6 'Walking Dead' Comics Storylines We're Hoping to See in Season 9 (PHOTOS)
Negan in the prison cell
In the comics, the time after All Out War is a humbling experience for Negan — well, to some extent. During the time jump, he lives in a cell in Alexandria, using a bucket as a toilet and having food brought to him by members of the community. It’s a far fall from where he was, as the leader of the Saviors.
During that time, Negan also forms a strange bond with Carl Grimes, who comes to talk to him most days (even though the one-eyed-wonder still wants to kill him). Since the show no longer has a Carl to bond with Negan, it seems this role will likely fall to the Kingdom’s Henry, or even to Enid.
The Whisperers are perhaps one of the largest comic arcs the TV show hasn’t yet reached (though the Comic-Con trailer made it apparent they’re coming). Unlike several of the other groups Rick and his team have encountered, the Whisperers don’t fear walkers; they live among them, and use walker skins as “suits” in order to camouflage themselves among the dead.
Trouble brews between Rick’s group and the Whisperers when they attack Jesus’ search party for a missing member of the community. From there, things escalate — and eventually, a war begins.
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Heads on Pikes
A key part of that war — or at least the road to it — involves the Whisperers’ version of Negan’s lineup in Season 7. Rather than bashing in the heads of several of Rick’s friends, the Whisperers’ leader, Alpha, decapitates 12 of them and puts their heads on pikes at the border between “Rick’s Territory” and their territory.
Among the decapitated members of Team Alexandria are Rosita and Ezekiel. Though it seems likely the show will adapt this scene in some way, it remains to be seen who would get the pike treatment, especially since the show will be taking a heavy loss in the first half of the season with Rick’s departure. Ezekiel and Jerry could very well be two of Alpha's victims...
Magna and Her Group
Another key comics feature of the Comic-Con trailer included Magna, Yumiko, and the rest of their group. Team Magna become important players in the Whisperer War and the storylines that come afterward, including The Commonwealth.
Magna eventually earns a great deal of Rick’s respect and trust; it’ll be interesting to see if she’s still able to do so with so few episodes left for Alexandria’s leader.
The Commonwealth is likely a long shot for this season, considering it doesn’t appear until after the Whisperers’ arc. That said, there have been several nods to the affluent community of survivors in Ohio, namely a windmill in the trailer bearing the community’s name. The Commonwealth houses nearly 50,000 survivors and has no shortage of fancy equipment, food, and other things that might be in short supply elsewhere.
The Commonwealth is led by Pamela Milton, whom many fans think has already shown up in the TV series in the form of “Georgie.” She handed Maggie a journal full of tips on how to rebuild their society, and even looks quite a bit like her comics counterpart. If she doesn’t show up again in Season 9, it seems likely she’ll resurface in Season 10.
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC
Lydia’s arc in the comics is essential to both Carl’s story and the larger story of the Whisperer War. Initially, Lydia is the Hilltop’s prisoner after Jesus captures her — she and Carl then fall for each other. Horribly mistreated by her mother, Alpha, and the rest of the Whisperers, she wants to stay with Rick’s group instead of returning to her camp.
Her romance with Carl is one of the key components that starts the war — of course, that won’t be the case on the show. It seems likely that Henry will take this component of Carl’s arc as well as his bond with Negan.
Season 9 of The Walking Dead is almost here, and anticipation to find out what'll happen in the next 16 episodes — and how the show will handle the imminent departure of its leading man — is at an all-time high.
Trailers and clips can offer some insight, but so can the source material on which the show is based.
Click through the gallery above for six storylines from the comics we're hoping to see play out in the upcoming season.
Plus, Maggie's status in the new season, and the fates of Negan & Jadis.