Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics (and potentially TV series) follow.
The Walking Dead has deviated from the comics quite a bit this season in having Negan kill more than one character, Carol make the discovery of the Kingdom, and adding an entire episode of Daryl at Negan's Sanctuary.
As comic fans know, it was only Glenn who met Lucille, Rick and Michonne who were initially introduced to the Kingdom, and Daryl has never existed in the books.
However, Sunday night's Episode 4 of Season 7 will be following the comics quite a bit which could mean trouble for certain members of the Alexandria squad. Specifically, fans are expecting to see Spencer's iconic death scene, though 7x04 would be quite a bit ahead of where it happened on the pages.
"There are some great moments from the comic books that we're going to get a chance to experience," executive producer Greg Nicotero said. "To me it feels like we may be a little closer in nature to certain beats in the graphic novel than we have in the past, but that could just be my interpretation of it."
Spencer's death in the comics was very much self-inflicted. The character chose not to trust Rick Grimes but, in doing so, made himself untrusthworthy. The new oppressor of Alexandria is not a fan of people he can't trust.
In issue #111, Rick is at the Kingdom speaking with Ezekiel but Negan makes a visit to Alexandria. While Alexandria tells Negan that Rick is out on a supply run, the menace chooses to post up on a vacant front porch where he is approached by Spencer Monroe.
"I understand what you're trying to do... To build here, with all these people," Spencer said. "I can't say I agree with all your methods, but I get it. You're building a network, and you're making people work together, contribute to a greater good... It all makes sense. Rick Grimes is not someone who works well with others. I'm just warning you."
The words appeared to have nabbed Negan's attention as Spencer went on.
"Rick wasn't originally the leader here," Spencer said. "It was my father and he was doing a much better job of it. Rick came along, with his group, and really wrecked things for us here. He's... Well... He's a maniac. That's the best way to put it. He may even want to work with you, but I'm telling you... This guy can't not be the boss."
It was all a play to get himself into a position of power.
"I am my father's son," Spencer said. "I think I can be the leader he was."
Negan heard Spencer out before walking around with him, disguising his anger with interest. He leads Spencer to believe he wants to talk about Rick's supply run but ultimately questions whether or not the last remaining member of the Monroe family has any guts. He rules that he doesn't before using a knife to slice Spencer's stomach open, leaving his guts hanging from his stomach.
He had guts along, Negan realizes.
Speaking to ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview, Austin Nichols weighed in on his character earning such a death.
"I remember reading the comics and going, 'Oh, my god. That death is f---ing awesome,'" Nichols said. "I sure hope he doesn't die, but everybody does eventually. If that was his death I think I'd be pretty proud of that death, a pretty cool death by Negan."
Nichols may have reason to worry about that death approaching sooner than later as seeds have already been planted for its arrival in teasers for Sunday's new episode and the Season 7 trailer at San Diego Comic Con. "We should have made a deal with them when we had the chance," was the first sign of Spencer's defiance against Rick Grimes in the wake of Negan's introduction.
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