The Walking Dead has a history of sending major characters into the zombie apocalypse abyss never to be heard from again but for one key player in a recent storyline, that won't be the case.
Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics follow!
On the cover of The Walking Dead #173, it appears Beta is making his return to the popular comic book series. Paul "Jesus" Monroe is seen cowering in fear at some sort of enemy on the front of an issue called, "The Final Fight," and he is not typically someone who backs down or gets scared. In fact, Jesus is one of the most skilled warriors of the entire series.
The shadow-y figure is believed to be Beta, or Frowny McTwo Knives as Negan calls him, based on the stance and trench coat hanging from him.
Check out the cover of issue #171 in the tweet below from its artist Charlie Adlard.
The last time readers saw Beta, he was the de facto of the Whisperers. His last appearance came in issue #162.
Beta's first appearance in The Walking Dead comics came in issue #154.
The call, blunt, and intimidating character was a loyal follower to Alpha -- the former leader of the Whisperers. Alpha served as a leader for the group for an unknown amount of time, helping conform apocalyptic survivors into savages who wear the flesh of the dead in an effort to walk and function among them without being detected.
Alpha, however, was killed in issue #156 by Negan as he pledged an alledgiance to Rick Grimes. From there, Beta became the leader of the Whisperers for the war which followed.
Beta's personality is never truly developed because the character is basically devoid of any. He abandoned all morals and civilized instincts when he became a Whisperer and has killed several characters in the series, though only one key character was directly Beta's doing. In issue #158, Beta brutally killed Father Gabriel, his actions also cost the lives of Paula and Andrea.
After taking an embarrassing beating from Negan, Beta was awoken by a couple of his followers and his not surfaced on the pages of the series since.
Beta and the Whisperers won't be on The Walking Dead TV series for a couple of years if it continues to accurately follow its source material.
For perspective, the All Out War storyline which pits Rick against Negan and will begin on television with Season 8 took place between issues #114 and #126 in the comics. The Whisperers don't appear until issue #130 which likely wouldn't be adapted until Season 9, assuming Season 8 is completely dedicated to the All Out War arc.
This means the roles for the key Whisperer characters would be cast as early as the end of Season 8's airing. The AMC series beginning production on the following seasons a few weeks after preceding seasons air. Alpha's first appearance in the comics came in issue #132 with Beta being held until issue #154.
The Walking Dead issue #173 hits shelves November 1, 2017.
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead returns September 10th. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.