Today I am going to tell you about 10 differences in The Walking Dead Comic and show. This is not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination. I chose these differences because they are my personal favorites.
We are at the point where both The Walking Dead comic and Television show have been around for a long time. Though the show is based on the comic series, there are a lot of differences between the two.
Personally, I am not a “the book was better” kind of person. I have no problem viewing each iteration as their own separate entities. However, I do have opinions on different aspects of each version.
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for both versions of The Walking Dead.
Differences in Characters
Tyreese enters the television series well after Comic Book. Tyreese is one of the original members of the group in the comic. He does not appear in the show until the group has inhabited the prison.
The death of the two characters also differ between the book and show. In the comic, Tyreese is beheaded by the governor (much like Herchel in the television series). In the show, Tyreese dies from a bite while exploring an abandoned neighborhood.
Tyreese is one of my favorite characters in the comic book. I loved Chad Coleman’s performance in the show. I wish the character had stuck around a while longer. Much like Abraham, I wish Tyreese was around for All Out War. Though I didn’t want to see him go, I think the fever-dream reunion was a great sendoff.
Carl is one of the few characters we get to watch grow up in the zombie apocalypse. In both the comic and show Carl’s personal development takes some great twists and turns. However, his story is one of the biggest differences in The Walking Dead comic and show.
Though Carl recently died in the television show he is still kicking in the comic book. He has not had a lot of focus in the comic recently, but he is featured on one of the upcoming covers.
I am a bit disappointed in the show on this one. Carl has a lot of great storylines after All Out War. He learns to be a blacksmith, gets his first girlfriend, and continues his friendship with Negan. I am sad that I won’t be able to see Chandler Riggs act out my favorite scenes.
However, I do understand why Carl he had to leave the show. Rick needed one final push to fight for a better world. Negan served as an excellent example of how not to govern. Losing Carl gave Rick the motivation to make the world a better place.
Negan is an extremely important character in the series’ total arc. He is the gatekeeper to the new world. His authoritarian leadership style and racketeering economics show the other groups what not to become. It is not until he is defeated that the world can continue to grow and flourish.
He is still alive in both iterations of The Walking Dead. Both versions have similar plot points for Negan’s story. Show Negan is in Rick’s prison, where comic Negan has been released and excommunicated.
I think both Negans are great, but they have very different personalities as far as my imagination is concerned. To me, comic book Negan has more of a bro/tough guy mentality. He is constantly screaming raunchy jokes and talking shit to people.
While show Negan is also crass, he gives me more of a “southern gentleman” vibe. His tormenting is more dry and sarcastic. Though there is a lot of harsh language, television Negan does not come off as childish as his comic book counterpart.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan is awesome in this role. I originally wanted Henry Rollins to be Negan, but JDM brings this character to a whole new level.
However, I do like Negan’s stories in the comic much better. Most of this is just due to the pacing of the two versions. I feel as though there are a lot more Negan one-liners in the comic. You get to watch him smack talk everyone and everything.
Most people I know do not like television Andrea. I agree that her hardheadedness made life more difficult for the other characters. Comic book Andrea is a different story.
Both comic book and television Andrea are dead. Television Andrea dies early on. She commits suicide after being bitten. She also died from a bite in the comic, but not until recently.
I like that Rick takes on different lovers each version. Television Rick is with Michonne, and comic book Rick settles down with Andrea. I thought this was a great idea. Michonne is such a great character and it is awesome to see her playing different roles in each iteration.
Also, who doesn’t love a woman with a Glasgow smile? One of my all time favorite covers was the recent variant cover featuring Andrea.
The picture above is the variant cover for The Walking Dead issue 178. It is one of my all time favorite covers for the comic.
Carol may as well be two different characters. Television Carol is a middle aged housewife-turned-badass. Comic Carol was young and having a hard time dealing with the zombie apocalypse.
I like comic book Carol because a lot of crazy things happen to her. She dates Tyreese. She asks Rick and Lori to be polyamorous. We will never forget her suicidal zombie hug.
Television Carol is awesome. She is much more fleshed out and developed. She probably has the most character growth on the television series. I still can’t believe she blew up a city with a gas tank and a firework.
Each version of Carol offers a different piece to the overall story. I really like the way both characters were done, even if they are very different from each other.
Differences In Events
In the television series, Terminus is a town of cannibals. They lure in survivors by pretending to be a sanctuary for weary travelers. After accepting new people into their ranks, they are quickly killed and eaten.
This story line bridges the gap between the prison and father Gabriel’s church in the television show. Since it deals with cannibals it feels like an extension of the Fear The Hunters story arc in the comic book.
I liked what happened after the group arrives at Terminus. However, I thought the season leading up to it could have been better spent elsewhere. There was a lot of build up to what would end up being a single battle. I did appreciate that the show left in a lot of the Fear The Hunters story line.
2. Losing Legs
The Walking Dead contains two big events where a character loses a leg. One story has a character’s leg cut off after being bit by a zombie. The other involves the Hunters cannibalizing the leg.
In the television show, Herschel’s leg is cut off after being bit. This is a big event because we learn that amputation can help someone survive after being bitten. Bob’s leg is eaten by cannibals in the television show. This scene, dubbed “Tainted Meat”, is one of the funnier events in the comic book.
Dale gets both of these story lines in the comic. The dude cannot catch a break! Would you rather be show Dale and die early, or live to have both legs cut off?
If you have not read this section of the comics, I highly recommend it. The Walking Dead Volume 11: Fear the Hunters is one of my favorite sections of the comic.
3. The Second Half of the Prison
When discussing differences in The Walking Dead comic and show we have to discuss the prison. This is a huge arc in the comics and a major part of the overall story.
The second half of the prison arc in the television series is much different than in the comic book. The show took this arc in a different direction.
After the Governor’s initial defeat, he burns Woodbury to the ground. He then meets a new group and takes on a new persona. He uses his charisma to climb the ranks of the group and take on a leadership role.
The Governor then tells the group about how Rick and company are the true villains. He scares the group into thinking Rick is going to come after them next. After a few persuasive speech is, the next group is ready to fight.
I thought this was a great remix of The Governor’s story. While there are a lot of similarities between the characters, the two Governors have their own personalities and actions.
I personally found the comic Governor to be less dynamic than the show Governor. A lot of my opinion has to do with the second half of this arc in the television show. While the prison arc is one of the things that drew me even further into the comic series, I do feel like it went on for a long time.
4. The Death of Lori
Let’s be honest, Lori is not a fan favorite character in either the show or the comic. She was not faithful to Rick. She was not the strongest fighter. However, her death in both iterations of The Walking Dead had significant impacts on the series.
In the comic, Lori successfully gives birth to Shane’s baby. Lori and the baby are both killed during a battle with The Governor.
This is an important event in the comics. The deaths cause The Governor’s soldiers to realize what they are doing. This change in attitude helps our group get the upper hand in the fight.
In the show, Lori dies during childbirth. There are complications with the pregnancy. Lori decides to end her life in order to save the baby via makeshift cesearian section.
Carl decides that he needs to be the one to kill his zombified mother. This is a huge development for his character. Though he has been around zombies for a while, this is the most personal kill he has had to make.
I like both versions of Lori’s death. Both are important to the trajectory of the series. The death of the baby in the comic was very dark, but the comic is often more bleak than the television series.
5. Rick’s Hand and Health
If you watch the show, you are probably familiar with Rick’s hands. Both of them. I wish we could say the same for comic book. Wait, no I don’t. One-handed Rick is the man!
The zombie apocalypse is brutal and very few people get through it without scars. In my opinion, the television show does not do enough when it comes to disfiguring the characters.
We never get to see Andrea’s Glasgow smile. Rick’s hand stays in tact. Every episode we get to see actors and actresses who are a little too beautiful for the story’s setting.
I like how comic Rick becomes more and more damaged as the story goes on. At this point in the story he one-handed and walking with a cane. Don’t get me wrong, he can still kick some ass when needed. However, he is in much worse shape than television Rick.
If you are as big of a fan of The Walking Dead as I am, I invite you to check out my review of the most recent issue.
If you want to learn more about the differences in The Walking Dead comic and show, Paste Magazine has a great article that gives a brief description of the major changes.
The Wrap also has a great article that outlines the major changes in The Walking Dead versions.
What are your favorite differences?
All of these opinions are my own, but I want to hear yours! What are your favorite differences between The Walking Dead comic and show.
Let me know on social media!
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