WARNING: Major Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Issue #159!
As the issue begins, Negan and Beta get into a fist-fight. From underneath a zombie, Dwight tosses something to Negan. It's his favorite weapon, and best friend, Lucille.
Dwight took Lucille from Negan after Rick locked the villain in jail. Ever since Negan got out, he has had a very close eye on it.
Having Lucille back was definitely an invigorating experience for Negan. The bat wrapped in barbed-wire is much more than a weapon to him; it's a physical representation of his dead wife.
Negan's wife, named Lucille died of cancer at the onset of the apocalypse, and he has been using the bat to pretend she isn't truly gone. This seems to be his only weakness, and this issue sees her taken from him.
After beating on Beta, Lucille snaps in half, right in Negan's hands. He is absolutely devastated, and his entire demeanor changes afterword.
Initially, Negan just throws a tantrum. He screams at Beta for killing her, and repeatedly strikes a dead walker with her remaining shards. When the battle is over, Negan loses all of the hope and charisma he was so famous for.
As the rest of the group plots a counter attack on The Whisperers, Negan just suggests laying down and dying. This seems like a joke he would normally make, but his eyes are completely serious.
The second half of this issue has made one thing very clear: Negan will not be the same going forward.
The one thing that kept Negan happy, and alive, has now been taken away. Without Lucille, the man has no weapon, no confidence, and no love. He is lost and alone.
For the rest of the Whisper War, and beyond, Negan's psyche will be something to watch carefully. He may recover from his loss, but it will take a lot to get to that point.
There's a possibility that he never recovers, and this issue marks the beginning of Negan's downfall. Don't be surprised if his character slips into insanity throughout the coming issues.
We all thought Negan would be a character around for the long haul, but Walking Dead #159 may change that idea.