Comic book readers should anticipate changes when The Walking Dead Season Nine introduces comic book enemy group the Whisperers, who emerged as the largest threat to the survivors’ way of life and their attempts to rebuild a civilized society in the wake of Negan’s defeat.
“We’ll go into a really great storyline that people are anticipating, called the Whisperers,” new showrunner Angela Kang said on The Walking Dead Season Nine Preview Special.
“If you’re a fan of the comic you know exactly what that means, although the way we do it may not be exactly the way it goes in the comic — we always remix things — and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s better to learn as you go along.”
For non-readers, the Whisperers mark an end to roughly two years of peacetime following the end of the war against the Saviors. A nomadic pack of vicious survivors, the Whisperers camouflage themselves in walker flesh — a tactic that allows them to both move freely among the undead and catch the living by surprise.
Samantha Morton (Minority Report) has been cast as unforgiving leader Alpha, and Cassady McClincy (Castle Rock) was announced yesterday as Alpha’s 16-year-old daughter, Lydia, who in the comics formed a sexual relationship with Carl Grimes. Also belonging to the pack is Beta, Alpha’s 7-something-foot-tall number two whose casting or involvement has yet to be revealed.
The Whisperers quickly rack up a hefty body count, igniting the Whisperer War after a series of shocking and gruesome murders — counting even major players among those slain. Whether a certain two-page spread well-known to readers is adapted for the show remains to be seen, but the Whisperers will bring with them an end to the relative peacetime that has emerged over the course of an 18-month time jump.
“It’s a new chapter of the story. The first eight seasons were intended to be one chapter, and then we kind of go into a new part of what our characters are doing,” Kang said.
“We are seeing what happens after the war has concluded. We see people trying to rebuild civilization and grapple with what that means, what the future is, and how you end up looking to the past in some ways to build up the present and the future.”
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 7 on AMC.