There is no doubt that ordering an editor "give me something just like WALKING DEAD", having them hire the best available work-for-hire types and then expecting marketing to move the book would probably not produce anything worth reading. However, it is worth noting that exactly that plan is how the vast majority of mainstream superhero comics are produced.
The "lightening in a bottle" formula is actually not that complicated: get talented creators and give them the freedom to something personally meaningful. That is why the great stuff almost always happens on the margins. The people working on the fringe have more freedom. How many people cared about the UNCANNY X-MEN before Claremont & Byrne, or DAREDEVIL before Frank Miller, or SWAMP THING before Alan Moore? Did anyone in '98 think that STORMWATCH would produce the template for the next decade of mainstream superheroes? Heck, how many people thought WALKING DEAD itself was anything other than Kirkman's stepping stone toward becoming a "Marvel Architect"?
In contrast, the stuff most people fell in love with has had the life choked out out it. They are so controlled that they have lost the ability to cause joy.