Well folks, we're less than a month away from San Diego Comic-Con, which means that we're less than a month away from The Walking Dead's season eight trailer!
Already, fans are beginning to speculate about which comic characters will be introduced in season eight, but there's a problem with that game. We're seven full seasons in and a fair number of fans still don't understand that not every comic character is guaranteed an appearance in the show. In fact, plenty of impactful comic characters from earlier arcs never even made it into the show!
On the eve of season eight news, can you tell us which characters who originated in the comic book made it onto the small screen? We could give you options like Rick and Carl, but this is for the true The Walking Dead fan who knows all mediums better than they know their partner.
Because The Walking Dead television show has been able to loosely adapt characters and reinvent those from the comics into different versions (i.e. making Denise Cloyd a lesbian in season six rather than her being hetereosexual in the graphic novel), the easiest way to determine if a comic character really made it into the show is if that person's name, gender, and general character remain the same in both adaptions.
In addition, comic characters that are fused together in an adaption or are turned into entirely new characters with the same plot (i.e. Sasha's death in season seven was a different character's in the comic) do not count. If you're confused as to what that means, think of it like this: in the show, two of the Saviors are named Gavin and Simon; in the comic, Gavin is the same character; and there are a couple of different personality things, but he's more or less the same character.
Simon, however, takes elements from Connor and another unnamed Savior; meaning, he's a completely different character. Things will change between adaptions–one character on this list, for example, was on Rick's side in the comics but on Woodbury in the show–but the character has the same basic elements.
And no, name changes do not count. If Douglas Monroe were on this list, he would be marked as a no because Alexandria's leader in the show is Deanna Monroe.
If all of this makes sense and you're ready to deal with MAJOR comic book spoilers, let's do this!
We start our list off with...a character from the Telltale games? If you've yet to play The Walking Dead games, you may be surprised to know that they share a universe with the comic books. Hershel, Glenn, and Paul 'Jesus' Monroe are all among comic characters to show up in the game series. Shawn, who was seen as a walker in the comic, appears in the game's pilot episode before being killed by walkers. Does Shawn, in either form, show up on the show? No pun intended.
Shawn's brother and an extremely minor character who is only there to show Hershel's idiocy for locking the walkers up, it's pretty much telling that most pictures on Google show Arnold getting eaten or put down. That's how short his time in the book was; and, although Shawn will get a mention later, Arnold is pretty much forgotten about once we hit the prison. Does anyone care? Maybe. Do I care? No. Was he in the show? I'm not answering that.
For the first two volumes of the comic book, walkers were the main danger. Yes, Shane and Hershel each nearly killed Rick, but those were in moments of anger. We had yet to meet someone truly out for blood...until we came into contact with Thomas Richards, a serial killer who claimed that he was in prison for tax evasion. In reality, as the Telltale game explains, he was arrested for the brutal murder and butchering of his wife. Who would marry him? Was this guy in the show?
Yes, there are better pictures of Donna than this one. But I don't think anyone other than her husband was sad to see her go. A judgmental soccer mom who was clearly unfit for the apocalypse–both physically and mentally–Donna was killed off pretty early when the group, having left the outskirts of Atlanta, stayed in the wealthy Wiltshire Estates. While making the escape, Donna was. Well, the picture is all that needs to be said. Was Donna on the show?
Here's how minor Ben and Billy really are to the plot. There are very few times when they're drawn without one another. For reference, Billy is the one in the back, asking Ben what he's doing. Twin children of Donna and Allen, the only impact the two have on the plot was when Ben, not seeing the real danger in the zombies, kills his brother but doesn't let him reanimate. Poor Billy. This plot was adapted into the show with Lizzie and Mika, but did Billy still show up?
Bruce Allan Cooper
One of the Governor's main henchmen, Bruce Allan Cooper is known for three things—his bald head, his loyalty to the man formerly known as Brian Blake, and his bald head. What is it with the comics' obsession of making evil people bald? When Martinez travels with the group back to the prison, Bruce officially steps up as The Governor's second-in-command, even helping to save the man's life after Michonne mutilated him. Meeting his death before the war against the prison, The Governor is upset when he has to put the man down. Was Bruce in the show?
Did you know that Tyreese was an NFL player prior to the outbreak? Well, technically, he was an NFL player about five years BEFORE the outbreak. But, the point remains; and like many ex-football players, he's extremely protective of his family. Even as he sees the world crumble around him, Tyreese will do anything he can to protect Julie, his teenage daughter, although her boyfriend, Chris, isn't too high on his favorites list. Did we see Julie in the show?
No, this is not the Chris that dates Julie, but the leader of a group commonly referred to as The Hunters, a group of cannibals that Rick and friends encounter after the prison. Chris is a savage man with a twisted past, implying that he and his group were forced to kill and eat THEIR OWN CHILDREN to survive. What?? Considering this was immediately after the prison arc, many fans were shocked by the tone, although that didn't stop them from loving it. Was Chris in the show?
Earlier, we mentioned that Holly's death in the comic books–dying while imprisoned by Negan and being returned to the group as a walker–was given to Sasha. But this woman was more than a casualty of the Militia-Saviors War. The girlfriend of Abraham Ford following his breakup with Rosita Espinosa, Holly is a strong soldier that aids the group through various conflicts, human and zombie alike. Even with her death being given to Sasha, did we see Holly in the show?
Although Thomas Richards is the first human antagonist that Rick and friends come into conflict with, his fellow inmate, Dexter, isn't much better. Convicted of murdering his wife and her lover prior to the apocalypse, Dexter quickly feuds with Rick, especially when the ex-cop believes the prisoner to be guilty of murdering two of Hershel's daughters. Dexter meets his end shortly thereafter by Rick, who shoots him when both sides are fighting a zombie herd. Did Dexter ever appear in the show?
Without hospitals and checkups in the zombie apocalypse, every group should attempt to have someone with medical training–even if they have to learn it during the apocalypse–with them. For Rick and friends, Alice Warren serves this role alongside Hershel Greene after escaping from Woodbury. A college student who was an interior design major prior to the outbreak, Alice became a fine doctor under Woodbury's Dr. Stevens before meeting her end during the prison battle. Was she in the show?
Upon arriving at the Alexandria Safe-Zone, it was easy for Rick and the other survivors to dismiss their new neighbors as weak and inexperienced. But that doesn't mean there weren't SOME talented members of the community. Meet Scott, part of the scouting team along with Heath who would go out, scavenge, and return back. Injured in the line of duty, Scott's body refused to take antibiotics to heal a broken leg, slowly killing the scavenger. Did Scott appear in the show?
Another member of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Mikey is also among the youngest, being friends with Carl and Ron (not the crappy Ron from the show who TOTALLY should have been shipped with Carl, by the way). The son of Nicholas (BOOOO! oh wait, different version) and Paula, Mikey quickly gets into a fight with Carl when he asks to see the survivor's gun; but all turns out well and Mikey eventually becomes a valued member of the community. Is he in the show as well?
One of the Hilltop Colony's guards and protectors, Eduardo doesn't appear to be much early on, especially with Paul 'Jesus' Monroe being the main a*s-kicker of the Hilltop. Like Carl, Eduardo is looked at as someone who should avoid conflict because he's much younger than everyone–he's roughly around college age–but grows to be a suitable protector for the Hilltop. It always seems like when death is going to hit the Hilltop, Eduardo will pay; but he's still around as of issue #168. Did he make it to the show?
"Spencer–I think I've maybe said two words to the guy, but he seems like he's got our best interests in mind. I think the good Lord himself brought Rick here to protect us." Credit goes to Erin here–one of the really minor characters in Alexandria–for not only keeping her faith in the apocalypse, but understanding that THE NEW WORLD NEEDS RICK GRIMES. Why does it take characters so long to understand that in both mediums? Well, did Erin ever get it in the show if she appeared?
Like Eduardo, Brianna is a member of the Hilltop, although she's one with a tragic backstory actually explained to the reader. Coming from a large family, Brianna lost a daughter, sister, brother, and husband to the apocalypse while losing a 12-year-old son and an aunt prior to the world's end. Credits to her for staying strong! A reliable member of the Militia who has grown to become a babysitter for Hershel Greene Jr., the Hilltop needs Brianna like the new world needs Rick Grimes. Well, maybe. Is Brianna in the show?
From surviving characters to one who has been nearly dead for 150 issues, Allen is a family man and a former shoe salesman confronted with tragedy when the judgmental woman mentioned above meets her end at Wiltshire Estates. For a time, Allen is justifiably broken–although him calling Andrea the c word was a bit uncalled for–but as he is slowly figuring things out, he's bitten by a walker and dies from blood loss after an amputation. Did we see Allen's tragedy on the show?
We mentioned Billy Greene earlier and pretty much everything from there applies here. He's another one of Hershel's children, although he and Maggie are the ones that last the longest. Although we don't get a major character arc from him the way we do with Maggie, we do get to see what it's like for a teenager caught between so many different angles will do in the apocalypse. Too bad he died before we got any real characterization from him, though. Was he in the show?
Like Bruce Allan Cooper, Eugene Cooney serves as another of the Governor's main henchmen, although his expertise comes in the community's arena fights–you know, the ones staged with walkers so idiots don't fear them–until Michonne and her katana decapitate him in the ring. Yeah, that doesn't go over well with The Governor, but did anyone really miss Eugene? We like the other Eugene much, much more, but this Eugene had a couple nice moments. Was Eugene in the show?
Look, when the zombie apocalypse happens, people are going to be a bit crazy and shaken up by the way the world changes. We get that. But Patricia, a well-meaning farm girl, does so much wrong in such a short period of time that it's a miracle the group keeps her around. From letting Thomas Richards out of his cell to partnering with Dexter to even sleeping with a teenager...what is wrong with you, Patrica? Did we see her in the show?
Alexandria's Bruce, a completely different character than the Bruce from Woodbury, is known for two things—his signature sunglasses and his "the reason we suck" speech to fellow construction worker Abraham Ford. "You think we're the strongest, or the fastest, sent out to build this wall. But you saw all those guys—they're just the dumbest. We're the dumbest. The most expendable." That makes so much sense, although Bruce proves to be far from expendable as he helps protect the community. Has the show featured Bruce?
Currently in the show, we have a group called The Scavengers that speaks in broken English (we take, we don't bother!) and is led by a woman who is the offspring of Spock and wants to sleep with Rick. In the comics, we had a group called The Scavengers that is led by a man named Derek, who wants to pillage the Alexandria Safe-Zone after being led there by a gunshot noise. Did we ever see Derek in the show?
Well, this picture is probably all that you need to know about Kal. But, we'll explain a bit more about him. One of the Hilltop's main protectors and a mentor for the younger soldiers–that includes Eduardo–Kal takes part in the Militia-Saviors War and even has the balls to threaten Negan at one point in the show. How about that? Rather than beat his brains in with Lucille, Negan instead orders Kal to be shot. Woof! Do we see Kal in the show?
No, we're not talking about Alanna Masterson's Tara. So, reconsider immediately hitting yes if you're bothering reading these. One of the few female Savior soldiers that we see on screen (we're discounting the wives when we say that), Tara has the distinct fact of joining the Saviors' army rather than becoming one of Negan's wives; a fact that earned her the respect of many readers. While we're still being introduced to Saviors in the show, was Tara one of them?
Who? Come on, you have to know this one if you're a true Walking Dead fan! The younger brother of Rick Grimes and ex-classmate of Lori Grimes, we follow Jeffrey around in the outbreak's early days...not in America, but in Barcelona! This isn't a fan fiction, but an actual story released in April 2016 titled 'The Alien' which you should definitely check out if you haven't already. We've seen Jeffrey in the comics, but what about in the show?