Warning: this story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead issue #46. Image Comics has released the variant covers for The Walking Dead Deluxe #46, next month's issue of the definitive presentation of the comic book zombie saga written by Robert Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard and colors by Dave McGaig. The issue, which hits stands September 7, commemorates the death of fan-favorite Tyreese, printed in full color for the first time. In addition to the standard cover by TWD: Deluxe series regular David Finch, variant covers will pay tribute to Tyreese in his final issue of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Deluxe #45, in stores Wednesday, reveals issue #46 variant covers by Paolo Rivera (Marvel's Mythos, Image's God Hates Astronauts), Julian Totino Tedesco (DC's Trinity of Sin, Marvel's Hawkeye), and a recolored version of Adlard's original cover. See the covers below.
First published in black and white in 2008, The Walking Dead #46 picks up where issue #45 left off: with Tyreese and Michonne captured by Woodbury. After Woodbury attacks the prison — and Rick Grimes refuses their leader's demands to open the gates — the Governor decapitates Tyreese with Michonne's katana.
The re-release will include another installment of Cutting Room Floor and all-new creator commentary from Kirkman, who wrote of Tyreese's death in the original Letter Hacks letters column of Walking Dead #46 in 2008:
Tyreese has been one of my favorite characters in the book for a long time. I'm just as sorry to see him go as, I'm sure, a lot of you reading this are. Now, in the past, I've been raked over the coals any time I do anything to a minority character. It's not fair, and I've discussed it to death in this letters column, so I'd just as soon not have to deal with it in the letters column for the next six months.
While some deaths in this series are very spur of the moment actions that I try not to think through (because it makes things more spontaneous, like real life) Tyreese's death has been planned almost since his introduction [in issue #7]. It's always been something I've known about and have been working toward. It will have great impact on the series and well, frankly... nobody lives forever in this book. Nobody.
So these things will continue to happen for the duration of the series. Characters have to die... that's just how the book works. So while I will miss Tyreese, I have the luxury of knowing what's ahead for the rest of the crew in this book, and so I know things will be okay.
The Walking Dead Deluxe #46 releases September 7 from Image Comics.