Are you an avid watcher of The Walking Dead who thought both the comics and TV series were the same? Or are you one of the many wringing their hands in despair because you find the two completely different?
Top characters and storylines may play out quite differently on screen as opposed to in ink but the creator of the comic, Alan Kirkman, and the maker of TWD TV series, Scott Gimple have made sure that the basic structure of the comic doesn’t lose its integrity. We’ve already revealed that Daryl doesn’t exist on paper and that Andrea is still alive and kicking. But did you know that Rick loses a hand in the graphic novel? Or that Negan looks totally different as a comic book character? Check out more shocking differences between The Walking Dead TV show and comic…
1. Rick Grimes
In the comics, Rick turns into a walker. I’m kidding.
Although it’s a popular fan-theory, rest assured it hasn’t happened in the comics (yet?). In both situations, he starts off as a noble and highly-principled leader and rides the slippery slope from law man to outlaw man. His community still blindly follows him and makes him their guru.
But there a few things that we don’t see happening to the leader on the show. Firstly, he has no hand because the governor cut it off. It seems this honor was passed onto Merle (poor Merle) and he got to keep his Colt python because it’s pretty hard in the hot, sticky sun to shoot it one handed, not to mention managing the ongoing prosthesis stump.
It may shock viewers to know that in the comic, Rick goes on to marry Andrea after Lori’s death. Yes, Andrea is very much still alive and kicking as opposed to her on-screen character who was taken out by the governor in Season 3.
2. Carl Grimes
In both the comics and series, Carl Grimes is Rick’s smart, somewhat hardened son. The major differences are that while Carl’s eye is accidentally and gruesomely shot out by Ron on TV, his eye is mistakenly shot out by Alexandria leader, Douglas Monroe (who is the Deanna equivalent) in the comic.
People around the globe may be laughing at Andrew’s Lincoln’s faux southern accent and his pronunciation of ‘Coral’, as he is so fondly known (and even turned into a meme), but few may be laughing at Carl’s hardened and shocking transition from a little boy into a mini-Rick – a vigilante with a colony to defend.
Oh! And just a little by-the-by, in the comic, Carl kills the real, non-zombiefied Shane. He also isn’t dead…yet.
3. Daryl Dixon
Daryl Dixon is definitely leading the pack in terms of the show’s anti-heroes and rough-as-guts fiercely loyal characters. He hunts with a crossbow, he has no fear when it comes to zombies or villains and he would rather die than be made a coward of. He is a huge fan favorite and it would be somewhat difficult to see the show carry on without him.
Here’s an interesting comparison. In the comic? He doesn’t exist.
It would surprise watchers to know that Michonne remains a distant and somewhat mysterious character in ink. She’s just as fearless and endures even more than the TV Michonne (if that were possible) and even has a relationship with Ezekiel. Rick is nowhere to be seen except in wedded bliss with Andrea. So if you like the idea of Richonne, then keep watching the show and don’t bother opening the comics.
5. Carol Peletier
Carol is perhaps the most badass and fearless characters of the whole TV series (rivaled only by Daryl Dixon and perhaps Rick Grimes). She evolves form a meek, abused housewife to the woman who kills her husband with a pickaxe before he turns. She shares a deep friendship with Daryl Dixon which constantly taunts fans as to a potential relationship. Why not? She makes really good cookies and is a maniac zombie, and person, killer.
In the comic? Meh, Carol is sad and never finds her inner lion. She commits suicide with the help of a walker and is a bit of a nothing character.
In the comic books, Andrea would become Andrea Grimes as she and Rick marry after Lori’s death. In the show, her last name is not mentioned, although her father is Terry Harrison, so essentially, we kind of know.
Non-comic readers, prepare yourself for a shock! Earlier on in the story, Andrea and Dale are an item! 68-year-old car salesman, Dale Horvath, and Andrea, 25, start an unconventional relationship, going so far as to adopt Ben and Billy who are the comic’s creepy equivalents of Micah and Lizzie.
Instead, her onscreen counterpart is killed off by the governor when she is left in a room with Milton, the scientist-turned-zombie, who reanimates and takes her out. Andrea’s leaving was a controversial one.
Morgan isn’t much of a big player in Kirkman’s original scenario. He doesn’t have the no-kill ethic nor is he a master of Aikido. In fact, he’s a bit of a background character without much significance. But when you cast the Lennie James, you have to have something a bit meatier for him. The series allows us to watch long portions of Morgan’s story which starts with meeting Rick after having had his wife turn (the only consistency) through his solo journey to find peace and something to believe in, in the midst of the carnage and despondency. We see him rejoin Rick, and his community, where he inevitably breaks his no-kill rule to protect Carol. The TV show has definitely enriched this character and I’m glad.
8. Eugene Porter
There are two very important commonalities between TV show Eugene and comic Eugene – the mullet. It’s all business at the front and party at the back for both. Both also pretend to be carrying the cure for the virus outbreak when in reality, they’re just high-school science teachers.
A major difference, however, is that in the comic, Eugene and Rosita are married! Yes, you heard right!
The biggest difference is that in the original story, Eugene is absolutely and steadfastly loyal to Rick. He is unwaveringly loyal and would not join Negan’s side in a million years. The onscreen Eugene is a blubbering mess of mixed-up morality who’s easily influenced.
9. Glenn Rhee
Glenn is one of the more consistent characters between both milieux. He meets Maggie at Hershel’s farm, marries her and she falls pregnant (though in the comics, they have the baby while he’s still alive and it is named Hershel after his grandad). Glenn is equally as loving and loveable and is a fierce and cunning fighter. He indeed dies in the same way – at the business end of Lucille. Fans were understandably devastated at Glenn’s death in the comic’s 100th issue and his skull-cracking, eye-popping demise at the hands of Negan on screen.
His rumoured final words to Maggie? ‘I will find you’.
10. Maggie Greene
Maggie is the daughter of Hershel Greene, owner of the farm where the group take refuge. Glenn Rhee comes to stay at the farm and the pair fall in love. So far, so good – the stories are consistent in both media. Maggie gets pregnant in both instances but Glenn dies before the baby is born on the show.
In fact, on the TV show, it seems that Maggie has been unceasingly pregnant for years without showing so much as the tiniest baby bump. That is because in real time, it has only been 19 days since Negan killed Glenn and time has been slowed right down to show the events between The Saviors and Rick’s group.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is just as terrible and villainous in the comics as he is in the show. He still says the funniest lines and he does indeed kill Glenn at random, but not Abraham, who instead gets shot through the eye with an arrow on the printed page. The sarcastic and sadistic villain is in fact a lot more bulkier in built in the comics as compared to his onscreen counterpart. Something both readers and viewers will agree on? Negan is hands-down the worst villain we have ever seen in The Walking Dead so far – whichever version you prefer.
What are the biggest surprises? The fact that Daryl Dixon doesn’t exist in one world but seems to be an amalgamation of several of Kirkman’s characters? Is it that Carol is a meek and extremely sad character who dies early in one version, but is ranked one of the most badass female TV characters of all time? Or perhaps it’s the fact that Dale and Andrea are for a time, a family with two children?
Whatever it is, don’t forget to binge-watch The Walking Dead if you haven’t already. Despite the above spoilers, it is a gripping, roller-coaster ride of a show. No wonder it was ranked as one of the most popular TV series of 2017. Or maybe you should sit down with a stack of TWD comics and catch up on the original backstory? Comment below on the differences you found the most shocking…