The Walking Dead, Book Two - Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard Anther fantastic entry in the series! This volume contains "Safety Behind Bars" and "The Heart's Desire"Safety Behind Bars starts out with the band of travelers moving into an abandoned prison. Except, the prison isn't so abandoned - they meet four inmates that have been left behind in a cleared cell block and are surviving on the prison's massive food stockpile. The group settles into an uneasy truce and starts clearing the yard and remaining areas of C block, but conflict is never far behind. Tyreece's daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris have a suicide pact that goes horribly wrong, but allows Rick and Tyreece to discover that the zombie virus (or whatever it is that reanimates the dead) isn't spread by bites. The bites will kill you, but you will come back as a zombie no matter how you die. Rick brings Herschel and his family (from the farm in "Miles Behind Us") to the prison with the idea that they can turn the yard into a farm and start growing their own food in safety. The rest of the group settles into the prison, but tensions are starting to escalate in the personal relationships. Lori and Rick aren't getting along well and other groups and couples are starting to have major disagreements now that the immediate danger from the zombies has been held back by the prison fences.The situation comes to a head when two of Herschel's daughters are beheaded. Lori and the others immediately suspect Dexter, who admitted to being in prison for murdering his wife and her boyfriend when the group arrived at the prison. Rick starts to investigate, but starts having a much harder time controlling his temper. Eventually Andrea is attacked by Thomas, another prisoner who looked like a mild-mannered accountant and said he was convicted of tax evasion. Turns out he's a total psycho and the killer. Rick almost beats him to death, then sentences him to die for the murders. Thomas is fed to the zombies after Patricia tries to free him and he attacks her too. Dexter is cleared, but so angry with the way he's been treated that he breaks into A block, where the guards kept their weapons and forces the group to leave at gunpoint.The Heart's Desire picks up with the zombies that were in A block attacking the standoff between Dexter and Rick. Dexter forgot they were wandering around in his haste to get the guns and get the group out of the prison, and it ends up creating the distraction that Rick needs to get rid of Dexter with a shot to the head in the melee. Once their takeover of the prison is complete, Herschel sets to work getting the yard turned into a farm and Rick proposes clearing out A block to give the group more room. This volume introduces a new character in Michonne, a lone woman who walks up to the prison gates with two zombie "pets." The group lets her in, but is wary - wondering how she made it on her own for so long. She settles in, but starts causing trouble when she recognizes Tyreece from his NFL days and hooks up with him. Carol sees them, breaks up with Tyreece and tries to kill herself over the breakup. Rick flips out and he and Tyreece have a huge brawl with both accusing each other of violating the group's unspoken code of conduct. The volume ends with the group showing the strain of their situation and struggling with coming to grips with their new reality.The fractures in the group and the character development really move forward in this story. I thought that it was very effective to remove the zombie threat for a little while and focus on the interpersonal relationships that have developed in a time of intense stress and chaos. Now that the group can get out of the immediate crisis and survival mode, they're back to "normal" and you can see more of their individual characters. Lori isn't quite so happy to have Rick back anymore and you can see the strain that their relationship was under prior to his shooting. Carol's needy character starts to become more apparent, cracks start to show in Tyreece's facade, while Andrea and Dale's relationship grows stronger. I'm really looking forward to volume 3!