Even though they are two very different entities, the comic-book version and televised version of ‘The Walking Dead’ share many similarities in their plot points, ongoing story arcs, and overall visions. One thing that both certainly share a propensity for is killing off main characters – TWD definitely rivals fellow from-the-printed-page-to-the-small-screen property ‘Game of Thrones’ in that regard. In a world overrun by flesh-eating zombies, death is to be expected, of course, but it’s still a bit of a jolt to see who gets it and how they are done in. In the most recent issue of ‘The Walking Dead’ comic, readers got a doozy, on both counts.
WARNING: the following article contains heavy spoilers about ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book series and potential spoilers for the television show. Read on at your own risk!
In ‘The Walking Dead’ #156, Negan escapes from Alexandria, where he has been held prisoner since attempting and failing to take over the town. The fact that Rick has kept him alive all this time has been a fairly decent point of right-call-versus-bad-call debate for the readers, but not nearly as big as Rick’s recent propensity to use Negan as a twisted version of a church confessional, confiding in Negan many of Rick’s deepest secrets and insecurities.
Wouldn’t you know it, Negan manages to escape, and he is determined to put his new-found information to good use. He gets connected with The Whisperers, a group that uses the skins and innards of the undead to disguise themselves as walkers. The Whisperers are known to the group of Alexandrians, and we’ve seen them many times in the comics, with rumors that the group may make an appearance on AMC’s TV show sometime soon-ish. Negan quickly ingratiates himself with the leader of the group, the woman named Alpha; there’s actually some flirtatiousness between the two, which is quite unexpected. But when Negan witnesses members of The Whisperers getting ready to rape another member of the group, he loses it; for as much of a bad guy as Negan is, he still lives by a code that he considers honorable. The bad things he does are a means to an end, but not done out of pleasure or evil.
Negan confronts Alpha, and they have, let’s call it, a “spirited debate” about the workings of the world they now live in and how things are “supposed to be.” The scene culminates in another Walking Dead shock moment: Negan kills Alpha (if you thought that view of the two on the cover was of the duo in a romantic embrace, you now know how wrong you were).
Almost as shocking as the actual killing itself are the next few panels: as readers start to wonder if Negan will now make a play to become to leader of The Whisperers, Negan beheads Alpha and utters, “Wait until Rick gets a look at you.” Is Negan working with Rick somehow? Does he intend to give Rick Alpha’s head as some sort of gift or peace offering? Is he hoping to make Alpha’s death look like the work of the Alexandrians? ‘The Walking Dead’ is making our minds reel with this big move – next month’s issue can’t hit the comic shops fast enough!
Tony Schaab wishes Mars would attack, just once time – at least then we could all go back and watch the historical document ‘Mars Attacks!’ to see how our ancestors handled it back in the day. A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Facebook and Twitter to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.