Despite Carl’s death being a major deviation from The Walking Dead comics, there is still a handful of moments from Robert Kirkman’s source material fans can expect to see on the AMC series.
Through Season Eight, The Walking Dead has largely followed the story laid out in the All Out War arc of the Image Comics/Skybound series. With minor deviations creating more expanded moments for television — possibly to fit the running time and help extend the arc 16-episodes — the overarching narrative for has been mostly kept intact in adaptation.
While several of the unforgettable moments from The Walking Dead comics may be forgotten as the war finally races to a conclusion, a number of pages and panels may be accurately adapted to television…
Major spoilers for The Walking Dead comic series and possibly television show follow.
Though Eugene won’t be on board with it as he was in the comics, an escape from Negan’s Sanctuary will be adapted to television.
In the comics, Eugene leads Doctor Carson, Mark, and Amber to safety in a risky escape from Negan’s domain. As staged in the Mid-Season finale, Eugene doesn’t look to be participating in the escape mission but Doctor Carson was given car keys to help himself and Father Gabriel break out. Eugene’s slight involvement seems to be a minor nod to the comic story.
Mark and Amber might be a part of the escape, as well, as the characters randomly earned a few flashes of face time late in Season Eight’s first half.
Eugene may not try to escape right away but he might turn his back on Negan, eventually.
In the trailer for Season 8B, Eugene is seen crafting bullets with one of Negan’s wives by his side. Clearly, he is crafting ammunition for the Saviors. He appears to have some sort of epiphany in another look, though.
In The Walking Dead comics, Eugene has a moment where he refuses to make bullets for Negan as he knows they will be used to kill Alexandrians. Negan makes some terrifying threats but Eugene continues his refusal and ultimately escapes the captivity. Some form of this narrative could still be used.
Ezekiel’s relationships take a little while to blossom. In The Walking Dead comics, the King becomes romantic with Michonne but not before a considerable effort to get her to show some emotions.
On television, Ezekiel appears to be heading toward a similar relationship with Melissa McBride’s Carol. TV Carol has taken on several traits and moments Michonne does in the comics. Most prominently, comic book Michonne wished to avoid fighting completely and hang up her sword so badly she was willing to seclude herself from others. It’s exactly what Carol did ahead of Season Seven.
With the relationship continuing to grow between Carol and Ezekiel and the former attempting to rescue the latter in the Mid-Season premiere, it’s not unlikely to see the two characters wake up side by side.
As possibly revealed in the extended Season 8B trailer, Negan instructs his Savior army to cover their weapons in walker guts on the pages of The Walking Dead comics.
This makes the slightest graze of a bullet or knife fatal a fatal blow to the enemy. In this moment from the trailer, Negan is probably doing just that as The Last Stand between Rick and Negan is on the horizon.
“You see this?” Negan says to his Saviors in issue #122. “Look at it… Watch how I’m just getting in there… Rubbing all up in its grill. Lucille is getting to know this sorry sack of dead flesh. Sorry, Lucille.” He calls the tactic, “modified weapons.” He is eager to see the Alexandrian survivors struck by his genius plan, get a fever, and succumb to the walker virus. The move leads to a major story point which may or may not be brought to the show and, in fact, emphasizes Dwight’s true loyalties.
Shortly after Negan instructs his soldiers to cover their weapons and ammunition in walker guts, the Savior leader is sat beside Dwight with a clear shot at Rick. Dwight’s loyalty is truly put on the line when Negan orders him to shoot Alexandria’s leader with a walker-infected arrow.
Dwight, however, remains true to Alexandria and betraying Negan. He does shoot Rick but manages to sneak a clean arrow into his bow rather than marking Rick Grimes for death.
The moment proves pivotal late in the All Out War arc as Negan’s confidence rises, thinking Rick has died from the walker virus, only to discover his survival before a final showdown.
Among those likely to be in the body count for the back half of Season Eight is Hilltop soldier Kal.
Kal hasn’t emerged as any sort of major player on The Walking Dead TV series but he did have a funny and witty exchange with the community’s former leader Gregory recently. When characters earn sudden screen time and dialogue, it’s usually a sign of imminent doom.
On the pages, Kal is killed when Negan’s men march on the Hilltop. Kal insists they turn away but Negan refuses and Kal is shot in the head. It might go down in Episode 8×12, as the synopsis reportedly reads, “Hilltop’s leadership faces a difficult dilemma after the arrival of unexpected visitors.”
Though many fans and Rick Grimes himself are currently calling for Negan’s death, the leader of Alexandria elects to spare the villain in favor of showing the survivors a greater path.
In the final issue of the All Out War story, Rick and Negan have themselves a fight to settle their differences once and for all. Everyone looks on. Ultimately, Rick gets the upper hand (after suffering a broken leg) and draws a knife on Negan’s throat. Rather than slaying the Savior leader, Rick merely scratches the villain with it causing him to bleed but not fatally.
Rick decides jailing Negan will be more effective than killing him and the war is settled.