The Walking Dead introduced a new face in its most recent issue by the name of Lance Hornsby. The mysterious, apparently friendly character could be hugely important for Robert Kirkman's series.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead issue #175 follow.
Representing the Commonwealth community (a thriving bunch said to be 50,000 strong), Lance Hornsby introduced himself to Michonne and her group through an interrogation process. It was the end of a journey prompted by Eugene's radio contact with a woman by the name of Stephanie. She claimed to be part of a large group in Ohio and, so far, seems to be a woman of her word.
According to Hornsby, Stephanie does not have permission to speak on behalf of the Commonwealth community. It doesn't seem Hornsby has such a privilege, either. Hornsby is likely one of many men and women who represent the community, as indicated by a soldier speaking to Michonne on their trip to see Michonne. "Lance seems like a prick," a soldier told her, "but we need people like him."
Lance lacks interest in forming immediate relationships, in favor of keeping his community safe. It's an approach similar to that of Rick Grimes when he used to bring newcomers into the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Lance, however, doesn't seem to be the man in charge of the Commonwealth and the comparisons to Rick might stop there. In fact, there is no reason to believe Lance has experienced and survived the treachery of the zombie apocalypse waiting outside of his communities walls.
For now, Lance's pre-apocalyptic life has not been revealed. It seems a safe bet he was some sort of politician but any career which required communication and making difficult moral decisions would have helped him fit his current role. After all, no one would have suspected Negan of being a high school gym teacher and ping pong coach before the world went down.
Worth noting: the Governor's early appearance saw him say, "We feed them strangers, stranger." Then, Negan came along and said, "When I sent your men to kill your men for killing my men, you killed more of my men." Now, Lance comes into the picture saying, "Make sure our friends didn't bring friends who aren't our friends." Is Robert Kirkman teasing a trend of characters repeating words in introductory sentences to pose people as villains?
Either way, Lance Hornsby's name sounds like an attempt to indicate a posh lifestyle he either once lived or is currently enjoying.
Lance's story will continue, with or without charisma and charm, when the second part of The Walking Dead's New World Order story arc rolls out in issue #176, set to release in February. The Walking Dead TV series returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018 on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.