After a long period of “will-they-or-won’t-they” adapt comic book bad guys The Whisperers for the TV show, the season 9 San Diego Comic-Con trailer confirms Alpha and her pack of nomadic barbarians are shambling towards The Walking Dead.
At its Hall H panel at Comic-Con Friday, The Walking Dead confirmed Samantha Morton (Minority Report, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) will join the series as Alpha, a bald-headed villainess and leader of the pack of new enemies who wear walker flesh as camouflage to move freely among the reanimated dead.
Greg Nicotero, a longtime producer, director, and special effects makeup artist on the series, teased Beta — Alpha’s overly-tall brute bodyguard and second in command — won’t be far behind.
The Whisperers are glimpsed at the end of the trailer as Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) narrowly flee an approaching flood of walkers. Rosita and Eugene lather themselves in mud, lying deathly still in a ravine. Listen closely and you'll hear the parade of walkers hiss, “Where are they?”
The Whisperers were similarly first encountered in the comics, trailing series newcomers Marco and Ken, who are initially unaware the searching “walkers” are actually a disguised human threat. The villains served as the primary human threat for more than 40 issues after their introduction in The Walking Dead #130, claiming the lives of multiple main characters and driving the plot until the ongoing comic book series moved on into the Commonwealth era in issue #175.
In the comics, Alpha is mother to Lydia, a teen girl who enters into a romantic relationship with Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes’ same-aged son Carl. Because the TV show killed Carl (Chandler Riggs) midway through season 8, the Whisperer war will have to be dramatically altered when it makes its way to screens.
“We do plan on telling those comic stories,” executive producer and Walking Dead CCO Scott Gimple told EW in December. “It just will have to be with different people and it's a different way to tell those same stories. But we hope to still fulfill what those stories do.”
The Walking Dead season 9 debuts Sunday, October 7 on AMC.