That "eventually" might translate to "next issue."
First of all, the cover of The Walking Dead's next issue (issue #163) sees Rick's hook hand reaching up among the hands of the undead. While the covers have a history of being misleading, this time around, Rick might actually be among the them for a few reasons which we are going to get into.
On the following slides, we run through full spoilers regarding The Walking Dead comics, so consider yourself warned.
Alexandria is in major trouble after issue #162. They think they took out the Whisperers and won the war but the biggest herd of roamers the book has ever seen is about to stumble upon the Safe-Zone. Rick is the only one aware of this fact and is frantically trying to prepare his people for the doom ahead.
It was issue #143 when Rick first saw Alpha's massive herd. 20 issues later he is preparing to face them.
Rick has been willing to sacrifice himself for his people in the past. Specifically, during his war with Negan, the one handed man in charge was going to plunge a school bus into the Saviors' Sanctuary until Holly had to physically stop him.prevnext
Variant Negan Cover
Furthermore, the variant cover of issue #163 sees Rick dressed Negan.
Negan has all but become a hero on The Walking Dead, slowly showing signs of fulfilling his redemption arc. If Rick is killed off, the community would likely look to Andrea in his place but Negan's skills as a leader are undeniable. Rick has taken advice from him in the past. He rounded up a band of savages and earned their respect, even after burning their faces. He got people to call themselves, "Negan." If anyone can step in after Alexandria falls and lead the community in the inbound war against his former group now lead by Sherry, it's Negan.prevnext
The final factor here is the number of issues ordered for The Walking Dead issue #163.0comments
Image Comics announced yesterday that this was their most ordered single issue in 20 years. Over 730,000 copies of The Walking Dead issue #163 have been ordered by comic book retailers. The 40-page book (double the standard issue) is expected to fly off the shelves -- meaning the buzz around it will grow once people pick up their copy and have something remarkable to tell their friends about.
What sort of moment in a Walking Dead comic could build such a hype other than killing its fearless leader Rick Grimes after over a decade of following him into all sorts of peril?prev