|The Heart's Desire|
The group manages to quell Dexter's rebellion and begin to further secure The Prison. At the same time, a katana-wielding woman named Michonne arrives at the prison seeking refuge. Her arrival leads to the first major schism within the group, and Rick is sidelined as leader as the others start to fear for his sanity. The volume ends with one simple proclamation that will forever change the survivors thinking of their own humanity.
The volume starts with a mysterious woman accompanied by two chained up, armless, jawless zombies. She hears the sound of gunshots and follows it, finding Otis, who is heading for the prison for safety after having stayed behind at the Greene Family Farm to take care of and manage the livestock. He soon ends up surrounded by zombies. He is rescued by the mysterious woman, Michonne, who kills the zombies.
Inside the prison yards, a horde of zombies pour out from Block A after Andrew forgot to close the prison doors after gaining weapons from the armory within. Dexter and the other survivors are forced to work together to wipe out the zombies. Rick waits for an opportunity and shoots Dexter in the head. When the battle ends, he claims Dexter must have caught a stray round. Tyreese saw the shot, but says nothing. Andrew runs off suicidally through the open prison gates without a word. Axel allies with the other survivors. The gates are then opened and Otis enters stating that he was saved by Michonne, who then asks if the deed has earnt her a place to rest. Rick agrees, but only if she were to hand over her weapon, (a katana), and also kill the two zombies accompanying her.
While cleaning out the rest of the prison, Allen is bitten on the leg. Rick, Axel, Dale and Tyreese carry Allen out to the yard where Rick amputates Allen's infected leg, hoping to catch the infection in time, Hershel then shows up and helps by cutting some of Axel's horse-like hair to stop the bleeding. Hershel and the others finally start up the garden while Dale and Andrea promise Allen that they will care of Ben and Billy for him.
Michonne seduces Tyreese, proceeding to give him a blow job. Carol sees the two together and attempts suicide. However, Carol survives, and Rick confronts Tyreese, blaming him for Carol trying to kill herself. Tyreese announces that he saw Rick kill Dexter. The argument soon spirals out of control as they call the other one insane and the two fight, which ends after Rick mysteriously blacks out and falls over a railing. Andrea comes down to tell everyone that Allen has died either from the infection or from blood loss. Rick then shoots Allen, preventing reanimation, and while being confronted by Hershel and Michonne, passes out once again. When he awakens, he learns that the entire group now knows about Dexter's murder. They have decided that the pressure of being their "leader" is beginning to cause him to crack, and they have made him merely one of four "co-leaders," with the others being Tyreese, Dale and Hershel. Rick meets with the others outside to explain his reasons for killing Dexter, and that they are going to have to start acting like savages if they are to survive, and they will have to stop deluding themselves that society can ever be rebuilt the way it was. He finally screams out "You think we hide behind walls to protect us from the walking dead?! Don't you get it?! We are The Walking Dead!".
- This is the last volume in which the issue covers are drawn by Tony Moore.