The Walking Dead succeeds thanks to a story whose strength is centered around regular people dealing with and overcoming adversity in a living (or, more accurately, an undead) hell. To keep the threat alive and to provide fan service for all the gorehounds out there, characters tend to die in all kinds of horrific ways. Some of the deaths are tragic and stick with us and make us want to cry, while other deaths bring with them relief or justice.
The television show has brought a splash of color to the black and white world of the comics, and it’s thus far been unafraid to get just as gruesomely inventive as its source material. The show has also thrown many more characters than the comics at us to get killed. In this article, though, we examine the deaths in the comic that are not in the television show. The deaths in the comic are arguably more debilitating; the still images allowing the death to linger in the air for readers to come back to or agonize over.
Some of these characters die in different ways in the show, some have not yet met their maker, and others have never even made the jump to the small screen. In any case, the series has certainly strayed from the source material on occasion. Here are 18 Walking Dead Comic Deaths You Won’t See On TV.
15. Morgan Jones
Morgan has become a much more central character in the show than he did in the comic. Morgan came and went in the comic so long ago that it is easy to forget that he was a part of Rick’s group for a good amount of time, surviving all the way to Alexandria and even having a bit of a romantic fling with Michonne in the process. Rather than being the level-headed zen master of the fighting staff, Morgan in the books is an undone man devastated by the loss of his son, Duane, and his wife before that. He still manages to be a contributor to the group, though he remains a potential liability for the rest of his days.
In the comic, Morgan helps to fight off the undead that have made it through the walls of Alexandria. Alongside Rick, Morgan is wielding a baseball bat and working to brainstorm ideas while clubbing zombie heads in when he gets bitten on the arm by a walker. Michonne soon meets up with Morgan and Rick and promptly cuts off his arm (without Morgan realizing what was going to happen) to try to stave off the infection. Morgan is evacuated to a bed, where he begins to lose his grasp on reality (because of the blood loss or the already spreading infection, we don’t know). He has some parting words for Carl where he confuses Carl for his dead son, before he’s put down by Michonne off-page.
14. Abraham Ford
Abraham’s death in the comic was truly shocking. He had been a behemoth — a force to be reckoned with. The lone survivor of Rick’s group with a military background, Abraham was a capable 2nd in command following the death of Tyreese, and had been spearheading the maintenance and construction crew of Alexandria at the time of his death.
Rather than being the first of two victims of Lucille (the “vampire” bat) and Negan, as he was in the show, Abraham was shot through the back of the head with an arrow from Dwight in the comic. Abraham was in the middle of a conversation with Eugene regarding Rosita and the pair’s budding romance (in the comics, Eugene is still a mulleted weirdo, but not as on the spectrum as in the show). The image featured above is both brutal and iconic, and it’s even more gut-wrenching in context. The show adapted the Dwight crossbow
The show did end up adapting the Dwight crossbow kill, but instead gave Denise the arrow-through-the-eye treatment. Denise in the comic, meanwhile, dies from a bite she refuses to treat in order to use her arm to help save her boyfriend, Heath.
13. Douglas Monroe
If the name Douglas Monroe sounds vaguely familiar to you show-only people, it should. Douglas Monroe’s character was gender-swapped for the small screen, and TV audiences were given Deanna Monroe. Their backstories are the same, as they are both senators who have assumed control of Alexandria. Both iterations also have a spouse named Reg, and a punk adult son named Spencer (punk as in a jerk who can’t do anything right, not as in mohawks and safety pins). Both Douglas and Deanna succumb to zombies as Alexandria is breached, but how they deal with it is very different.
Deanna, though hobbled by a gruesome wound and a walker bite, manages to hold on and face off against some zombies after she chooses to stay behind to help Rick and co. escape. Douglas, however, takes the walls falling in Alexandria personally (it doesn’t help that his beloved Regina is already dead) and wanders into the streets, firing his gun indiscriminately at the walker horde. Rick is not okay with this and yells at him to stop shooting and causing such a ruckus, but Douglas is already in too deep. He gets pulled down by a handful of zombies, and shoots blindly as he goes. One of the bullets is what shoots out young Carl’s eye and leaves him disfigured (instead of in the show, where that weasel Ron does it).
Patricia is a woman who lives and works on the Greene Family farm. In both the show and the comic, the writers don’t explain a whole lot about her other than the fact that she is in a relationship with her fellow farm worker, Otis (they are dating in the comic and are married in the show).
In the TV show, she does not survive the farm. When the dead make their way out of the barn, Patricia is bitten by a group of undead while attempting to flee with Beth. In the comics, however, she makes it to the prison along with the rest of Rick’s group of survivors. While there, she breaks up with Otis and ends up having romantic relations with Axel, one of the inmates they encounter at the prison. When it is revealed that former inmate Thomas Richards had killed Hershel’s twin daughters (more on that later) and after Thomas also makes an attempt on Andrea’s life, she still attempts to be sympathetic to Richards… at which point he attempts to kill Patricia also. She then sides against Rick Grimes and takes up with Dexter and the other inmates, helping them to acquire guns from the prison’s armory. In other words, she was never the sharpest tool in the shed.
Still, she manages to stick around until the Governor’s assault on the prison. While trying to warn away Billy Greene, she is shot in the back of the head. No tears were shed by Walking Dead fans on that day.
11. Allen & Donna
Allen and Donna are some of the earliest members of the group of survivors. The married couple had a pair of twins named Billy and Ben, who were adopted by Andrea and Dale following the death of their parents, and are later subjected to one of the most depressing and disgusting stories in the whole series. It should be noted that Allen and Donna did make an appearance in the TV series (and had a kid named Ben), but all three are killed after serving in limited roles.
In the comic, the group of survivors finds a gated community called the Wiltshire Estates and attempt to settle in, thinking they’d found a home. It is only just too late that Rick notices a sign that reads “ALL DEAD DO NOT ENTER“. Right away, Donna is attacked by a walker lurking in the shadows just inside one of the homes, and promptly gets her face chomped on. Never the same after his wife dies, Allen essentially becomes a traumatized albatross for the group.
He later sets out to help the others explore their new prison setting, where he ends up getting bitten in the library. It is then that Rick has the idea that amputating at the site of the wound might halt the infection, and he proceeds to take a hatchet to Allen’s leg. The blood loss proves to be too much for the widower, and he passes away.
Shane serves as the original leader of the Atlanta group of survivors. Rick Grimes’ best friend and former partner in the sheriff’s department, he also shacked up with his (believed dead) pal’s wife Lori while our hero lay in a coma. It becomes clear later on that Shane is obsessively in love with Lori, and he refuses to let her go back to her husband once Rick is safely with the group. Shane is also threatened by his former BFF’s presence and assumption of the leadership position.
Off in the woods, Shane pulls a gun on Rick but is shot dead by Carl, who was defending his father. The bullet strikes Shane in the jugular, and the would-be killer eventually succumbs to his injury. Shane’s death provides a disturbingly warm moment as Carl is immediately horrified by his actions, and lets his dad know that killing living people is not as easy as killing the dead. Rick tells his son that it never should be, and they embrace just a little ways away from Shane’s corpse.
In the show, Shane’s relation to both Rick and Lori is largely the same, but Shane also becomes twisted in his morality and methods. He lures Rick out to a field near the Greene farm with the intention of killing him, but is instead killed by Rick (and put down for good by Carl, in one of the series’ most memorable moments).
Martinez works for The Governor in Woodbury. He is a charismatic character (and apparently a former gym teacher) who seems to operate as The Governor’s right-hand man. In the comic, he is tasked with helping to orchestrate an escape for Rick, Michonne, and Glenn from Woodbury so that he might locate and infiltrate the prison — and bring back the recon information to The Governor.
Martinez does as he’s told and helps Rick get back to the prison. He also helps the survivors handle a walker attack quite handily. While Rick is disposing of the undead corpses, Martinez makes a break for it and heads back out towards Woodbury. Rick mows him down with Dale’s RV, but elects not to kill him. Martinez reveals that he was supposed to spy on Rick, but insists that he was only going to bring back the good people in Woodbury so that they’d all be free from The Governor. Whether that was true or not is moot, because Rick promptly chokes the life out of Martinez while he’s lying injured on the ground.
In the show, Martinez never plays the role of spy, and instead abandons The Governor to form his own group after The Governor killed dozens of innocent Woodbury residents in the aftermath of the first prison invasion. TV Martinez is later killed by The Governor with a golf club and pit containing a hoard of captured walkers.
Dale is one of the original group of survivors from Atlanta. At the time of his death in the comics, he and Andrea, who were dating at the time, had adopted Allen & Donna’s twin sons after their parents were killed. Dale was also missing a leg from a previous zombie encounter, and had been surviving just fine on a peg leg. (In the show, this injury befell Hershel.)
In the aftermath of his adopted sons’ deaths, Dale is bitten by walkers, but manages to keep it hidden from everyone. He sneaks out in the middle of the night to spare the group from the anguish of having to deal with him. As he leaves to go die in peace, he is kidnapped by The Hunters, a group of cannibals that had been spying on Rick’s group. Dale wakes up from being knocked out to find that The Hunters have cut off and eaten his other leg. Even though they are gloating over their horrific feast, it’s Dale who has the last laugh, as he informs them that they are eating “tainted meat“. The Hunters take Dale back to Gabriel’s church, where the group is staying, as bait for an ambush. The group brings Dale back inside, where he is tended to until he succumbs to his infection.
Tyreese, in the comics, is a former NFL linebacker who joins up with Rick’s group, bringing his daughter and her boyfriend along for the ride. He is tough, charismatic, and resourceful, and instantly becomes something of a co-leader within the group, occasionally clashing with Rick and his methods.
Following Michonne’s lead, Tyreese heads to Woodbury to attack The Governor in the wake of a failed first attack on the prison. He is captured after a firefight, though Michonne manages to escape. When The Governor makes his return to the prison, he brings Tyreese with him. In front of all the survivors in the prison, the one-eyed villain beheads Tyreese with Michonne’s katana.
In the television show, it is Hershel that is beheaded by The Governor, although the former farmhand is never a part of an unsanctioned mission to infiltrate Woodbury). Tyreese appears in the show, but is a very different character with a different backstory. The television Tyreese is bitten by Noah’s zombified brother and dies a slow, depressing death as he tries to fight off the infection, hallucinations and all.
6. Billy Greene
The Hershel Greene of the comics was a very busy man in the bed room, as he had a total of seven children. (Show Hershel had his fair share of kids, but not nearly that many.) By the time The Governor attacked the prison with a tank and a small army, Hershel’s living children were down to just Maggie and his son, Billy. Despite being a teenager, young Billy is a capable (if slightly annoying) member of the group. At the time of the prison assault, he’s the group’s best sharpshooter, and does a fair bit of damage before dying.
Billy had just finished up picking off members of the Woodbury army with a rifle and grenade from a guard tower. After being rammed by The Governor’s tank, he managed to make it to the ground and reunite with his father and Patricia. They are hiding around the corner of a building from gunfire when Patricia urges them all to make a run for it. She’s killed the second she pokes her head out, however, at which point Hershel takes his son’s hand and the pair make a run for it. Poor Billy is then shot through the eye by a reluctant Woodbury marksman named Smitty, all while holding his father’s hand.
5. Hershel Greene
Hershel Greene is many things. He is a farmer, a veterinarian, the patriarch of a large family, and a deeply religious man with a kind heart (even if he is super judge-y at times). He takes in Rick’s group when they stumble upon his farm. As time goes on, he and what remains of his family leave the farm with Rick and his group and make their way to the prison. Hershel becomes one of a committee at the prison, helping to make decisions for the whole group.
As we just mentioned, Hershel is down to just two children when Woodbury strikes the prison. The farmer was originally mistaken in his perception of the nature of the undead, having chosen to lock up his zombified son (Shawn), along with other walkers, in his barn in the hope that they could one day be saved from their not-so-living hell. When the walkers escape, they chow down on both Hershel’s son, Arnold, and his daughter, Lacey. Hershel is forced to shoot both of them before they turn, as well as Shawn. Twas not a good day for Mr. Greene.
But the horrors were far from over for the Greene family. Later, after Billy is shot at the prison, Hershel becomes irreparably despondent. He falls to his knees and, upon seeing The Governor, tells him to just shoot him already. The baddie obliges, though readers are spared seeing Hershel’s ultimate demise, and are instead treated to a look at The Governor being splattered by bits of the world’s unluckiest father. As mentioned earlier, TV Hershel is decapitated by The Governor with Michonne’s katana, in one of the series’ most brutal moments to date.
4. The Greene Twins, Rachel & Susie
The Greene family seem to have an especial heaping of misery out in the zombified wasteland of The Walking Dead. Hershel’s youngest children were twin girls, Rachel and Susie, and they’d managed to make it to the prison along with the other survivors. Apart from being more children (or teens) to feed into writer Robert Kirkman’s human wood chipper, there wasn’t much to the girls.
Maggie and Glenn go off on their own in the prison to find a place to discreetly have sex, and come across the prison’s barbershop. When they return to the rest of the group freshly shorn (and no doubt glowing from their romantic escapade), the twins light up at the prospect of also getting their hair cut. They run off towards the barbershop, never to be seen alive again. Hershel goes off looking for them, assuming that they are hiding. Instead, he finds the two of them on the floor of the barbershop, having been brutally decapitated. Maggie finds her father just as the girls’ corpses come back from the dead (but don’t get up, since they’re detached from their bodies). Glenn finds them all and puts the girls down. While inmate Dexter is initially blamed and imprisoned for their murders, it is later revealed that ‘tax evader’ Thomas Richards was the monster that cut the twins’ heads off. There are no twins in the show, and it is safe to say that the grisly nature of this subplot (and the fact that the victims were children) means we will not be seeing a version of this on TV anytime soon.
3. Chris & Julie
In the comics, Tyreese survives along with his only child, Julie, and her boyfriend Chris. During their time at the prison, Chris and Julie are so depressed by their situation that Chris is able to talk Julie into a suicide pact — the idea being that they will be able to be together in death without the misery of the world around them.
Like so many other things in The Walking Dead, the suicide pact goes sideways. The plan was for Chris and Julie to shoot each other at the same time. Instead, Chris accidentally shot early, killing his girlfriend before she had a chance to pull her own trigger. Hearing the shots, Tyreese ran over to find his girl dead on the ground, and Chris muttering to himself about how their plan had not worked. Julie rose from the dead, becoming the first character in the book to become a walker after not having been bitten (changing the name of the game for the rest of the gang from there on out). Tyreese, seeing his daughter come back to “life”, seemed convinced that he might be able to cure her affliction. But Chris then fired once more, putting zombie Julie down for good. In a rage, Tyreese choked Chris to death, and then told Rick to leave — explaining that he would wait for his daughter’s deadbeat boyfriend to come back to life so he could kill him once more. TV Tyreese did not have a daughter, and there has been no suicide pact in the show.
2. Judith Grimes
Just who exactly was the father of baby Judith has never been made clear in the comic (TV Rick recently admitted that he realizes Shane is the baby daddy, however), but when Lori gave birth, it was clear that the not-so-happy couple were going to raise Judith as a Grimes. Judith was born in the prison (delivered by escaped Woodbury-ite Alice Warren), and lived for all of eight issues.
When the prison came under fire from Woodbury’s assault, Judith was being protected by Alice and Lori. When Rick forced his family to escape to safety from the attack, Lori was holding the baby. Lilly Caul, a resident of Woodbury, fired on Lori with a shotgun. The image shows fairly clearly that both Lori and Judith were blown to pieces by the blast, although fans often speculate that Judith’s death was the result of Lori falling on top of the baby. Either way, horrified by what The Governor had Lilly do, Lilly later shot and killed The Governor. Lori in the show died during childbirth, as the television folk have not yet had the stomach to kill a baby (considering the fan outrage that would likely result from such a gruesome twist, it’s probably a wise call).
In the comic books, Carol was never really on a firm mental footing. Mother to Sophia (who is still alive in the comics, but died in Season 2 of the show), Carol was a clingy and needy woman, starved for affection and a sense of security and belonging. After a series of betrayals and rebukes, Carol becomes unhinged and essentially kills herself.
Carol strikes up a relationship with Tyreese while on the road. It is a good pairing from our perspective, but Tyreese ruins things by cheating on her with Michonne (an encounter that Carol walks in on). She breaks up with him and attempts to kill herself by slitting her wrists (in front of her daughter, no less). Though she is discovered in time and lives to see another day, her behavior becomes increasingly erratic. She eventually, during a conversation with Lori, tries to kiss her. Her rationale is that society’s rules no longer applied, and that she would like to pursue a triad relationship with Rick and Lori. Lori is shocked and disgusted, and shuts things down immediately. Carol later attempts to seduce Rick and is similarly turned down.
Feeling despondent and thoroughly rejected, Carol begins talking to a walker that had been captured by the survivors for research. She gets too close to the zombie, however, and has her throat bitten out (and she’s happy that at least something wants her). Thankfully, television Carol is a wildly different character, and is still alive and currently being courted by the latest major addition to the Walking Dead family, King Ezekiel.
Are there any good Walking Dead comic deaths not featured in the show that you’d like to share with us? Anything especially sad or gory or creative? Be sure to sound off in the comments!