Happy 4th of July from the Odinson,
One year ago this month, writer Robert Kirkman abruptly, and without warning, ended the long running horror/drama The Walking Dead.
This took the industry and the fans completely by surprise. For 16 straight years, TWD had been a pillar of the comic book industry. It was consistently one of the best-selling, best written, and best illustrated comics on the shelf. It spawned a highly successful TV series which, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, really helped solidify comics culture in the mainstream lexicon. Kirkman, along with Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn, created one of the most important comics of the 21st Century.
So, after The Walking Dead #193 hit the stands and all the loose ends were addressed and all the drama, horror, and pathos of the saga were wrapped up beautifully, the fans were left sated and with closure. However, Robert Kirkman, being the mischievous imp that he is just could not help himself and left us all with one final stinger at the end of his poignant final letter to the fans located at the end of the last issue.
“P.S. Negan Lives.”
I for one took this as one final twist from a clever writer that had filled his undead saga with countless surprising twists and unexpected turns. It was one final friendly jab before we closed the book and said goodbye to The Walking Dead forever.
Fast-forward exactly one year later and in July 2020, Robert Kirkman and his scheming cohorts strike again!
On July 1st, 2020, again without warning, Negan Lives hit the stands and caught the comic world by surprise. And true to its title, and Robert Kirkman’s mirthful postscript, Negan does, in fact, live. Negan is easily one of the most memorable villains in the last 20 years of comics, and for a villain as charismatic, funny, and menacing as he is, this was a perfect send off. (And perhaps a new beginning?)
The Odinson would just like to say to Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, and everybody else involved, Bravo! Outstanding, gentlemen. You have left me wanting more. A++
To celebrate further, the Odinson would like to share a bit of fan fiction from twelve years ago. As a huge fan of the story, the Odinson, like so many others, was wondering just how this epic saga could possibly end. Hope you enjoy this blast from the past and have a happy and safe 4th of July.
How the Odinson Would End the Walking Dead
(Originally posted in 2008)
This week I want to talk about one of the best books on the rack – The Walking Dead. Month after month Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn deliver another stunning chapter for what is sure to go down in comics history as a horror masterpiece. No comic series is less predictable and consistently, at the same time, entertaining and shocking. For horror fans, zombie buffs, and people who just like a good story I can’t recommend this series enough. I want to end 2008 with a homage to this great series and reveal how the Odinson sees this grand epic coming to an end.
– Final issue of Walking Dead –
Silent issue. No words. No narration.
It is many, many years later and Rick is an old man. Living in some remote place like Montana. The whole issue he wakes up goes about his daily routine but starts and finishes every day on his front porch in a rocking chair. The days, weeks, and years pass. He is always alone. Everyone he has ever known is dead and gone. The dead still walk the earth and occasionally wander onto his land. He picks them off from his rocking chair.
Finally, he simply sits in his chair and dies of natural causes (old age). For many panels we simply see his lifeless body sitting in his rocking chair. Then, on the second to last page he stirs. He rises.
Last page, a splash page, Rick wanders off into the sunset to join the walking dead…as one of them.
– The End –
I can’t imagine this series ending any other way, but as those who read the Walking Dead know, Robert Kirkman is a master storyteller that is quite adept at creating those “I did not see that coming” moments, and will surely leave us with an ending that is both masterful and satisfying.
P.S. Kirkman delivers.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my new book – Autumn Dawn: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback and on Kindle.