The Walking Dead Iron Mask Theory Would Reveal New Comic Character With Ties to Rick Grimes

A new theory about the mysterious masked person revealed in The Walking Dead's tenth season finale would introduce an obscure character from creator Robert Kirkman's comic book universe, linking them to the missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). While Rick's partner Michonne (Danai Gurira) is away investigating his disappearance — she was last seen headed north with a large migration of survivors after discovering clues Rick survived his apparent death in a bridge explosion years earlier — Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Alden (Callen McAuliffe), while under threat from the skin-wearing Whisperers, encounter a ninja-like survivor whose true identity is concealed beneath an iron mask in the opening minutes of "A Certain Doom."

Walking Dead fan Derek de Castro on Twitter speculates this masked person will be revealed as Claudia, who is first seen wearing plate armor resembling a medieval knight in The Walking Dead: The Alien. The special one-shot issue, scripted by Brian K. Vaughan and pencilled by Marcos Martin, follows Jeffrey Grimes — Rick's younger brother mentioned in Kirkman's main comic book — who travelled to Barcelona, Spain, just days before the start of the zombie apocalypse.

Claudia's profession as a museum curator gives her access to such unique weaponry as a halberd and mace, used by Claudia and Jeffrey in their attempt to reach a boat they planned to sail to Ibiza. From there, Claudia would use a contact's private jet to fly to America and obtain a rumored treatment for the undead plague.

By the end of the issue — spoilers — Jeffrey, suffering from a fresh walker bite, asks Claudia to pass a message to older brother "Richie" upon reaching the United States. Jeffrey then bleeds out and dies before Claudia learns Rick's last name or where to find him.

Claudia never reappeared before Kirkman ended his comic book after 193 issues in July 2019.

Unlike his live-action counterpart, who was shuttled away aboard a helicopter belonging to the Civic Republic Military, this Rick Grimes was assassinated before being put to rest by son Carl Grimes in the penultimate issue of The Walking Dead.

In the show's coming season finale, the person in the iron mask appears to be trained in the martial arts and is seen wielding Japanese kama weapons. A voice over from Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in the opening minutes of the episode suggests this person is more friend than foe, and possibly has ties to the returned Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan).

Fans previously speculated this person could be an older Duane Jones, the only son of Morgan (Lennie James) who we're told died off-screen in an earlier season of The Walking Dead.

Other theories questioned if this person is someone we already know, with speculation pointing to the return of the long-missing Heath (Corey Hawkins). The former Alexandria resident, not seen since he was abducted by CRM in Season 7, is presumed to be alive.

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Rick will return in the Walking Dead feature film penned by Kirkman and TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple, who in March revealed the first script in the planned trilogy was being "fine-tuned" amid coronavirus shutdowns. The film trilogy was first announced in November 2018 following Lincoln's exit from the Walking Dead television show and a brief teaser, premiered during San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, hinted Rick is currently in Philadelphia.

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