The war has begun. After several strikes made by Rick's group against Negan's, the big bad man arrived and made what will certainly be a lasting impact on the show.
Be warned, spoilers for The Walking Dead season six finale and all comics to date follow.
Rick is certainly backed into a corner like never before. The Saviors are a much more organized and threatening group than he has faced to date. The only comparable situation is Terminus, when it looked like all hope was lost as Rick's group was packed into a train car, but we didn't know that Carol was waiting in the distance to save everyone.
This time, it's going to take more than Carol to stop Negan.
In the comics, Rick has no choice but to team up with the Hilltop and another community, one which will soon be explored on television, to take on the Saviors. The new community is called The Kingdom, led by a man named Ezekial and his tiger Shiva.
Eugene's bullet manufacturing skills are a crucial part of the war, as well, though the communities always seem outmatched, regardless.
As Rick rallies Alexandria and The Kingdom to take on the Saviors, the march on the Saviors' compound doesn't go as expected. Just as Rick is about to strike, Negan reveals that he has Gregory at his Sanctuary and Gregory tells Rick the Hilltop stands with the Saviors. Now, Gregory has always been a of an egotistical coward leading his community, so he probably wasn't very difficult to influence.
Nevertheless, a major battle ensues after some of the Hilltop members leave Rick's side, and several lives are lost, though none are key characters. Holly, the comic book equivalent to Sasha, drives a bus into Negan's Sanctuary and is injured but ultimately rescued by the savage.
Later, she would be returned to Alexandria with a bag over her head. Upon revealing her face, we see that she is zombie and Negan was toying with the Safe-Zone and trying to get someone killed, and doing so as Holly's bites claim the already-dead-on-TV Denise.
In any case, Rick plans several attacks against the Saviors, none of which go exactly as planned and Negan . The biggest screw up goes to Carl, though. Carl decides to attempt infiltrating the Saviors compound on his own and hops in the back of one of their trucks. Upon arrival at their hideout, he unloads a machine gun on several men, but Negan is surprisingly forgiving. While he doesn't kill Carl for the actions, he does force him to take off his eye patch and sing a song in a true move of powerful manipulation and belittlement.
Towards the end of the war, Negan's army starts covering their weapons with zombie guts so that even a graze will claim their enemies in the end. At one point, Negan and Dwight find themselves behind Rick and Aaron and Negan orders Dwight to shoot Rick. He does, with a crossbow, through Rick's stomach.
Luckily for Rick, Dwight had already defected against Negan and was working as a mole. The arrow wasn't covered in guts and Rick would recover.
The war comes to a head when Negan shows up at Alexandria believing Rick dead. To his surprise, Rick greets him with a peace offering and convinces Negan that there is a better way to live than under his tyranny. However, when Rick gets close enough, he puts a knife to Negan's throat and slashes it. As Negan bleeds on the ground, Rick tells the Saviors they can either fight him or join. Dwight takes Lucille and orders the Saviors to the latter.
A fight between Negan and Rick ensues, where Negan manages to break Rick's leg, but Rick is able to get the upper hand and arrest Negan, sentencing him to life in an Alexandria prison.
The Walking Dead will returns for its seventh season in October. Our next bit of footage will come from San Diego Comic Con in July where AMC has released the new seasons' trailers for the past several years.