Much to the surprise of fans everywhere, Robert Kirkman made the controversial decision to end his beloved comic series, The Walking Dead, with issue #193 this week. Not only was it a shocking place to end the series, but no one had any idea the conclusion was even close. Fake solicits had gone out to retailers and everything, making even comic book shop owners think they had more issues on the way. This is especially difficult for fans given that there were stories they didn't get the chance to see wrap up, including that of the iconic villain Negan.
Negan has been away from the spotlight since the story moved to the Commonwealth for the final arc. It seemed as though his story would come back around at some point, given how close he and Rick had become over the course of the series. However, he never showed up in the final issue, nor was he addressed. That is, until Kirkman's letter at the end of the issue.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead #193...
Kirkman penned a long letter to the fans at the end of the final issue, thanking them for everything and explaining why he chose to conclude the series when he did. In the very last line of the letter, the creator makes clear that Negan is safe and sound. He wrote, "P.S. Negan Lives."
There's no telling what that could mean for the character's future, or where he went after leaving Rick. But it is nice to know that he wasn't killed off-page.
At another point in the letter, Kirkman tells fans that he is having just as hard of a time saying goodbye as they are.
"I'm upset, too. I'm going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it, and we have to move on... but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn't live up to what I want it to be.
"I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way... at any point," Kirkman continued. "That's such a rare thing, and it doesn't exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you."
What did you think of the final issue of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!