The Walking Dead editor seems to be making an unbelievable promise or Commonwealth-sized troll in saying Negan is never coming back to the comic bok series.
In issue #182's Letter Hacks section, Sean Mackiewicz and Robert Kirkman were asked about Negan's return and whether or not he will reunite with his precious Lucille bat. "It is possible, too that he will pick up another bat to wield?" wrote Ryan from Lexington, Kentucky. "Having him without Lucille (or a bat in general) is like having Michonne without her Katana. We all assume she's getting it back at some point... so can Negan get his back, too, maybe?"
Negan was last seen in issue #174, having proved his allegiance to Rick and apologizing to Maggie for killing Glenn. Still, he was banished from Alexandria and its surrounding communities for his crimes closer to issue #100. According to Mackiewicz, we're seen the last of the book's former villain.
"If we see Negan again - and we won't - I'd be really surprised if he had a bat with him," Mackiewicz said. "It feels like he put that behind him in his last appearance."
Now, Mackiewicz is either testing outlets like ComicBook.com on how far they will take such a quote in crafting a headline about Negan allegedly being gone for good and trolling the fanbase to set up an epic return or the comic's most popular villain has really just walked off into the sunset.
"It certainly seemed that way," was all Kirkman had to add to Mackiewicz's response.
The Walking Dead, both in TV and in comics, has seen characters go missing and never be heard from again on several occasions. The reality of it is that this apocalyptic world lead by Rick Grimes does not lend itself to reunions after long separations.
No character as prominent to the series as Negan, however, has ever gone missing and never been heard from again. The gut says Mackiewicz is having a little bit of fun with the fans and the leatherclad foul-mouthed lunatic will make another appearance in The Walking Dead comic, inevitably. However, the story does not lend itself to bringing him back any time soon as Rick and Commonwealth governor Pamela Milton are getting acquainted and their communities will attempt to join forces.
The Walking Dead issue #182 is available in comic shops now. The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC, returning for the second half of its fourth season on August 12. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.