In the Letter Hacks section of The Walking Dead issue #99, the last issue before Negan's arrival in the comics, Dan Buffaloe from Nashville, Tennessee wrote to writer Robert Kirkman and editor Sean Mackiewicz. In his letter, Buffaloe predicts a grim fate for Carl where he is bitten in a "cliff hanger" ending for issue #100. Of course, issue #100 is remembered as the issue where Negan killed Glenn (ironically enough transformed into a cliff hanger on television) but Buffaloe's prediction has come true on the TV series.
"The end of issue 100 will be your finest cliff hanger," Buffaloe starts. "We will turn to the last page of issue 100 to see Carl getting bitten by a walker, and it'll be somewhere that amputation isn't an option...I'm thinking on his side around the ribs. OH, the people will wail and whine, and swear the you are a sadistic f---er (not that I disagree on that point) and that they'll never read TWD again. The uproar will be huge. Fans who've been reading since the start will curse you and sell off their whole collections. You will sit there at your desk tapping the tips of your fingers together saying 'excellent' like Mr. Burns. And I'm sure a lot of weirdos out there will thank you."
Then comes what may be the Mid-Season Eight premiere episode, or a large part of it. "Issue 101 ends with another great cliff hanger," Buffaloe continues. "After the whole issue dealing with Rick coming to terms with Carl dying, we turn to the last page to find a beautiful two page spread of Rick holding his gun to Carl's head while he sleeps."
As Buffaloe continued, however, he seems to have strayed in his prediction's accuracy. Hitting the Carl bite mark on the head, however, is an impressive feat in itself. The rest of the prediction turns into an outrageous fan-faction, albeit a potentially interesting story from an alternate fan-made universe.
"Issue 102, a strange thing happens to Carl...NOTHING," Buffaloe writes. "No fever, no infection, no signs of anything abnormal. Our wonderful surgeon (Denise?) will come to the conclusion that the chunk of brain that was shot out of Carl's head must prevent the zombie virus (or whatever it is) from affecting him. This will lead to some great character development of an otherwise boring character; Denise. We can have her turn into somewhat of a mad scientist. Single people start disappearing from The Community one by one. The group assumes they are moving to bigger settlements. We come to find out that Denise is abducting people and cutting out their eyes and brains trying to duplicate Carl's condition. After cutting up their brains she kills them or lets them get bitten to see if they turn.And yet again another great issue ending with Denise found dead on a table with scalpels and s--- hanging out of her eye after performing the surgery on herself. So there's some comic gold for you! I'm going back to writing my own comic. I love The Walking Dead, but my comic is way better...that's a compliment btw (to me)."
Unfortunately, Denise has long been dead on the TV series, and Carl will be joining her soon enough. The idea of Rick's son serving as the cure for the apocalypse's zombie virus, however, would certainly reinvigorate some of the angry fans Buffaloe knew would come after Carl's being marked for death.
Issue #99 of The Walking Dead comics published on June 20, 2012.
The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.