After spending my whole day packing for my trip to Columbus, getting my car inspected, and getting my finances straightened I sadly was too busy to pencil in a movie to watch and review for today. So I’m sitting here thinking what would be a good way to send myself off on my vacation for the week? Well how about a list, everybody loves lists and better yet let’s talk about The Walking Dead since I haven’t had a chance to talk about that for a little while. But not the TV Series… Let’s talk about something that is more near and dear to my heart, the comic books.
While I am by no means an avid comic book collector I do enjoy reading them and I enjoy picking up copies here and there and getting into different story lines and really I have the Walking Dead comic books to thank for that. I picked the first one up and after that I was hooked and it still is to this day in my opinion the comic books is the greatest zombie story ever told in any medium period. The books have kind of fallen out of my graces after Issue 100 but that does not change my opinion of the series as a whole. I love it and until something comes along that can one up it which I highly doubt it will remain number 1 in my opinion.
One of the biggest things that I love about the series though is the multitude of characters that it created. There are literally hundreds of characters created in the Kirkman universe all with interesting back stories and fascinating character development. Even small tertiary characters you grow attached to as they attempt to survive in this violent new world… The only problem with this is whenever you have so many characters there are always going to be some that get left behind or fallen by the wayside that really should have gotten more character development and more time in the comics then they did. So this list is a testament to these characters and who didn’t get the time they deserved.
Before I get started with this list I want to emphasize that the characters on this list are deceased and have no more character to develop so this does contain spoilers. So with that being said let’s get started.
Axel has become somewhat of a fan favorite over the years. He was introduced during the Prison vs. Woodbury story arc and remained as the only prisoner out of the four that was not antagonistic in someway. During his tenure in the comic books the character was portrayed as a hard ass yet kind hearted biker type of personality who was sent to jail when an armed robbery went wrong. His main arc was him attempting to be accepted by the group at large who viewed him not only as a criminal but in league with the likes of the other prisoners Thomas, Andrew, and Dexter. He eventually gains their trust and becomes a member of the group but is killed early on in Woodbury’s siege on the prison when he is shot in the head.
Axel did get a lot of character development… Well a lot more than the other five on this list but really the problem was that it didn’t feel enough and his death felt so abrupt that it left fans in a state of shell shock. Robert Kirkman even went on record as to say (paraphrased) that he wanted Axel’s death to be quick and abrupt simply because that is realistic. Not everyone gets a big dramatic send off. While that is all well and good I feel a character of his caliber should have at least gotten a better send off in the heat of battle then the one that he received.
But really like all the characters on this list I feel like there was more story to him. His character mentioned in the story that the prison was his home and he didn’t think he could live anywhere other then there. (Shades of institutionalized but I digress) While this could have been foreshadowing of his demise I feel like the character could have been developed outside of the prison, him attempting to cope with life outside of the bars and fences. But thanks to the invasion of the prison we will never know.
Billy is one of Maggie Greene’s brothers and Hershel Greene’s youngest son. Only 18 years old during the events of the comic book, Billy was also killed during the prison invasion when a sniper caught him while he was being pulled away by his father. This later leads to his father’s demise as well.
The main problem that I had with Billy Greene is the fact that during his time in the comic books he was only ever used as a background character. Hershel and Maggie were two major characters in the story with Hershel being one of the leaders of the group and a stalwart hard ass while Maggie and Glenn had their own well known plot. Billy just seemed to get assigned to being Hershel’s sidekick. With the exception of a few side plots involving Carol and attempting to grow a farm, we see very little of him and very little interaction between he and Maggie. His story was pretty much over with the prison because the overall arc following it was Maggie attempting to live without her family surrounding her. But really there was a lot more we could have learned about Billy during his time alive that was just not explored in the comics mainly thanks to the relevance of Hershel and Maggie and the fact that he had six other siblings to contend with for time.
The number one reason that Caesar is on this list really doesn’t have to come with the comic book (though there is still plenty there to make the case) but really by a comment that Kirkman had made about Caesar. In an earlier interview Kirkman announced that Caesar was homosexual. Now at the time that Caesar arrived a homosexual character had not yet appeared in the comic books and would not appear until the Alexandria story arcs with Aaron and Eric. This area alone is something that would have been good to explore further just to see where the character would have ended up and what relationships would form.
Not to mention unlike in the television show, Caesar did seem to resent the Governor and his opinions. This would of also been good to further explore. Though his death was pretty central to the plot and Rick’s own character arc this is one that should have been reconsidered or maybe kept around just a little bit longer.
This is depressing. I can see why she died in the story along with Lori and it did further Rick and Carl’s story arc and strengthened their bond together… But really there was just so much more to explore. The idea of having an infant on the road while they were trying to find a home, the thought of who and how would they care for the baby if Rick and Carl would even be in the right mindset to care for the baby. Maybe there could have been a story arc where they are thinking of giving her up to another group of people because they were too emotionally unstable to care for the baby. There really is a lot of storylines that could have stemmed from Judith that was cut short due to her death in the prison invasion. It was sort of needed but really it was sad to see all the potential slip away.
And here we find the main reason of what pissed me so much about Issue 100. Glenn and Dale were my two favorite characters in the comics and in the show for that matter and the way that Glenn was sent off and the reasons for it just irritate me to no end. For those who are not aware but want to know, Glenn was killed in Issue 100 by the new antagonist Negan when he is bludgeoned to death in front of a pregnant Maggie with a baseball bat all the while he cries out Maggie’s name before he dies a bloody and brutal death… Not only is this not how someone like Glenn should have been sent off of the comic books but really there was WAY TO MUCH story arcs set up for him to see him go feels like I personally was cheated out of more.
Maggie was pregnant with Glenn’s child and they were moving to the Hilltop Colonies to make a new life for themselves. They were actually enroute there when they were intercepted and Glenn was killed. Not to mention at the time Rick was slowly becoming unhinged from the leadership and this new character in Negan arriving. Plus Carl himself was beginning to take on a more direct role and becoming a fighter more than a child. I feel like it would have actually been better for Rick to have died in Issue 100 and Carl seek revenge against Negan with Glenn and Maggie turning into a more ‘supportive elder’ type of role. Even if we remove that fan based idea of what I would hope to see out of the comics there is still a lot Glenn’s character could have done in the series.
Maybe that was Kirkman’s point to make that he wanted to set Glenn up for so much more to make his death more shocking as well as making Negan and legit threat, giving the audience resentment against Negan, and ushering in the next wave of comics. But to me it fell flat on its face and just left a lot of fans with bitter tastes in their mouths.
With that being said, that is my list of the Top 5 Most Underutilized Characters in the Walking Dead Comics. Please like and subscribe for more and as always you are more than welcome to leave feedback in the feedback section of my Contact Me page.
Well I am off to Columbus for the week. While I may post little tidbits about Origins on here I will for the most part be taking the rest of the week off. Normal reviews return this Sunday. Other then that if you are going to Origins Game Fair then I hope to see you there.