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.
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 Michonne: Michonne never fully drops her guard with anyone in the comics, with the exception of Ezekiel. Besides the trauma surrounding losing the people in her life, she's brutally raped and tortured by the Governor for days. She has all of the reasons in the world to do some pretty intense things to him including nail his manhood to the floor, sodomize him with a spoon, use said spoon to scoop out his eye, and chop off his arm.
TV Michonne: Michonne appears very much in the same way she did in the comics although TV Michonne is given a lot of the characteristics of Andrea from the comics. Michonne takes on the role of co-parenting Carl with Rick to a certain degree. And then she hooks up with Rick, giving rise to Richonne. She puts out the Governor's eye with her katana and later kills him with it, still letting him off pretty lightly from her comic counterpart.
Comics Abraham: He’s got the same flaming red hair and '70s porn 'stache, but the comics version is more of a no-nonsense kind of guy. He takes Tyreese’s position as Rick’s right hand after Tyreese is killed. Abraham meets Denise’s fate in the comics, getting shot through his eye with an arrow as he tells Eugene it’s okay if he gets with Rosita.
TV Abraham: Abraham has a way with a catchphrase that his comic book counterpart lacks. “Motherd*ck” has become a standard in the lexicon of fans. He’s just as thirsty for violence on screen. And dies violently at the business end of Negan's bat in the season 7 premiere, but not before flinging out his last catchphrase, "S*ck my n*ts."
Comics Carl: After he has to shoot Shane and the loss of his mother and sister, Carl grows up pretty fast. His actions cause the Whisperers to attack Alexandria, resulting in the deaths of Rosita and Ezekiel. He falls for a teenaged girl from the Whisperers. Douglas Monroe accidentally shoots out Carl’s eye in the comics.
TV Carl: Carl goes from being an overly protective little boy to a sort of serial killer. He’s grown up in this world and has seen and done a lot, most notably killing his mother. He nearly dies after being shot by Otis. As he hits his pre-teens, he doesn't rebel by banging up the family car or smoking pot. Instead, he decides to venture out and take on walkers while his dad bakes away on a couch in a fever dream. His reward is a much-deserved giant can of roof pudding. He connects with Enid, a girl his age who lost both of her parents. Ron accidentally shoots Carl’s eye out in a scuffle with Rick.