Negan On 'The Walking Dead' Vs. The Comics: How AMC Is Adapting This Terrifying Villain For TV
If you're a Walking Dead fan, congratulations, you did it. You made it through what was possibly the toughest hiatus of all time, waiting to find out who Negan killed with his barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat in the Season 6 finale. And while I'm obviously eager to find out the answer to that cliffhanger in the Season 7 premiere on Oct. 23, I'm actually more curious to see how Negan on The Walking Dead TV series will compare to the comics. While what we've seen of the character so far has some major similarities to Robert Kirkman's comics, the show is promising to make some changes in order to maximize the drama that will come out of the addition of this big bad.
So far, Negan has only appeared in the Season 6 finale, but the Saviors, his group of brutal survivors that have fought their way through the zombie apocalypse by stealing resources from other groups, have been a part of The Walking Dead for a while. That's accurate to what happens in the comics, where there's also a buildup that shows how terrifying the Saviors are before Negan is introduced. But the comics have a luxury that I don't think the TV show will be able to capture — the comics can flash back in time to reveal what Negan was like before Rick met him. Here's what you should know about Negan in the comics that could make its way to the series, as well as some ways the character has already deviated from his origins.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Looks The Part
The Walking Dead always manages to find actors that are a perfect physical match to their comic book counterparts. The only true physical difference is that the show gave Negan a beard, while in the comics he's clean-shaven with hair that's slicked back so severely that it becomes a geometric shape. But part of what makes Morgan perfect for the role is how he carries himself and pulls off Negan's leather jacket, which is as important to the character as his evil personality.
His Relationship With His Bat
According to the comic book prequel, Here's Negan, Lucille, Negan's bat, is named as a tribute to his late wife. While it's not clear if the series will explain this name or any other part of Negan's backstory, Morgan already seems totally natural with the bat in his hand and clearly, it's a key part of his TV story.
That Murder Wasn't A Mystery
The comics had to reveal who Negan's first kill was a little more quickly, and the victim, sadly, was Glenn. However, the TV series writers let that mystery linger for the entire hiatus and depending on what happens in the Season 7 premiere, this could be one huge similarity between TV and comic Negan, or one of the first major differences if he kills someone else.
His Many Wives
In the comics, Negan is surrounded by a group of women who have been taken in by the Saviors as his multiple "wives." Though we have seen that there are multiple female Saviors on the TV series, they haven't explained their connection to Negan yet, so the show could change this plot point or reveal it in Season 7 as we get to know him and his followers.
He's Totally Evil
As Morgan said in the above featurette, Negan is a pure villain who will not bend in favor of Rick and the other survivors. I think based on everything he's done in the comics and the show so far, that's one trait that remain consistent, even if other aspects of the character change.
Fans only know a few things about the TV version of Negan, but the comics have tons of information that The Walking Dead can mine — or ignore — as it adapts its scariest villain yet.
Images: Gene Page/AMC (4); Giphy