The Walking Dead Comic Nearly Ended A Lot Sooner Than Anyone Expected

The Walking Dead Comic Nearly Ended A Lot Sooner Than Anyone Expected
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

The Walking Dead comic has been around for over a decade now. The behemoth series has yielded over a whopping 156 issues so far, and of course, shambled into alternate mediums with seven seasons of the Walking Dead show. But according to Kirkman, at one point the comic was going to be a lot shorter than it currently is.

Speaking at Comic-Con this past weekend, Kirkman discussed his plans to end the comic series — or, more specifically, how his plans to bring the series to an eventual close have mutated as the book has progressed (and gotten more and more popular). But the interesting thing isn’t the fact that Kirkman’s thoughts about how to bring Walking Dead to a close have changed again. It’s what he says immediately after that:

The end has changed. There was one version that would have had it ending as soon as everybody reached Alexandria.

While fans of the TV show have only really seen the events of Rick’s group in the Alexandria Safe-Zone during the last season or so, that happened a long time ago for comic-readers. If Kirkman is being literal, his original plan would have seen the comic end as the survivors reach Alexandria in The Walking Dead #69 which was released in January 2010. That’s just about halfway into the comic’s current life — before Negan, the comic’s most infamous villain, ever showed up, before the death of major characters like Glenn (at Negan’s hand in the 100th issue), before the book’s major timeskip.

The final page of The Walking Dead #69. Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn.

The final page of The Walking Dead #69. Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn.

It’s interesting, because it would have been an uncharacteristically optimistic ending for the series. The final pages of Walking Dead #69 see Rick gleaming as he sees what’s beyond Alexandria’s gate for the first time, a chance for normality and safety — a place to call home after years of barely surviving the apocalypse. It’s a moment in the comics that you could actually describe as happy and filled with hope — a rare thing in the infamously grim world of The Walking Dead. And, you can see why Kirkman would have thought it’d make a good ending for the series.

Clearly, plans have changed. While in the current comics, years later, Rick and his crew are still living in Alexandria having weathered Negan’s assaults and developed a wider community of survivors, it will be interesting to see if Kirkman’s current plans for The Walking Dead‘s ending are still as optimistic as his original one.

[Comic Book Resources]


  • Bloody hell, 10 years? Maybe they should have finished earlier. Don’t exactly want another One Piece on our hands.

    • Too late!!! TWD has flogged a dead horse til it came back, put a bullet in its head, revived it again and it’s loading the gun yet again… Kirkmans claimed 100 issues once, now 200. Rumours are he may say 300. Ugh. It’s so shitful now he may as well just have someone trigger a nuke and end it all.

  • I kind of lost interest after the Negan stuff…..after that they all seemed quite set up[ and it lost its OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE edge.

    Anyone who kept reading, did it pick back up or was I right to pretend the comics ended there??

    • It went really slow for a bit with the Whisperers who were sort of an allegory for terrorist infiltrators etc. It’s a bit hamfisted, but now Negans out and about messing shit up again in the comics, its picking up a bit more. But the worst thing they did imho, was making Rick age to be an old man

  • The whole Negan saga (101 to 126ish) was dreadfully boring. Governor 2.0, if you ask me. I’m quite pessimistic about the TV show’s next season.

    Even though I was disappointed with the story arc, Negan’s monologue was quite amusing, which I thought was the story’s one redeeming quality. After the last episode of the TV series, I felt they totally missed the mark with actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Very lacking in comic Negan’s charisma, enthusiasm and presence.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!