Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics follow.
Fans of The Walking Dead are chomping at the bit see the new villain in town get killed off. Ever since his introduction in the Season 7 premiere, Negan has done a great job of become the most hated man on the AMC series through the murders of Abraham, Glenn, Spencer, and Olivia. Not to mention, he has repeatedly humiliated Rick Grimes in front of his people.
Surely, Negan will have a brutal death, right? King Ezekiel's tiger will chomp him to bits. All of Alexandria will a swing at him with the baseball bat. Carl will shoot him in the eye. Something along those lines?
Well, if The Walking Dead TV series continues to follow its comic book counterpart as accurately as it has been recently, none of those wishes will be fulfilled. Instead, Negan will be tossed into jail.
Following the war between Rick's army and Negan's Saviors, the leader of the bad guys is locked away in an Alexandria jail cell for an undisclosed number of years. Rick sees this as an opportunity to prove he and Alexandria have better ways of rebuilding the world than Negan, which means there are alternate methods of handling threatening people than killing them. Given Morgan's jail cell constructed in Alexandria, it seems that the show is setting up the live action version of the character for the same fate.
From issue 126 to issue 127, the final issue of the All Out War story and the first issue to follow it, respectively, Robert Kirkman's comics saw a time jump of at least two years.
"Officially, the time jump between 126 and 127 is not tied down to a specific number of years," Kirkman said in The Walking Dead issue #164's Letter Hacks section. "It seems like around two, but could have been more."
In the years after Negan and Rick's war, the leader of Alexandria has been crippled after having had his leg broken by Negan on a battle field. When the Whisperers pose more of a threat to Alexandria's safety than Negan ever did, Rick has no choice but to take advice from the former villain when he sees no way to get his community behind him.
Eventually, Negan decides he wants to earn Rick's trust. He escapes his jail cell and kills the leader of the Whisperers in one of the series' more shocking moments. After handing Alpha's head to Rick, he is allowed to join Dwight's group as they take on a batch of Whisperers during the Whisperer War. His precious Lucille is broken during the battle, prompting him to realize how silly it was to carry a baseball bat named after his late wife was, and ultimately opens up to Rick Grimes while the community is overrun by zombies.
As it stands after the latest issue of The Walking Dead, Negan is killing zombies having recently saved Rick's life as Rick lays down cover fire for him. In Negan's words... "Holy s---, Rick! Can you believe it? We're working together!"
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The Walking Dead #164 is available now at your local comic book shop. The Walking Dead TV series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.