** Comic spoilers ahead, if you haven’t read the comics but are planning on it don’t read any further**
This season The Walking Dead has met up with the comic storyline and followed it more closely than it has before. Showrunner Scott Gimple has said repeatedly that while the TV show references the comics as source material the show does not and will not follow the comics 100%.
There are several characters on the TV show, like Daryl Dixon, that don’t exist in the comics. Other characters have been made into composites of several characters in the comics. Still the major characters and the major events in the show have mirrored the comics. With the group arriving at the Alexandria Safe-Zone the show is now lining up more closely than ever with the comics. Will the show continue to follow the storyline that takes place in Alexandria in the comics?
Safe in the Safe-Zone?
For the moment the answer seems to be yes. The Season Five finale of The Walking Dead gave life to several important events that take place in Alexandria in the comics while at the same time setting up one of the more important storylines in The Walking Dead. If the show continues to go along the same path as the comics then in Season Six the survivors should be introduced to the Hilltop settlement and start to find other settlements in the area. Then of course, probably in the mid-season finale, audiences will finally meet Negan. Negan is the worst villain in The Walking Dead comics and is known for killing people with a wire wrapped baseball bat. In the comics he kills Glenn by beating him to death with the bat to make him an example after Rick and the others kill some of his thugs. Many people think that instead of Glenn Daryl will end up getting killed by Negan. Time will tell.
Negan Coming in Season Six?
Negan will be appearing in the TV show according to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple and Gale Ann Hurd. They have also said separately that for the next season or two the show will closely follow the comics, with a few minor changes. So it’s safe to assume that the group will be staying at the Alexandria Safe-Zone for the immediate future. After that it’s impossible to know where the writers will take the story. Scott Gimple and Robert Kirkman have said that Negan hasn’t even been cast yet and they are having trouble figuring out how to write for the character because the character is known for swearing and they would have to adapt the character for TV. So sorry to all the fans who were sure they’d see Negan in Season Five, but it will most likely be Season Six or Season Seven before Negan is introduced.
The Negan Storyline
If the TV show sticks to the Negan storyline in the comic it will give fans another piece of the puzzle when it comes to seeing the world after the apocalypse. In the comics there are other communities like Alexandria that are full of survivors and the groups will often trade or communicate. Negan is essentially a gangster who provides “protection” from walkers to the communities who are forced to pay tribute in the form of food and supplies. Rick and the other survivors get in the way of that supply line, which is why Negan decides to make an example of Glenn. Some even that have already occurred in the show, like the threat of Carl getting raped, occur in the comic in the Negan storyline.
Fear The Walking Dead
Even if the storyline follows the comics for the course of the Negan storyline it will most likely divert after that. Robert Kirkman has said that while Fear The Walking Dead, the spinoff show, will start as a prequel eventually it will catch up the original TV show storyline. That means that the TV show will have to have an independent storyline that can incorporate characters and events from Fear The Walking Dead as well as The Walking Dead.