|The Heart's Desire|
The group manages to quell Dexter's rebellion and further secure the prison. At the same time, a katana-wielding woman named Michonne arrives at the prison seeking refuge. Her arrival leads to a major schism within the group, and Rick's role as leader is questioned as the others start to fear for his sanity. The volume ends with one simple proclamation that will forever change the survivors of The Walking Dead.
The volume starts with a mysterious woman accompanied by two chained up, armless, jawless zombies. She hears the sound of gunshots and follows it. She finds 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 becomes 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 while 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 suddenly runs off suicidally through the open prison gates; Axel allies with the other survivors. The gates are then opened and Otis enters stating that he was saved by Michonne, who 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 kill the two zombies accompanying her.
While cleaning out the rest of the prison, Allen is bitten in the leg. Rick, Axel, Dale and Tyreese carry Allen out to the yard where Rick amputates Allen's infected limb, hoping to stop the infection in time. Hershel arrives and helps by cutting some of Axel's hair to stop the bleeding. Hershel and the others finally start working on 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 oral sex. Carol sees the two together and attempts to commit suicide. She fails, and Rick confronts Tyreese, blaming him for what happened to Carol. Tyreese announces that he saw Rick kill Dexter. The argument soon spirals out of control and the two brawl, which ends after Rick 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.
While being confronted by Hershel and Michonne, Rick 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 one of four "co-leaders", 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.