*Comic book spoilers throughout*
The Walking Dead takes more liberties with its source material than other shows/films, but it’s still based on the comic books written by show executive producer Robert Kirkman.
To give you some timeline perspective, the comic book series is still being written, and Issue #125 is coming out April 9. The Season 4 arrival of Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) was a pretty close match for how they were introduced in Issue #53. The Ben/Billy child killer storyline was covered around Issue 61 in the books, and adapted in Season 4, Episode 14 of the show.
The Marauders ambushed Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Abraham in Issue 57, and The Marauders story was extended through the second half of Season 4, culminating in a neck bite straight out of the comics on Episode 16. The very last line of the Season 4 finale, “They’re screwing with the wrong people,” was adapted from a line in Issue #64 of the comics — from Rick to the group, in reference to the cannibal group The Hunters: “They’re f—ing with the wrong people.”
The Hunters storyline, covered in the Fear The Hunters volume 11, continues until Issue 66. The next volume, Life Among Them, covers more of the road to Washington, D.C., including Eugene’s deceit (revealed in Issue 67), and the arrival of Aaron (Issue 68), a recruiter for the Alexandria Safe-Zone, introducing the whole Safe-Zone storyline.
On TV, we’re still at Terminus, which is located in Georgia, and we haven’t even hit the road for D.C. yet, so it might take a while for anyone to hear anything about the Safe-Zone. And after Terminus, who would trust it?
We haven’t even met Father Gabriel Stokes yet, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll appear at all, but there have been a few religious signs possibly leading the way. Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) was abducted by someone in a car with a cross on the back and Rick is shown in a new poster with light shining from what appears to be a church window. Gabriel was introduced in Issue 61 in the comics, but the TV version may be saving his introduction for Season 5. Or he might not show up at all. Don’t forget all the other changes from the books — Dale, and Andrea are still alive at this point in the comics; Tyreese, Carol, and Judith are already dead; and Beth, Daryl, Sasha, Bob, and Tara either don’t exist in the comics or aren’t around for the road to D.C.
On TV, we’re still toward the end of the What We Become volume, and not done with Fear The Hunters. They kind of skipped over Issues 58-59 because they involve returning to Rick’s hometown to meet Morgan Jones and have him join the group. They already did something like that in Season 3 with Rick, Carl, and Michonne. They may revisit that in Season 5, to get Morgan back on board, since Scott Gimple did say Lennie James will return at some point. We thought it would be in Season 4, but that was obviously not the case.
Long story short, there’s a lot ahead in terms of the road to D.C., before we even get to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, if they indeed stick with that part of the story. If so, will the whole production leave Georgia or will they build a set and call it Alexandria, VA?
Here are some comic book characters who might show up in some version or another in Season 5, whether they go by their book names or not. What comic book sections do you think Season 5 will cover? Will we get to the Safe-Zone before the finale?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.