After 15 years, The Walking Dead comic book is coming to an end this Wednesday with issue #193. With the series not only originally taking the comics world by storm before being adapted into the AMC series, thus changing the landscape of horror television, fans had assumed that the series would come to an end with an announcement that would give them enough time to prepare for the conclusion. Instead, creator Robert Kirkman confirmed the news that, after the series killed off Rick, the following issue would be the series' finale. While it's unclear what will happen in the final issue, Entertainment Weekly revived an essay written by the author from a previous issue that detailed his original plans for the ending.
“When the story got to Alexandria in issue #72, things were going to go pretty much as they did,” Kirkman wrote in an essay for issue #123. “Rick and his crew were going to have trouble fitting in because of everything they’d been through. That would lead to conflict within Alexandria, and it would eventually lead to Rick taking over. The big storyline 'NO WAY OUT' ended with Rick proclaiming that Alexandria was a place worth fighting for, that they could no longer keep moving from place to place… they had to take a stand, lay down roots and start building from there. Their nomad days were behind them."
He continued, “Well, for years… that had been planned to be… the end. Rick would make his proclamation, and the speech would end with a big close-up on Rick’s face, you’d turn the page, and Rick’s face would be the same, only it was a statue… and you’d zoom out and see the full statue with some vines growing on the bottom of it… cracks forming… and you’d realize that it was quite OLD."
Instead, the series continued on well after the "No Way Out" Storyline for more than double its original length.
“We’d keep zooming out until we saw that the statue was in Alexandria, the same place where he gave the speech, but it was different," Kirkman explained. "It was old and rundown, broken windows and missing doors. We would keep zooming out until a zombie walked by, then another… and we’d see that Rick had brought them to Alexandria, given this grand speech about rebuilding civilization and SUCCEEDED to the point that they built a statue to honor him… but in the end, the dead won, society crumbled again, this time seemingly for good… and that was it.”
Not only was Kirkman disappointed with this ending that he previously scripted, but he also would have denied himself the joy of exploring the lives of these characters.
“That ending… in hindsight was embarrassingly bad,” the writer confessed. “But more than that, I wasn’t ready to end this series. Not by a long shot.”1comments
You can grab the final issue of The Walking Dead on Wednesday.
Would you have liked to have seen this ending? Let us know in the comments below!