Along the way, some fan-favorite moments have been lost, and that's contributed in part to a very different feel to the show than the comic in some cases.
Obviously, it's worked -- the show has about 15 million viewers a week, making it the most popular scripted series on television and elevating the comics regularly into the Top Ten in spite of the fact that it's a creator-owned title with little or no marketing push behind it.
Still, longtime fans want what they want and there are a number of cases where what they've wanted, hasn't shown up onscreen. Like what? Well, we've got a list here...
Bear in mind this isn't a complaint about the TV show, or some typical fanboy "Everything should be just like the comics." It's more about the fact that there's a spinoff coming up, and wouldn't it be fun to see some of these moments show up on there?
Bear in mind there will be spoilers for the comics below.
Shane's Night of the Living Dead Moment
Having been killed by Carl in the first story arc, it was almost a year later (publication time) that Rick realized that Shane would reanimate and rise.
Rick didn't want to know that it has happened to his longtime friend, so he went and dug up Shane...only to have some final words with him, kill him a second time -- this time more permanently -- and then leave him there slumped over his own grave, a suitable enough punishment for having had sex with Rick's wife and tried to kill him.
Tyreese clears the gym
While attempting to clear the prison, a group of survivors were forced to leave Tyreese behind, presumably to die at the hands of a horde of walkers that were getting out of control in one of the gymnasiums and threatened to spill out into the rest of the structure and endanger the group.
When they finally regrouped and figured out a plan of attack for clearing the room and, hopefully, giving Tyreese a proper burial, they opened the doors to discover that Tyreese had single-handedly taken out the entire mob of walkers on his own.
It was undoubtedly the character's crowning moment of awesome, and yet when I asked actor Chad Coleman about it at Comic Con International: San Diego two summers ago, he had no idea what I was talking about.
Fair enough, since his character isn't much like this one...!
Rick loses his hand
This, of course, is a big one. There have been a number of reasons cited why it would be impractical for Rick to have lost his hand -- not least of which is the fact that his signature weapon is a revolver, making the use and reloading of the gun somewhat difficult to do, let alone depict onscreen, when you've got only one hand.
That said, it's a key moment for Rick and obviously a game-changer for the series...and maiming the series lead gave a real sense for just how dangerous The Governor was.
Fans have been divided on this one; Kirkman has said in the past that if he had it to do over again in the comics he might not have done it, and so it was really no surprise when it failed to happen on TV. That said, the image of the one-handed Rick is a fairly iconic one, so it wouldn't be too shocking -- and it would almost certainly delight some readers -- if one of the primary leads on Cobalt were to find themselves without one of their hands.
Yes, we know that Merle lost his hand, but that's a whole other thing; a recurring guest star isn't the same as the series lead having the experience. With Merle, it was basically just one more thing to make him badass. With a character who was a little more layered, the expectation would be to see some of the character stuff and understand how they're dealing with it.
Suicide By Walker
On the other hand, it sort of makes sense. And again, we've seen a variation on it, sort of, but we haven't seen it with a key player in the series.
In the comics, there are a couple of instances of suicide by walker, the most notable being Carol, who feeds herself to a zombie when she's distraught over being cheated on.
(Yeah, she's a lot less badass, and more of a problem for feminist critics of the series, in the comics.)
It's a moment that's memorable for many fans, and it does seem like in a world where the dead reanimate an all hope is lost, maybe throwing yourselves to the horde and seeing what's on the other side of that death would have some appeal. These characters have thus far avoided it to a man, though, excepting perhaps Clara, who Rick left for dead in the woods so that she could "be with" her reanimated husband and who later showed up at the prison in zombie form.
No one is safe
Now, don't get us wrong: compared to most shows, few characters are safe on The Walking Dead. But in the comics -- and especially in the first few years of the comics -- it felt like anything could happen, anyone could die or be maimed, and no one was safe.
Probably the pinnacle of this was the death of Lori and Judith Grimes, taken out by a Woodbury sniper. It was shocking, not just because of who the victims were (although that, too), but because they were killed while apparently escaping and not just comic book, but adventure fiction convention dictate that most named characters, especially women and children, will survive that kind of scene.
If you compare that to the TV show, Lori died in childbirth (a comparably common way for a female character to die in survival fiction) and Judith has, to date, been untouchable in spite of numerous close calls including at the fall of the prison -- where she died in the comics.
It isn't just the baby, though; true or not (and producers insist it isn't), characters who are of a certain level of popularity are considered to be above serious threat of death. Rick, Carl and Michonne have plot armor, since they're so important as the story unfolds...but in the comics, Andrea is also still alive, and so many fans were shocked to see her go a couple of seasons ago. Daryl Dixon, meanwhile, is widely believed to be immortal, in spite of the fact that he lacks the plot armor of the source material since he was an invention for the TV series.
It's not really a specific moment, unless you want to take Judith's death as emblematic, but with a group of all-new characters, none of whom have connections to the source material, wouldn't it be cool to see the promise of "no one is safe" truly fulfilled?