The Walking Dead‘s mid season finale was a whopper. (Didja read our review?)  The massive firefight at the prison gates was a moment comic book fans had been anticipating even before the survivors ever looked upon its dank, dirty walls. And with the fallout still to come, showrunner Scott Gimple shares in what state we’ll find Rick and Carl when the series returns. Creator Robert Kirkman, however, is looking even further into the future and teasing when we might see the comic’s current major baddie, Negan, come to TV.

SPOILERS, obviously.

With The Governor now definitely out of the picture, there must be another villain waiting to make Rick’s life even more hellish than it already is, right? Could that be Negan? The foul-mouthed, baseball bat swinging, skull crushing leader of “The Saviors”, a group of no-good mercenaries who offer protection in return for outrageous demands of supplies. Kirkman spoke to Entertainment Weekly confirming there are plans for Negan to appear, eventually,

Well, there was a lot of breathing room in the comics between them. Whether or not we have the same amount of breathing room, or if we do cut that down a little bit and bring him into the show a little early remains to be seen. But I definitely do think there needs to be some kind of space from a Governor into a Negan. You have to have something of a break in there. So I wouldn’t expect him to be showing up — definitely not in season 4. I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect it too soon. But we are all very excited about the prospect of bringing that guy into the show. The plan is that we will see him eventually.

While the two megalomaniacs are somewhat similar, there is a lot that happens in between The Governor dying and meeting Negan. Even more importantly, Rick is a different man when he meets Negan, having been changed by his interactions with The Governor and his activities post-prison.

Speaking of Rick, Gimple teased to TV Guide how we’ll find Rick and his son, Carl, when The Walking Dead returns,

It’s going to hit [Rick] in a way that we haven’t seen before. If it’s just the two of them, [Carl is] going to have to step up quite a bit because circumstances are wildly different and a lot will depend on him in terms of them just surviving. They don’t have an awesome, dual-layer fence and brick buildings to hide behind. They’re out in the world.

We’ve already seen Carl have to grow up quite a bit since Season 1, and if they keep things close to what went down in the comics, Carl’s going to have grow up even more, and faster, now that he’s keeping him and his father alive. No more, “Stay in the house, Carl!”

The Walking Dead returns to AMC in February. What do you think is in store for all those separate groups who fled the prison? What of little baby, Judith? Is she still alive?

Sources: EW, TV Guide via Blastr

Category: Comics, TV

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