Spoilers for The Walking Dead issue #162 follow.
The sixth and final issue of The Walking Dead's Whisperer War story has finally arrived. Beyond the first page, the issue was largely uneventful. Aside from a zombie horde being discovered by Alexandria, hinting at another No Way Out event, and Eugene arriving at the Safe-Zone with bullets, the issue feels mostly skippable.
However, the first page was easily the most enjoyable and possibly sparking the beginning of a major change in the fan-favorite possibly anti-hero character of Negan.
In the midst of the Whisperer War, Negan's beloved Lucille baseball bat was broken on the back of Whisperer leader Beta. To start the issue, he buried his precious girl. For those who many not realize the significance of Lucille, the Here's Negan mini-series revealed the baseball bat to be named after Negan's late wife.
Negan buries a broken Lucille and speaks to his gone but not forgotten wife in the process.
"I'm sorry," Negan said. "I never got to bury you before. I know this isn't the same. I'm sorry you were never truly put to rest. I'm hoping...this is the closest thing I can get."
In Here's Negan, the villain's wife reanimated as a zombie just as the world fell apart after succumbing to cancer.
"I hope you're at peace," Negan said. "I hope you... I hope you're in heaven, and you fell in love with someone who treats you better than I ever did, and that they're f---ing your brains out and then f---ing your brains right back in after that on a daily basis."
Finally showing a human side for the first time since the world ended, Negan concluded his speech to Lucille. "I'll always miss you, Lucille," he said. "I'm sorry I named a stupid f---ing bat after you."
Could burying Lucille and properly paying respect to his dead wife finally be the closure Negan has needed to display a decent side? The character has already expressed some sort of questionable loyalty to Rick when he slayed the leader of the Whisperers to try and help him. Might he finally turn around following the Whisperer War, now that he has accepted his feelings for Lucille?
If the answer to those questions is "yes" then an all new and redeemable Negan might be seen in the future. He could go so far as apologizing to Maggie for killing Glenn after accepting what it feels like to lose someone so close.
It's unlikely that Negan and Rick would ever see eye to eye. If Rick were to allow himself to consider Negan an ally, most of Alexandria -- especially Maggie -- would question him as their leader. The future will certainly need all of the help it can get for Alexandria. Not only is the largest herd of zombies we have ever seen headed straight for the Safe-Zone but Sherry is also lingering in the distance waiting to strike with the Saviors.
Negan will either be Alexandria's last hope in an ironic war against his former squad or he will finally take over with Sherry as his wife. Which way do you think he will go?
MORE WALKING DEAD:
Andrew Lincoln's Epic Reaction To Season 7 Finale / New Season 7B Key Art / Violent Takes Were Removed From Midseason Finale / Best Moments of 2016 / Negan Featured in #162 Preview / Five Worst Storylines / Who Will Be The Next Major Death? / AMC Stock Takes Hit With TWD Ratings Drops / Spoilers: How Will Season 7 End?
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on February 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.