|The Heart's Desire|
Volume 4: The Heart's Desire is the fourth volume of The Walking Dead that includes issues 19-24.
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 quickly causes discomfort among the survivors. Her attempt to start a relationship with Tyreese 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 with two chained up, armless and jawless zombies accompanying her, she hears gunshots and follows it, outside is not far from the gates is Otis, he is heading for the prison after he had stayed behind at the Greene Family Farm to take care and manage the livestock, and only now decided to head for safety. He soon ends up surrounded by zombies. He is rescued by Michonne, the mysterious woman at the start, who helps Otis fight off 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 Grimes 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 travels in stating that he was saved by Michonne, Michonne then asks if that has earned her a place to rest, Rick agrees but only is she was to hand over her weapon, which was a katana, and kill the two accompanying zombies.
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, and Carol sees Michonne giving Tyreese a blow job and attempts suicide. 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 most of the time 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!".