The Walking Dead: Are We Ready For Negan?
April 2nd, 2016 | by James Morgan
The Walking Dead is the AMC’s highest rated show and with the season 6 finale vast approaching, fans have very eagerly awaited the arrival of the next big bad – Negan. He’s been mentioned all through season 6 without ever actually making an appearance, these show runners really know how to tease an entrance, and here is why it will pay off.
For those who don’t want exposure to Negan’s back story, please consider this a spoiler alert.
The Walking Dead hasn’t really had a proper villain since the Governor, who was last seen being dispatched by Rick Grimes in the season four mid–season finale. Since then, we have had the ‘claimed’ guys, the cannibals at Terminus, Dawn and her Grady memorial hospital bunch, The wolves and Dr Pete all of which take up the mantle of Walking Dead antagonist, but these never last more than five episodes. Needless to say it would be nice to have someone give Rick and his gang a run for their money.
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In the Walking Dead comics, Negan is the leader of the Saviours, he is a calculated and intelligent psychopath who bullies settlements like the Hilltop community and Alexandra into exchanging goods for protection against the undead. He carries a baseball bat coated in barb wire which he calls Lucille and loves to drop the F-bomb. In the comic universe, he kills a main character on the group’s first meeting, takes a shine to Carl and is still alive to this day, so fingers crossed the TV show stays true to the comics, because the fans are ready for All Out War.
Negan is going to be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is no stranger to television. Morgan started his TV career as John Winchester in Supernatural, the father of the two main protagonists Sam and Dean. In every scene he was in he had a major screen presence and always stole the show. Since then he has made some appearances in The Good Wife and Extant to prove that he has range in TV. Morgan will no doubt be a very likeable villain, he has that charm to make believe he is honourable and likeable and can also shift into violent and sociopathic. I expect him to bring to the table what Vincent D’onofrio brought to Netflix’s Daredevil.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s most famous role and probably the most similar to Negan is the Comedian in the comic book movie adaptation Watchmen (2009). Edward Blake Aka the Comedian was an amorally cynical gun – toting vigilante who had little regard for social convention and human life. He sees the word as a sadistic joke that only he understand. Negan is very much the same in the sense that he believes the saviours are saving the world and rebuilding civilization, sure he is very much sadistic in how he rebuilds but he is not without his values. He kills one of his own ‘Saviours’ for trying to commit rape, and justifies this by saying “how are we supposed to rebuild civilization this way?” He has layers to his character which are very complex, on one hand he defends women and on the other hand he burns members of the Saviours faces for being disobedient.
The Walking Dead television series has kept its version of Negan very well hidden, with notable mentions from the start. One thing is for sure, he is nearly here. With Glenn, Michonne, Rosita and Daryl being taken hostage by Dwight and the Saviours in this week’s episode East, fans are now speculating whether Negan’s first appearance with be true to The Walking Dead comics.
Negan makes his first appearance in the season finale titled Last Day On Earth (See Video) and I really hope it was worth the wait.
James Morgan is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @thecamerasuite