The Walking Dead: Did Robert Kirkman Confirm The Alexandria Safe Zone for Season 5B?

In the teaser trailer for the second half of The Walking Dead's fifth season, survivors debate the relative merits of survival on the road versus going to an unidentified location where they can try to build something more.

Fans of the comics, of course, will likely assume they're talking about the Alexandria Safe-Zone, a key locale in the series that came into the picture at around this point in the comic book storyline.

Tonight on AMC's Talking Dead aftershow, series creator Robert Kirkman made some comments that seem to point pretty clearly toward the introduction of Alexandria and some of its most recognizable survivors sooner than later.

In the comics, Rick and company have spent some time at the Alexandria Safe-Zone, one of a number of settlements established by survivors of the zombie apocalypse that shared common travel routes and a rudimentary economy.

Alexandria was the first such settlement Rick and his group found, and the residents there informed him of the existence of others. This all took place in The Walking Dead #69 or so -- which, for context, was three issues after the final appearance of The Hunters, the group Rick and company dispatched back in October.

Showrunners have said that they're following the comic book source material this season more closely than ever before. If they're really supposedly following the comics so closely, Alexandria is coming before the end of the year.

Add to that the fact that Kirkman, in response to a fan question on Talking Dead tonight, said that fans of the comics would have a pretty good idea of when and whether the group would make their way out of the Atlanta area, and it seems like you've got a pretty good hint.

On top of that, Kirkman teased that while Daryl Dixon is definitely straight, the series will be introducing a familiar gay character from the comics soon...and both of the most memorable characters that fit that description have ties to Alexandria: Paul "Jesus" Monroe and Alexandria's "recruiter" Aaron, who first alerted Rick and Abraham to the Safe Zone's existence.

In the series' November 2 episode, Noah told Beth that he's from Richmond, Virginia, "where they have walls." Whether Richmond is another of the settlements or it will take the place of Alexandria isn't immediately clear.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC with new episodes in February.