Every Walking Dead fan knows that there are differences between Robert Kirkman’s comic book and the AMC TV show — sometimes big differences. For example, in the comics, Carol committed suicide, Rick and Andrea are in a long-term romance serious enough that Carl calls her “mom,” and of course, the biggie: the only member of the core group to meet their end that fateful night at the blunt end of Lucille was poor old Glenn.
Considering the recent introduction of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as übervillain Negan, and given how much of the show’s overall story comes from the comics, there’s a question that TV fans are undoubtedly wondering: who else does Negan kill in the comics?
In chronological order, here’s a complete list of every victim of Negan’s brutality in The Walking Dead comic books. While this list is comprised of potential SPOILERS for the TV show, it’s important to remember that the show frequently takes things in a different direction to throw off comic fans. You’ve been warned.
11. Andy & David (& Crystal)
Before Negan is ever introduced in the comics, much like on the TV show, readers learn about him in legendary terms. He’s never been seen by most people, and some even doubt he exists. His looming threat is made real when Rick Grimes visits the Hilltop community for the first time. Rick barely has time to greet their leader, Gregory, when another Hilltop resident named Ethan returns from a mission.
It’s quickly explained that Ethan was part of a four-person team that was sent on some kind of mission outside the walls of Hilltop. During the run, they encountered Negan and some of his men, known as Saviors. Ethan watched as Negan killed Hilltop survivors Andy and David, and the fourth member of the group, a woman named Crystal, was taken prisoner. She’s never been seen since, so we’re assuming Negan killed her, too.
Hilltop leader Gregory comes close to dying because of Negan as well, because after relaying the story of his team’s murders, Ethan stabs Gregory as a “message” delivered from Negan (as seen in the picture above). Fortunately, Rick springs into action, knocking Ethan to the ground and slitting his throat. Our hero’s nonchalant way of putting an end to the would-be killer made quite the impression on the peaceful, sheltered residents of Hilltop.
10. Glenn Rhee
Long before Negan arrives on the scene, his Saviors slowly become a recurring threat to Rick and the residents of Alexandria. A handful of skirmishes result in Alexandria’s residents believing themselves victorious — and several Saviors killed.
Separately, Rick works out a partnership deal with Hilltop, and while leading a group of allies to visit them, they’re ambushed by the Saviors. Negan soon arrives to deal with them personally, declaring that everyone and everything in Alexandria now belongs to him. And in retaliation for the deaths of his men, he proclaims that he’ll have to kill one of Rick’s group right here, right now.
It’s in issue #100 of The Walking Dead, in a now-infamous scene, that Negan randomly picks Glenn as his victim. Using his barbwire-wrapped baseball bat named “Lucille,” he bashes Glenn’s head in, beating him to death in one of the most grotesque and disturbing scenes Kirkman & Co. have ever produced. It’s gone down in history as one of the most memorable character introductions of all time, and it set the stage for the twisted carnage that would follow Negan everywhere he went.
As fans of The Walking Dead TV series are well aware, the depiction of Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) death on the small screen took no shortcuts in the brutality department.
9. Spencer Monroe
Spencer Monroe is the mid-20s son of Douglas and Regina Monroe, his father being a former United States senator who helped found Alexandria. (In the show, the Monroe parents have been gender-swapped, with “Reg” as the husband, and his wife “Deanna” being the former senator who leads Alexandria.)
When Rick’s group joins the community, Spencer is immediately smitten with Andrea, who wants very little to do with him. Circumstances soon cause his true character to show, revealing him to be a coward. After Andrea witnesses this and rebuffs him harshly, he begins to conspire with another malcontent to assassinate Rick.
When Negan comes to Alexandria to see Rick, but Rick is away, Spencer takes the opportunity to speak to Negan privately. Spencer confides his dislike of Rick and encourages Negan to kill him, but Negan is turned off by the younger man’s refusal to act on his own. Proclaiming him gutless, Negan slashes Spencer’s stomach open and watches as his actual guts spill out.
On the TV show, Spencer is portrayed by actor Austin Nichols. At the outset of Season 7, Spencer is still alive.
8. David (Savior)
During the “All Out War” story arc, Negan takes a captive from Alexandria named Holly. He actually believes her to be Andrea, who by this point he knows to be very important to Rick. Holly tries to convince him that she’s not Andrea, but he doesn’t buy it.
While she’s being held prisoner, she’s approached by a Savior named David. One of Negan’s regulars, David has been seen several times before this, though nothing very personal was known about him. Holly asks David for a glass of water, but he refuses. He has something much, much worse in mind for her.
David rips off Holly’s clothes and is about to rape her when Negan enters and sees what’s happening. Enraged, he screams at David and reminds him that despite their other barbaric practices (Negan has several wives, for example), they never engage in rape. And with that, Negan shoves a knife cleanly through David’s neck.
Poor Holly has a rough go of things. After Negan saves her from an attempted rape by one of his men (see #8), it’s later discovered that he either killed her himself, or ordered her execution. Kinda leaves you wondering why he bothered saving her to begin with.
In one of Negan’s most dastardly and cunning moves, he arrives at the gates of Alexandria to retaliate against a recent attack on his Sanctuary by Rick’s forces. He pulls Holly from one of his vehicles, a bag over her head, and offers her to Rick as a peace offering. Rick accepts, and Holly is turned over.
It’s not until she’s in Alexandria’s custody that the bag is removed and everyone sees that she’s already dead and has turned into a zombie. Negan’s able to use this distraction to launch an attack on the safe zone while the people of Alexandria are still reeling in shock. Oh, Negan, you diabolical cad.
6. Various Alexandrian siege victims
After Rick’s successful attack on Negan’s Sanctuary, Negan launches a retaliation on Alexandria that includes his deception with the zombified Holly (see #7 & #8). Before that event and all of the carnage that ensues after, Negan surprises Alexandria with his presence outside the city by lobbing grenades over its defensive walls.
The first blast, which destroys a home, grabs everyone’s attention. When Negan sends out Holly as a peace offering, her concealed status as a zombie is soon revealed, causing chaos and panic. All part of Negan’s plan, he shouts for the Saviors to attack, and starts tossing more grenades over the wall. They claim multiple victims, and while some are maimed, others are killed outright.
5. Denise Cloyd
Denise is one of the resident doctors at Alexandria and the only qualified surgeon. As on the TV show, she saves Carl Grimes’ life after he’s shot in the eye during a walker invasion of Alexandria. (In the comics, she and Heath are lovers; on the TV series, Denise initiates a relationship with Tara.)
Denise is killed when Negan uses his ruse of returning Holly to Alexandria, only for it to be discovered that Negan had killed her already, and allowed her to reanimate as a zombie. When the handover takes place, Denise grabs Holly and helps her back into the safe zone. But once the bag over Holly’s head is removed and the truth discovered, Holly immediately bites Denise in the arm.
This isn’t quite the end for her, though. Rick shoots Holly off of Denise after that first bite, but running to her rescue is boyfriend Heath. Negan throws more grenades, and one of them results in Heath’s leg being blown off. Rick tells Denise to amputate her bitten arm in order to save her life, but Denise refuses, explaining that she can only save Heath if she has use of both her hands. She takes Heath to the town infirmary and operates immediately, fighting through the fever that slowly starts burning through her system. She also patches up Carl, who was caught in another of Negan’s grenade blasts. At last, her work done and her heroic sacrifice accomplished, Denise succumbs to the infection and dies. Michonne uses her sword to ensure that Denise’s death is final.
As the war between Negan’s Saviors and the three nearby communities (Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom) intensifies, both sides send forces to the other’s compounds to launch attacks.
Kal is the gatekeeper at Hilltop, and a fierce defender of his community. He’s initially wary of going to war with Negan, desiring instead to maintain his duties of protecting Hilltop. But Paul “Jesus” Monroe inspires him to get more involved, so he participates in a march on the Sanctuary, Negan’s HQ. When Negan later launches a counterattack on the Hilltop, he arrives at the gates and demands to speak to Rick.
Kal, at his post high above the gates, tries to reason with Negan, pointing out that the war needn’t escalate any further. Instead, Kal says that Negan should turn his army around and go home or they’ll all be killed. Negan’s ego can’t let such a threat go unchallenged, so he orders one of his men to shoot Kal down. A single shot is immediately fired, nailing Kal in the head. He’s dead before he hits the ground.
3. Brandon Rose
A malcontented youth living in Alexandria, Brandon is your stereotypical bully. As soon as Rick’s group is accepted into Alexandria, he zeroes-in on the group’s youngsters like Carl and Sophia (yep, she’s still alive in the comics). Of course, our heroic duo has been through a great deal more than anyone in Alexanria, especially some punk kid, so Carl and Sophia quickly put him in his place.
Eventually, the Savior war finally ends (major SPOILER alert) with Negan’s capture and imprisonment, where he wastes away in a basement cell for two years. A time-jump to two years later finds him having accepted his place and maintaining an odd friendship with Carl, who visits him daily. Brandon, meanwhile, grows ever more resentful of Rick, who killed Brandon’s father, Morton. (Ol’ Mort was an even less a warm-and-fuzzy guy than his son.)
With war against the Whisperers (see #2) looming, Brandon hatches a plan. He visits Negan’s cell, and offers to release him if they can sneak out together to make contact with the Whisperers and help them eliminate Rick. Negan initially agrees to the plan, but once they reach the boundaries of Whisperer territory, Negan turns on his young rescuer and stabs him in the stomach. His reason? He didn’t like Brandon’s plan and has one of his own.
Brandon has not yet been seen on the TV show, though obvious parallels can be drawn between his character and the small screen’s take on Ron Anderson, who also resented Rick and Carl and plotted their deaths.
Okay, so… the Whisperers. Hoo-boy, is this one a doozy.
The Whisperers are the next big threat that our heroes face in the comics, and presumably on the show, after Negan and his Saviors are finally defeated. This enormous, cult-like group of survivors have, instead of trying to restore their own little corner of civilization, taken an opposite approach. They’ve adopted primitive, survival-of-the-fittest behavior. They don’t try to kill zombies, they live among them, wearing zombie skins over their own flesh to blend in. And they don’t relate to each other as friends or family; only as those who can and can’t survive. It’s all pretty twisted.
Their leader is a woman who calls herself only “Alpha”; her real name has never been revealed. She enforces the savage rules of the Whisperer community with sharp intelligence and a callous personality, even concerning her own daughter. Need an example of how horrible she is? She did not interfere when her teenage daughter was raped and abused by other Whisperers, believing the experience would strengthen her daughter.
Over the course of a lengthy story arc, Negan infiltrates the Whisperers’ ranks and works surprisingly hard to impress Alpha and earn her trust. He does such a good job of it that he actually gets her to drop her facade and show real vulnerability. In this intense, private moment they share, she admits her fears that she’s not strong enough. After expressing sympathy, Negan slits her throat and beheads her. His motive? He bags the head and delivers it to Rick and Andrea as proof of his sincerity about wanting to be a legitimate, contributing member of their society.
How that all works out is remains to be seen. Alpha’s introduction on television is not expected to happen until sometime in Season 8, at the earliest.
1. Countless victims of the Saviors
Negan’s wicked ways do result in one positive result: the three major nearby communities unite to oppose him. Even after Negan’s been defeated, Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom remain allies, working together for trade and security.
But before his defeat, Negan spent an unknown amount of time terrorizing Alexandria and Hilltop. His “deal” with Hilltop allowed him to take half (or more) of all supplies owned by the peaceful community in exchange for periodically clearing out the zombies and other threats that would gather around them. Long before Rick and his people came along, all three communities had experienced major altercations and defeats at the hands of the Saviors. And then, of course, there’s the “all out war” that Negan waged against the three communities, which saw dozens of losses on both sides.
There’s no way to put a definite number on the amount of characters who died because of Negan and the Saviors — including the casualties suffered by the Saviors themselves. But it’s safe to say that a decent amount of them would still be alive if he’d never created the Saviors to begin with. The most noteworthy death to come at the Saviors’ hands was Abraham Ford, who was killed by Negan’s lieutenant, Dwight. This makes Negan indirectly responsible for Abraham’s death.
Has Negan killed anyone else in the comics that we forgot to mention? Which of the aforementioned storylines do you think will play the biggest role on the show going forward? Let us know in the comments!
Season 7 of The Walking Dead continues on AMC this Sunday at 9pm.