Infamous Walking Dead Rick Grimes Theory Comes to Life in Fan Edit

A popular Walking Dead theory was realized by a fan on Reddit using panels borrowed from The Walking Dead issue #1 and issue #192. Spoilers for TWD #192 follow.

Assembled by user u/RedstoneRay, the “what-if” shows the handicapped Rick Grimes gunned down in his bed by assassin Sebastian Milton, as he was in June’s issue #192.

But instead of his corpse reanimating into a walker that is later discovered and put down by son Carl, the fan edit shows Rick stirring awake with a gasp in a hospital bed — as he did in the second page of the comic book’s premiere issue after being shot in a police standoff.

The implication being the entirety of The Walking Dead, except for the first page of issue one, has been dreamed up by a comatose Rick.

[Comic 192 Spoiler] I edited some panels in the big 192 scene to match a popular fan theory. from r/thewalkingdead

Series creator Robert Kirkman has frequently debunked the long-standing theory, saying aboard Walker Stalker Cruise 2018 there is “zero” chance the franchise was dreamed up by an incapacitated Rick.

“Yeah, that comes up from time to time. That would be a terrible story,” Kirkman said.

“I think that’s been done in a lot of things, but he is definitely not in a coma, I promise. Like, he’d wake up and Negan would be the plumber. He’d be like, ‘Oh, you were there. It was so weird.’ Yeah, that’d be awful. Judith is a ghost. Yeah, Rick is definitely not in a coma.”

Kirkman noted he denies the theory “every two years.”

“I have to come out and be like, ‘he’s not in a coma, everybody,’” he added. “And then that makes the press rounds, and people are like, ‘whew.’ Then two years pass, and they’re like, ‘is he in a coma?’”

Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple, then acting as showrunner on the television series that starred Andrew Lincoln as Rick, similarly shot down the theory for the live-action TWD Universe.


“He is not waking up from the coma,” Gimple said in a 2017 Walking Dead Preview Special after the Season 8 trailer showed Rick waking up in a bed, but showing signs of visible aging. “Old Man Rick,” as dream Rick came to be known, was later revealed to be part of an idyllic future envisioned by a dying Carl (Chandler Riggs).

“Robert’s dad saw the trailer and said, ‘People are gonna think he’s waking up from the coma,’” Gimple said. “No coma. It’s not a coma.”