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YMMV / The Walking Dead

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YMMV for the comic

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Martinez telling the truth or was he going to bring the Governor to the prison? Or, probably, both?
    • Did Dwight really pull a Heel–Face Turn or is he still secretly working for Negan? Issue 126 confirms the former interpretation.
    • After the Time Skip, it seems as though Negan genuinely wants to gain Rick's trust, and he even gives him some solid advice when shit starts hitting the fan. However, he does end up breaking out and seemingly aligning himself with the Whisperers, casting doubt on his true intentions. Once again, the former interpretation is eventually confirmed.
  • Badass Decay: Maggie was previously an all around Action Girl who bravely fought by Rick's people against walkers and human villains alike, but ever since becoming the leader of the Hilltop Colony, she's grown into a less interesting character by simply ordering people around from within her safe zone instead of being out on the field. This isn't helped by her Easily Forgiven philosophy towards most of her own treacherous followers.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Rick himself slowly descended into this after the Whisperer war. Many people still like him, but it is no longer uncommon to encounter a fan who does not accuse Rick of being Robert Kirkman's Creator's Pet, if not an outright self-insert, whose actions are always supposed to be right.
    • Princess. Many fans either hate her being the sort of character who really doesn't belong in a dark story like The Walking Dead...or love her for that exact reason. Another group kinda regrets that she was introduced in Issue 171 for the comics to end in Issue 193, leaving her little time to grow as a character.
    • For the same reasons as the above, Ezekiel and Shiva. Some hated the idea of The Walking Dead introducing a self proclaimed king with a pet tiger, others loved the sheer unexpectedness of it, and others pondered the Fridge Logic of how you keep a tiger fed After the End.
  • Bizarro Episode: The end of issue 75 features Rick suddenly transported to a sci-fi ship and donning a Power Fist and yellow jumpsuit. It's "revealed" the the zombies are part of an alien invasion who turn the dead into super soldiers as part of a diabolical plot to hustle water. Dead characters, Axel, Tyreese, and Martinez are there with superhero outfits as part of an army of humanity, and The Governer is there as The Quisling, with Lori as his sex slave. This entire back-issue is based on a joke Kirkman said about the plot, and has nothing to do with the story before or after. Strangely enough, the back-issue got it's own mini-spinoff in 2021.
  • Broken Base:
    • "All-Out War", the conclusion of the initial Negan arc, proved to be divisive with fans. Some felt that it was somewhat underwhelming after the huge amount of buildup due to the lack of major character deaths and devastation that the iconic "Made to Suffer" arc brought in spades. However, others loved it for defying expectations, breaking the bleakness that had been plaguing the series, and still having major repercussions by opening the door for radically different storylines.
    • Rick's death was certainly divisive, not because of the death itself, but rather, how it happened: shot to death in his bed by Sebastian Milton, a minor character who Rick could have easily taken apart with his bare hands if he had the chance. Many fans felt like the death was massively anti-climactic, feeling that he should have received a more heroic send-off befitting his status as the series' main character. Others, on the other hand, liked the sudden shockingness of it, as well as how it underlined the fact that death in real life is often pointless, stupid and without meaning, and that even the great Rick Grimes wasn't immune to the brutal pettiness that drives people to commit monstrous actions.
  • Cargo Ship: Even in the story Negan considers Lucille his true love.
  • Catharsis Factor: Pretty much anytime a Hate Sink character is killed off, fans will likely cheer for this action. But to be more specific...
  • Common Knowledge: The Walking Dead takes place in a world where Romero never made Night of the Living Dead (1968) and therefore the modern cultural concept of the zombie never developed, leading to the characters never saying the word zombie. This may be an assumption carried over from the TV show; while they certainly don't say it often, the characters do use the term, for example when Rick is describing the state of the world to the prison inmates in issue 14.
  • Crazy Is Cool: Negan. Just when Rick thinks he is the meanest group around Negan shows up with a barbed wired bat to prove him otherwise, then he tries ambushing him only for Negan showing how Crazy-Prepared he is with a whole back up team with guns, all while cursing like a sailor and babbling to the point even his own men don't follow.
  • Creepy Awesome: Again, Negan. He's an unpredictable sociopath who'll kill anyone on a whim, but he's also a legitimate badass survivor who startles Rick himself.

  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Paul "Jesus" Monroe gets a lot of love for managing to be both extremely badass and a genuine Nice Guy at the same time.
    • Axel and Tyreese are quite popular and very well-liked amongst the fanbase. The former due to having many funny lines and adding some humor to the series, and the latter for being a massive badass who at one point gets knocked down in a massive room full of walkers, only to kill them all by himself with only his hammer and without getting bit or scratched in the process. Notably, they are both among the very small amount of characters that Robert Kirkman actually misses and regrets killing off.
    • Alice Warren is one of the most liked female characters of the comic (along with Andrea and Michonne) for a variety of reasons, but mostly for being a very attractive and helpful nurse, as well as one of the only sane inhabitants of Woodbury. She later became a badass during the prison assault, and the way she went out was also remembered by many.
    • The Governor is easily one of the most memorable antagonists of the story, despite only appearing in the Prison-Woodbury arc and actually being absent for a large chunck of it. It's mostly due to how hateful he is and how he provides some of the series darkest, most plot-critical moments, that you'd be hard pressed to find a fan that doesn't remember him. He arguably only loses to Negan in villain popularity, while having much less page time and being much less sympathetic.
  • Evil Is Cool: Negan is clearly a monster, but he's a an awesome monster.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The first Time Skip was already a big one, but Issue 193 is an open door to quintillions of speculations and potential stories, with the author himself admitting he could have stretched the story.
  • Fan Nickname: Skinwalkers or Walkie Talkies, for the unusual walkers that are actually survivors who wear the skins of the deceased.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Negan and Alpha were widely debated about being a possible villain couple.
  • Fountain of Memes: Negan. He has many hilarious bits of dialogue that fans love to quote, such as "It's going to be pee-pee pants city here real soon," "Did you eat her pussy like a lady?" and "You got no guts".
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Negan's Signature Scene in the comic was acclaimed as an amazing turning-point in the comic series that established him as an intriguing character and caused a dent on the main characters. However, the television version of this very scene would cause a massive rift between fans of the series and be remembered very negatively for its changes.
    • In #160, we got a heartwarming scene where Maggie says that she's happy when she thinks of Glenn. It was even more heartwarming as it was the first issue to be released after the television adaptation of Glenn's death. Then we get to #174 in which Maggie rants to Negan that when she tries to remember Glenn's face, she remembers his eyeball hanging out, and when she tries to remember his voice, she remembers him choking and trying to mumble her name while Negan laughs. Ouch.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Negan is hated for killing Glenn but he redeems himself for being The Joker of the comic.
    • The Governor in a way. He's so utterly evil and messed up that you kinda love him for it. There's never really a dull moment when he's involved.
  • Magnificent Bastard: (Along with “Rise of The Governor” to “Fall of The Governor”): Caesar Ramòn Martínez is one of the most loyal followers and allies of The Governor, who willing ignores Governor’s brutality and vindictiveness for the sake of protecting Woodbury. A charismatic and friendly man when meeting Lilly and her group, Martínez is capable of taking down larger threats and planning, working with Lilly and other soldiers to kidnap and assassinate The Governor. When walkers break up the Mexican Standoff, Martínez convinces Lilly’s group and the Governor’s men to work together and save each other and destroy the Walkers, managing to get back into Governor’s good graces. He manages to save Rick, Michonne and Glenn from imprisonment and manages to sneak them out of Woodbury undetected, knocking out several guards without any suspicion and when they got to the prison, Martínez slipped away from the prison, revealing to have been ordered by the Governor to gain Rick’s trust and gain intel on their location to bring it back to them. After getting tracked down and run over by Rick, Martínez shows no fear in his death, only claiming to go and being families to the prison for their safety before, in his last breath, comparing Rick’s brutality to the Governor himself.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Thomas Richards decapitates Hershel's twin daughters.
    • If the Governor raping Michonne after amputating Rick's hand purely For the Evulz doesn't count, then he definitely crossed it when he killed Tyreese and ordered his own troops to shoot helpless civilians fleeing from the prison while they attacked it. This results in baby Judith's Cruel and Unusual Death, which he happily brushes off after Lilly calls him out on it. As result, no one was complaining when she shot him in the head at the very next page.
    • Negan's brutal execution of resident Nice Guy Glenn in front of his friends and family permanently solidfied him as the bastard we all know and love to hate.
    • The cannibalistic Hunters have already crossed it by the time the main cast encounters them; they killed and ate their own children.
    • Sebastian Milton was already a spoiled, entitled asshole when first introduced, but he goes sailing over the line by killing Rick Grimes. He does freak out afterwards... about the likelihood that he's going to get in trouble for it, with no regard for the fact that he just murdered a man in cold blood.
  • Narm:
    • In the first issue, a corpse falls out of an elevator and Rick falls down next to it and yells "HELP!" The ways it's drawn makes it look like he's asking the corpse for help.
    • Lori reacts to learning that Tyreese was left in the gym is to awkwardly bite her lip.
    • The Governor cutting off Rick's hand is a pretty shocking page, but loses a little impact due to Bruce's dopey facial expression while he holds him down.
    • When Jesus and Aaron defeat Beta in Issue 173, they pull his mask off and discover that Beta used to be a famous NBA player and an actor before degrading to a monster. While this may be very sad, many people took this as a complete Ass Pull. Not to mention the fact that Beta got defeated fairly easily despite being tough enough to survive a brutal beatdown from Negan of all people. And when Aaron attempts to tell us Beta's real name, Beta suddenly jumps up (despite having a fatal bullet wound in his chest) and screams "I HAVE NO NAME!" before finally expiring. Again, many people found Beta's lines hilarious instead of tragic.
  • Nausea Fuel: You really have to admire the detail the artists put into the zombies. You can see every maggot and fly crawling around their decaying skin. And there are a LOT of maggots. And flies.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Dwight was despised at first for being a Jerkass member of the Saviors who killed Abraham. But after a more complex side of him was shown and he eventually pulled a Heel–Face Turn, he began to grow on fans and is now a fan-favorite.
    • Lydia took time to be fully accepted as a character. She, at first, caused a Die for Our Ship with the Sophia/Carl followers, and then pushed Carl to take some rude decisions while being only there for a little time (Their relationship is basically what caused the deaths of Issue 144 and the whole Whisperer War) and there's the moment Andrea try to protect her by bringing her to the Hilltop and Lydia points a gun at her for not explaining her... instead of simply asking. This bratty behaviour, however, was quickly forgotten when she "breaks" with Carl, being surprisingly adult about their relation, and then being incredibly badass and without compromise or ambiguity with her allegence in the Whisperer War. Near the end of the comics, it seemed like she was ready to dive into scrappy territory by being jealous with Sophia and Carl friendship, but the comics ended soon enough for her to be safe, and many appreciated her maturity - and awkwardness - at the end.
  • The Scrappy: Basically, to avoid being a Scrappy in this series don't be Load, a Dirty Coward, or Too Dumb to Live.
    • Lori, for being generally whiny and unreasonable. Even Steven Yeun, Glenn's actor on the show, admitted to hating Lori when he read the comics. Even Rick and Carl stopped mentionning her at a certain point, with Andrea basically replacing her.
    • Patricia, for being willing to forgive an unrepentant serial killer in one of this series' most extreme examples of Too Dumb to Live. The fact that she tried to help Dexter and Andrew kick out Rick's group only a little while after this did not help the fans dislike of her.
    • Spencer, who during the "No Way Out" arc wants to leave everyone else to their deaths when the herd is about to break through the walls, causing Andrea to give him a What the Hell, Hero?. He later plots to overthrow Rick by having Negan kill him. Needless to say, even Negan finds this act disgusting and demoralizing and guts Spencer.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Issue 100 contains what has become possibly the most well-known scene in the comic: the new Big Bad Negan introduces himself by kidnapping the group, going on a crazed monologue about how they are under his control now, and choosing one of them to beat to death as a "lesson" through a game of eenie meenie minie moe. Glenn is the unfortunate victim. It has become such an acclaimed moment that when the TV adaptation elected to end it on a cliffhanger without showing who Negan killed, fans were livid and began claiming that the show had butchered a crucial moment in the story.
  • Squick:
    • The Governor making out with his zombified daughter after pulling her teeth out with pliers.
    • Lydia licking Carl's empty eye socket before seducing him.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Patrica ends up throughly disliked by the rest of the cast after her actions listed above, and just when things seem to be getting better for her, not only does she lose her new boyfriend at the start of the Prison Massacre, but Patrica herself is uncermoneously killed by The Governor and completly forgotten about by all the other characters afterwards.
    • Spencer getting Gutted Like a Fish by Negan after being given "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Gregory getting hanged by his community for his treachery.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Most of the Greene family. Maggie, of course, is a major character, and Hershel and Billy are important in the prison arc, but we learn absolutely nothing about Lacey, Arnold, Rachel, and Susie or see many interactions between any of them.
    • Sgt. Abraham Ford is one of the most badass characters in the series, but gets an extremely anticlimactic death via an arrow to the eye. To add insult to injury this happens just before the war with Negan, which would have been a perfect storyline to utilize his skills. Robert Kirkman himself even regrets this and thus Abraham was Spared by the Adaptation in the TV show... which is ultimately subverted since his TV series counterpart ended up taking Glenn's comic death just two episodes later.
    • Rosita Espinosa was one of the longest lasting survivors but was also pretty much always Out of Focus, especially after breaking up with Abraham. She ends up getting a sudden and saddening death at the hands of Alpha during the fair massacre in Issue 144.
    • Alpha was the first major female antagonist in the comic and had great potential to be an Ice Queen who still had some good left in her. Just when we start to see a more complex side of her she is brutally killed by previous Big Bad Negan.
    • Gabriel Stokes was a long-lasting survivor but was also severely Out of Focus after his initial arc. Just when he finally starts to receive screentime again and takes a couple levels in badass, he is brutally killed by Beta at the start of the Whisperer War.
  • Toy Ship: Carl and Sophia and Carl and Lydia.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Hershel (Maggie's son, not her father) in the final issue could be considered this. Everyone's worried he'll turn out to be like Sebastion, but he's nowhere near his level, and in fact was completely cordial with Carl up until he killed his walkers. While his traveling sideshow business was dangerous, considering he was using live walkers, he did it out of a desire to remind people that they're still a threat and to feel closer to the father he never got a chance to know. And if his last panel is anything to go by, he doesn't have the happiest home life either.