The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman says he currently has "no plans" to revive his finished comic book or breakout character Negan, who Kirkman revisited in this month's one-off comic Negan Lives #1. Kirkman and longtime series artist Charlie Adlard ended the zombie saga last July, bringing The Walking Dead to a close after 193 issues when the story reached its long-planned conclusion. One year later, after moving on to new monthly Image Comics series Fire Power with artist Chris Samnee, Kirkman reunited with Adlard for one-shot spinoff Negan Lives to benefit comic book stores impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's nice that I have that option open. I can bring Walking Dead back tomorrow if I wanted to, and I'm really happy that I have the freedom to do that," Kirkman said during a live streamed Q&A hosted by Hey Fandom! "But that said, it was something that was a 16-year chunk of my life, and Charlie Adlard's life, and we're very much enjoying our time off right now. I'm really excited to be working on other projects, like Fire Power."
"I can't say for sure that we'll never do another Negan thing, or another Walking Dead universe thing," Kirkman added, "but there's no plans to right now."
During last year's San Diego Comic-Con, taking place just weeks after he ended The Walking Dead without warning, Kirkman said he had no plans for a Negan spinoff but noted the fan-favorite character's open-ended exit from the comic book created the "option" for an eventual return.
"Theoretically there might be a story to be told there. It's possible that's my escape hatch if my career ever takes a hard nosedive," Kirkman quipped. "Just roll out a Negan comic."
To pull off the book's surprise ending, Kirkman commissioned fake covers and solicitations for future issues that never existed. Adlard later revealed Kirkman feared fan backlash ahead of his in-person appearance at Comic-Con, but was instead greeted by fans who agreed the creative team did "exactly what [they] should have done" when choosing to end the book.
"I feel like the story wasn't repetitious," Kirkman said during his In Conversation panel at Comic-Con 2019. "I felt like it escalated. But I was acutely aware of how it could become repetitious and I really wanted to avoid that. I wanted there to be a narrative flow, and in order to achieve that, I knew I would have to wrap it up."
Negan Lives #1 is now available to own. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.