him up…poked an eye out and nailed his…uhm…manpiece…to the ground. He absolutely had it coming.
***END OF SPOILER
Did I mention this is a very R-rated comic book? I’m not sure if it’s better or worse that this book is in black and white so you don’t fully see how gruesome the gore is but it’s still pretty intense since your imagination takes over. I stopped after issue #100 and those of you who watched last season know why. Michonne has no powers but she uses that katana and HANDLES business.
This book definitely isn’t for everyone, but her character is a modern day example of a popular original black character. That’s a win because lately we’ve seen examples of already existing white male characters getting a makeover by either being changed to female (Wolverine, Thor) or a different race. Michonne proves you can make new characters who are black or female and they can be successful.
Michonne was portrayed on television by the fantastic Danai Gurira who recently played Okoye in Black Panther (T’Challa’s general in the Dora Milaje).