When a story (such as The Walking Dead) establishes itself over the course of 100 or 150 issues, it can be hard to believe that it didn’t tumble out of the clouds on stone tablets, divinely authored and gift wrapped for the lucky bastard who finds it, but in the creative torture chamber where these things are actually concocted, they evolve and shift.
There are certain moments that define The Walking Dead comic book, many of which have helped to define the show of the same name. One of the earliest such moments came in The Walking Dead #6 when Carl Grimes put a bullet through the neck of Shane, his father’s best friend…and prospective murderer.
In the comics, Shane is less a force of nature than he was on the show, if for no other reason than that we got to spend more time with that version of the character. But according to a new Reddit AMA that series creator Robert Kirkman did, we could have a whole lot more time to get to know Shane — like the entire series.
Kirkman actually toyed with the idea of allowing Shane to murder Rick:
“I honestly considered killing RICK in issue 6 and making the comic about Carl having to grow up with this guy he saw kill his father […] But in the end, I decided against it. That was never the plan, but it was a thought that popped up that I entertained while I was writing issue 6.”
As another Redditor pointed out, Kirkman has gone on the record about his plans to one day kill Rick (an interview wherein Kirkman also said that he had planned on killing another character 25 issues prior to when he actually did), but after just 6 issues, the comic’s trajectory would have been completely different from where it is now.
Imagine Carl without that formative moment and without Rick’s guiding hand. Imagine all of the other characters that have looked to Rick for guidance. Instinctively, I want to say that Kirkman was absolutely right to dismiss that notion as it occurred to him long before he knew that this was going to be a decade long, multi-media franchise, but we really don’t know…but it’s definitely something to ponder and discuss, so do that in the comment section below.