Just a fair warning: they are light, but for people who are only familiar with the television series, there are The Walking Dead comic book references and therefore potential spoilers below…
People who follow The Walking Dead comics know that as a non-zombie villain, Negan is right up there with and possibly even more popular than The Governor. Since the TV show is known to deviate from established storylines, it’s always fun for fans to ponder what will happen next, or who will show up when. While fans cheered for and positively reacted to the introduction of The Governor in season 3 of the AMC adaptation, reception to the television incarnation of the antagonist has cooled off some, causing folks to wonder whether or not his time on the show will shortly be coming to an end. And if it is, will Negan, leader of The Saviors and new comic book fan favorite adversary for The Rick Grimes Gang take his place sooner rather than later?
When asked about the timing of the television series and the possible introduction of Negan in season 4, The Walking Dead comic creator and AMC series executive producer Robert Kirkman had this to say:
“That’s definitely a real temptation when you are adapting a show. It’s sometimes a struggle because I feel like there are very cool things that are waiting in the wings in the comics that we could do earlier in the show. But those things only work the way they work because of everything that came before them. We have to build up to them properly. Negan isn’t going to be as cool if we don’t set up this, this, this, and this. We do want to do Negan, and it seems likes everyone on the show does want to do Negan, but we are going to have to do all these other things first.”
New showrunner Scott Gimple also chimed in:
“Reading the book now and reading Negan as a character, I’m like, “Damn, there’s so much to do before we get to him!” One of my favorite issues with him recently was the Carl/Negan issue. I think it’d be such an amazing episode of TV, but we have a lot to do before we get there.”
While it definitely is exciting to think about all the “cool things waiting in the wings,” it seems that Gimple, Kirkman and company are committed to seeing The Governor storyline through on television. That’s not a bad thing; this Renegade Reporter enjoyed most of Season 3 and doesn’t mind the show taking it’s time to flesh out characters amidst the decaying backdrop. And there’s nothing that says the wheels won’t be set in motion for Negan and Lucille to begin recruiting Saviors by the end of Season 4.
What do you think about The Governor? Should he be given a stay of execution to properly fulfill his television storyline in the upcoming season? Or should he be executed to make way for a new villain?
Source: TV Guide