There are many differences between The Walking Dead’s comic book and television incarnations but for the most part, the AMC adaptation stays close to the overall narrative of its source material. Given both mediums’ high death toll, character turnover is nearly constant and as such, it’s understandable that many faces that appear in one iteration of the franchise aren’t present in the other.
This list explores some of the characters in the comic book version of The Walking Dead that don’t appear in the TV show, whether that be because they were replaced by another character, there wasn’t enough room in the cast or simply because the show has yet to catch up to the comics. Some entries on this list you can expect to see alongside Andrew Lincoln on the AMC show soon but for others, their time has passed and they’re unlikely to ever receive a live-action interpretation. Here are 15 The Walking Dead comic book characters we haven’t seen on TV.
15. The Whisperers
After the conclusion of the story arc with Negan and the Saviors as central villains, The Walking Dead’s next big bads are The Whisperers. A group of survivors that have reverted back to a more primal and animalistic way of living, The Whisperers are notable by the penchant for removing skins from Walkers are wearing them as disguises. The group is led by Alpha and her loyal sidekick Beta and their way of life soon clashes with the more civilized Alexandria community.
The comic series sees many twists and turns during the war against the Whisperers, including a younger member of the group, Lydia, who begins to question her people’s behavior. Promotional material for season seven actually hinted that the AMC show would introduce these villains early but so far this has proved to be a red herring, however it’s reasonably certain that these characters will make an appearance in the TV show at some point.
One of the most harrowing episodes of the The Walking Dead TV series was ‘The Grove’, in which Carol was forced to kill young Lizzie Samuels after she became unstable and murdered her youngster sister Mika. Although the two sisters don’t appear in the comic books, they are actually based on two twin boys, Ben – who does briefly appear in the TV show in an altered role – and Billy.
Billy takes on Mika’s role from the TV show and is murdered by his brother who – due to his delusions – wants him to come back as a Walker. This is where the comic book differs, however, as this incident is discovered by the entire group, rather than just Carol and Tyreese. The survivors debate whether or not they should keep Ben alive and decide to sleep on it, locking him away for the time being. Taking matters into his own hands, Carl – who was friends with both boys – decides to execute Ben himself for Billy’s murder and the group lives on without the burden of a dangerously unbalanced child to deal with. Other than Carl, of course.
13. Tyreese’s Daughter Julie And Her Boyfriend Chris
The television and comic versions of Tyreese differ in many aspects, not least of which being the company he keeps before meeting up with Rick and co. While the TV Tyreese travels with his sister Sasha – a character who isn’t in the comic series at all – his comic counterpart has managed to protect two teenagers on his journey: his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris. Arguably this change hurt Tyreese’s development in the TV show because whereas Sasha is an independent and strong character in her own right, having to protect two fragile teens made Tyreese seem very formidable.
Moreover, Chris provided Tyreese with perhaps his biggest moment of character development in the comic series. When the teenager convinces Julie to take part in a suicide pact, only Chris is left alive and Tyreese, understandably, sees red. After strangling the teen to death, Tyreese repeats the act on Chris’ reanimated corpse, claiming he wants to do it slower the second time around.
12. Billy, Rachel and Susie Greene
For many fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead, the season two material on the Greene farm wasn’t the most entertaining arc in the series but it did at least give rise to classic characters such as Hershel, Maggie and Beth. The two incarnations of the Greene family are quite different however. Hershel and Maggie are ever present, of course, and Arnold and Shawn Greene appear in both mediums with minor roles but the comic books also add three other characters to the family tree: Billy, Rachel and Susie.
All three characters surprisingly survive long enough to make it to the safety of the prison and Billy actually becomes a fairly prominent side character, although he’s eventually taken out along with many others by the Governor’s army. Twin sisters Rachel and Susie meet a much grimmer fate and are murdered by the prison’s resident lunatic, Thomas. Beth on the other hand, is a TV-only creation.
The two interpretations of The Governor are both quite unique characters and where David Morrissey’s villain is more subtle and manipulative, the comic book version shows a more traditional aggression akin to later enemy Negan. This is reflected in the fact that the comic Governor appears to have more loyal allies than he does on AMC. With Martinez and Shumpert ultimately abandoning him, the TV Governor can only truly rely on the hot-headed Mitch, whereas his comic book counterpart apparently inspires far more fealty, in characters such as Jameson.
The figure is one of several henchman that find their leader after his mauling at the hands of Michonne during which she removed his arm, an eye and nailed his genitals to the floor –a scene that was not included on the TV series for some reason. Jameson is also aware that the Governor keeps his infected daughter ‘alive’ in a cage and yet despite all this, the henchmen help their leader recover and get ready to attack Rick’s group.
Hard working and loyal good guys are a rare commodity indeed in the world of The Walking Dead and Rick is lucky to be able to count Siddiq among his allies. This Alexandria resident originally worked with the Oceanside community as a fisherman before joining up with Rick and friends on dry land. The newbie quickly endears himself to the group, helping Alexandria expand its construction projects and introducing them to a whole new friendly community in the process.
Good with a firearm and a fair horse-rider, Siddiq is an invaluable protagonist and during the struggle against the Whisperers, Siddiq even goes so far as to tell Rick he’s one of the few people he’d entrust his life to. The character will inevitably appear in the television series further down the line, although given that the Oceanside community is entirely comprised of women in that version, his origin story is likely to be altered. Perhaps the recent TV addition of the Junkyard community will provide an entry point for this likeable figure.
It isn’t only Alexandria that could gain a valuable new member in the future either, as the comics see Hilltop gifted with the skills and wit of Dante. Dante is shown to be a capable combatant during his battles with the Whisperers but he also injects a measure of humor into the series with a number of well-timed quips, often at his own expense. The character is also trusted by all of the main community leaders and has shown bravery and keen leadership skills on occasion.
The primary defining feature of Dante, however, is his crush on Maggie Greene. Despite falling head over heels for the woman, Dante is all too aware that she still pines for her lost husband Glenn and as such, adopts a self-depreciating tone when discussing his feelings with others. Like Saddiq, Dante is sure to be an important character in the seasons to come and the story line between him and Maggie could be a key romantic sub-plot in the near future.
8. Douglas Monroe
Although Douglas Monroe – the original leader of Alexandria in the comic books – certainly provided the foundation for the TV show’s Deanna Monroe, the two characters have completely different personalities. Both may have been ineffective leaders but Deanna at least showed a sense of ambition and determination, whereas Douglas was a married, lecherous womanizer who was depicted as gradually developing the same negative qualities as the community’s exiled former leader, Davidson. Deanna meanwhile clearly had her peoples’ best interests at heart and actively wanted to expand the community with her architect husband.
This distinction is emphasized in both characters’ death scenes. Douglas dies after cowardly hiding in his home during the zombie invasion of Alexandria and contemplating suicide. He decides to attempt one last stand but manages to shoot half of Carl’s face off in the process. On the other hand, Deanna fights valiantly before getting bitten and even then, still has one last moment of defiance, with the person responsible for Carl’s injury ultimately being Ron. Stupid Ron.
7. Earl Sutton
Earl’s role as a blacksmith at the Hilltop community makes him one of the most invaluable members of all the allied settlements and his contribution to the weapons supply in the battles against the Saviors and the Whisperers has been vital. His work also plays a big role in keeping the survivors safe from the ongoing Walker threat and Earl even took on an apprentice in the form of Carl Grimes who shows a desire to learn the ways of the blacksmith in the comic books.
Not much is known about Earl’s personal life or his experiences before reaching the Hilltop community but despite being more of a convenient plot device than a fully-fleshed out entity, he has been shown to bear little love for the Hilltop’s cowardly leader Gregory. Given Earl’s importance to the plot, he’s likely to show up sooner than most of the future characters on this list.
6. Morton Rose
As the Alexandria and Hilltop communities begin to grow in the comic books, it’s only natural that some troublemakers would be unhappy with the new axis of power emerging. Hilltop resident Morton Rose is one such customer. When Morton’s son Brandon is caught by Carl viciously bullying other youngsters, Grimes Jr. is quick to exact his own brand of justice. This incurs the wrath of Morton who demands Carl be imprisoned, despite the act clearly being in the defense of others.
Whilst never a serious threat in the comic series, Morton and his family represent a frustrating bump in the road for Rick as he tries to rebuild a civilized world and it boggles the mind as to how such a hot-headed and senseless individual could have lasted so long in the zombie apocalypse. Later on, Morton tries to have Maggie assassinated for her defense of Carl and even attempts to murder Rick over a perceived lack of action when the Whisperers first strike. Needless to say, Rick has the last laugh.
In the wake of the war against the Saviors, Magna was set up as a major new character in the The Walking Dead comic books, even appearing on the front cover of Issue 127. Magna is the leader of a small band of survivors who are brought into the Alexandria fold and despite initial misgivings on both sides, they become valued members of the group. Magna’s people survive using a trailer and horses, giving them a mobile base for protection but when faced with a large herd, their system fails, resulting in their settling down in a more permanent home.
Much like Rick, Magna is a skilled leader, proficient in combat and able to influence others with her words and actions. Since her introduction, Magna’s role in the comics has somewhat faded into more of a background character but there remains a feeling that she will become a vital, central figure sooner rather than later.
4. King William
No, not the one married to Kate. Somewhat begrudgingly, William is put in charge of the Kingdom. A far less bombastic and dramatic leader than Ezekiel is, William is seen to be struggling to keep everyone in line within the community and consequently suffers challenges to his authority. Luckily, what he lacks in charisma he makes up for in ferocity and William is determined to ensure his people remain protected at all costs.
As a leader, William is very fair and has a good working relationship with Rick and the other communities but is clearly seen by some of his residents as a weaker figure that is uncomfortable in his new role, particularly when compared to the Kingdom’s previous leader. Even though the comic series implies William has been a long-time member of the Kingdom, he has yet to make an appearance in the TV show, which has instead focused on the likes of the noble Richard and hilarious, wisecracking Jerry.
As mentioned earlier, the The Walking Dead television adaptation has altered the Oceanside community, making them an all-female group and as a result, Pirate Pete hasn’t been seen to be a member like he is in the comic series. Pete works as the Captain of an Oceanside fishing boat that trades with the other communities in the area and he has sailed with the likes of Siddiq and Michonne as companions.
Despite being an ally of Alexandria, Pete does refuse Rick’s call for soldiers to fight against the Whisperers which suggests he has some sort of leadership responsibility within his group. Though he may not be a fighter, Pete has shown himself to be a compassionate soul, helping the likes of Michonne and Ezekiel with their personal problems. According to Pete, the apocalypse has had a wonderful impact on the fish population, making the sea-farer a key cog in Rick’s new world.
Technically, Stephanie hasn’t been seen in either version of The Walking Dead but she has had a speaking role in the comic books. When Alexandria’s resident boffin Eugene manages to restore a radio to working order, he makes contact with a member of an unknown settlement: Stephanie. Not much is known about the character and the information she has given so far could easily be untruths designed to trick Eugene and gain his trust.
Stephanie claims she belongs to a sizeable group near Alexandria and given everything poor Eugene has suffered through in the comics, fans will be hoping that Stephanie represents some sort of ‘happily ever after’ for the character. However, the possibility remains that this mysterious group could be another threat on the horizon for Rick and his friends and now Stephanie knows the location of Alexandria, could an attack be imminent? Alternatively, could this stranger be a member of the Junkyard community that recently appeared in the AMC series. If so, it would be a rare instance of the comic series borrowing directly from the television version but the location would certainly be ideal for obtaining working radio equipment.
1. Jeffrey Grimes
Many The Walking Dead fans may not know that Jeffrey Grimes is the younger brother of central protagonist Rick. Although the character is mentioned in the main comic series of The Walking Dead as the person responsible for introducing Rick and Lori to each other, Jeff isn’t actually seen until the short spin-off comic, The Walking Dead: The Alien. Jeffrey is in Barcelona at the time of zombie outbreak and teams up with a woman called Claudia in a mission to get back to the United States.
Jeffrey shows the same sense of bravery that his older brother is renowned for, jumping into the sea to save his partner from a zombie but the younger Grimes sibling sadly dies before he can return home. He does, however, give Claudia a message to pass on to Rick if she ever finds him and this sets up a potential appearance for Claudia in the primary comic series of The Walking Dead further along the line. As far as the AMC show is concerned however, it’s probably too late in the day to introduce another member of Rick’s immediate family.
The Walking Dead continues with ‘New Best Friends’ February 19th on AMC.