What part of “The Walking Dead” didn’t you understand, America?
A little under a year after The Walking Dead comic series concluded with issue 193, writer Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard are bringing their project back from the dead for a single-issue story called “Negan Lives.”
Negan Lives #1 will ship to comic book shops in July and is aimed at helping stores recover from the economic damage caused by COVID-19. To that end, no digital copies of Negan Lives #1 will be made available for purchase. Additionally, Skybound Entertainment will be taking care of freight costs for shipments of the book, leaving local retailers without any financial burden to stock the issue. The book is expected to be available for release at comic shops across the country on Wednesday, July 1.
“I’ve been inspired by Steve Geppi and Diamond’s efforts to shine a light on how essential the Direct Market is to our beloved industry with their #backthecomeback campaign,” Kirkman said in a statement. “While Charlie Adlard and I had laid the series to rest, this felt like something special we could do for the store owners who made our series a success to begin with. To that end, I’m happy to report that 100% of the revenue generated from this book will go to the stores selling it. The retailer community does backbreaking work to get comics into the hands of our loving fans, we should all be doing more in these trying times to show them how appreciated they are.”
Negan is one of the most beloved characters from The Walking Dead’s run. The leather-jacket wearing, bat-wielding chatterbox started off as a major antagonist to Rick Grimes and friends in issue 100. Negan would then go on to evolve into a sort of antihero, assisting the protagonists in The Whisperer War before retiring to a life of quiet post-apocalyptic contemplation. A flash-forward in the series final issue reveals that Negan is still alive, but doesn’t show him “onscreen.” This made him the most logical candidate for a spinoff or continuation of the series whenever Kirkman and Adlard felt up to it. Sure enough, Negan is the route they’ve decided to take for this special, charitable one-off.
Per Skybound, the plot of Negan Lives #1 is as follows:
“Spurned by a slowly rebuilding society, Negan lives a life of desperate isolation… or does he? In the tradition of Here’s Negan, this all-new story in Negan Lives #1 gives readers a glimpse into what has happened to one The Walking Dead‘s most popular characters in the time since his last appearance in The Walking Dead #174.
As long-time readers of the post-apocalyptic survival series will recall, The Walking Dead #174 proved to be a pivotal point for Negan, as he was tracked down and confronted by a vengeful Maggie, still heartbroken and furious over the murder of her husband, Glenn, in The Walking Dead #100.”
Negan Lives #1 will feature 36 pages and will maintain the comic series’ usual black and white format. Limited edition gold and silver foil variants will be made available in limited quantities.
Negan still very much lives in The Walking Dead’s TV universe as well. AMC’s The Walking Dead was forced to delay its season 10 finale due to the coronavirus pandemic. That is still awaiting a release date as is the newest offering in the franchise’s canon – The Walking Dead: World Beyond.