SPOILERS: If you’re caught up in the comics and the TV series, you’ll be fine. If not, hold the prison/abandoned house phone. Get caught up and come back and join us for a total TWD nerd list, or check out other shows like The Walking Dead.
Ah, it’s time for Walking Dead character comparisons, one of those ongoing pastimes of fans far and wide. The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is the man caught between two worlds: his original comic books series and his roles as executive producer and writer on the TV series.
Kirkman gave the world a collection of rich characters in the bleak and exciting back drop of a zombie apocalypse. In the comics, Kirkman is judge, jury, and executioner along with Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, and Cliff Rathburn.
For the TV series, Kirkman must work with showrunner Scott Gimple and a cadre of writers. Since the TV series started with Frank Darabont before the hand off to Gimple and Kirkman, the characters have gone through various transformations, dipping away from or melding with other characters in the comics. In the case of the Dixon brothers, they didn’t exist in the pages of Kirkman’s comics and were created by Frank Darabont, Charles Eglee, and Jack LoGiudice.
Walking Dead character appearance is not just about resembling the comics, but finding actors who can handle the action, story content, heat, bugs, and grueling hours that the series requires of its cast. For example, comic book Rick and TV series Rick vibe the same but look different. However, Andrew Lincoln has proven that he IS Rick by now, although he's gotten to keep his hand... so far. But Coral sure got his eye shot out just like in the comic series. Ouch, buddy.
The Walking Dead casting directors, Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas (along with Gohar Gazazyan), have done a wonderful job keeping pace with the screen counterparts, added characters, character amalgams, and other alterations. It can’t be an easy job, but when comic fans saw Michonne emerge from the darkness, there were genuine chills.
Which are your favorite Walking Dead comic to screen transformations and casting choices? Vote them up to the top. Note: We’ll add new characters as they appear on the TV series so come back and check this list out.
Comics Tyreese: He’s got a larger presence and a different personality. He’s Rick's right hand and gets it on with Carol, only to cheat on her with Michonne. He is beheaded in front of the prison the same way Hershel is on the show. His death has the same impact as Hershel’s, leaving fans reeling.
TV Tyreese: He’s a gentle giant, reluctant to kill anyone, clinging to his hammer and humanity with all that he has. His compassion to help Noah find his family is the death of him, though, ending with a walker bite and a fever dream of dead characters. His death is used to further propel his sister Sasha into sniper-happy madness.2,214675Big difference?
Comics Rick: Rick and his TV counterpart go through the same transition from a lawman with a strict moral code to a leader who is as brutal as the group’s enemies across the wasteland. After Lori’s death, Rick gets together with Andrea. The Governor hacks off Rick’s right hand in their first meeting. And the comic allows time to pass to see an older Rick and the world he and the group have made.
TV Rick: Rick is an impressive, frustrating, and monologuing leader who sometimes makes the WORST decisions, but somehow keeps his position. Andy Lincoln has stepped into the skin of Rick with many jokes about his Southern accent, particularly his pronunciation of his son’s name. He's held on to his right hand on TV because it's a total bummer to work in extreme heat with ticks crawling all over you AND learn to shoot your Colt Python with a fake hand. Rick and Michonne have a fiery beginning with a lot of hostile looks and mistrust that eventually evolve into a romantic relationship.2,509791Big difference?
Comics Rosita: Rosita meet up with Abraham and has the same relationship seen on screen, including the part where he cruelly dumps her. Her rebound? Eugene. They actually get married.
TV Rosita: If she lives through the Negan line up, she very well might hook up with Eugene or all by herself because some of these men in the apocalypse are the worst.2,431805Big difference?
Comics Maggie: She and Glenn do meet at her dad’s farm and become as close as ever. Maggie and Glenn have a son they name Hershel and they adopt Sophia after Carol dies. After Glenn’s death, Maggie descends into grief but eventually emerges and becomes the leader of the Hilltop Community.
TV Maggie: Maggie and Glenn’s storyline is similar to the comics, until Glenn fake-dies and Maggie learns she's pregnant. Deanna sees Maggie’s leadership skills and she takes up a position as her right hand in Alexandria until Deanna becomes walker food. Maggie’s been an envoy to the Hilltop Community, so she might very well take on the role of leader.2,769953Big difference?