As AMC's The Walking Dead heads into Season 8 and the "All Out War" saga, fans are preparing for more bloodshed than ever before as the communities band together against Negan and his Saviors. However, once all the bullets and tigers have stopped flying, who comes next?
Turning to the pages of Image Comics' The Walking Dead, readers are already anticipating the arrival of the next big bad - a bald-headed psychopath under the name of Alpha. While Alpha is surely waiting in the wings of AMC's show, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how/when showrunner Scott Gimple will introduce her. However, have we already met her on the channel's sister show, Fear The Walking Dead? With a vicious streak of violence bubbling just below the surface, there is every chance that Kim Dickens' Madison Clark is actually Alpha in the making.
An interview with The Hollywood Reporter, departing showrunner Dave Erickson pointed out that he saw Madison as the Fear The Walking Dead's ultimate bad guy. If Erickson had remained on the show, he tipped Madison to be last man standing, but also that her arc would turn her into Fear's very own version of the Governor or Negan:
"The thing that's interesting to me, and one of the questions I asked myself and asked Robert Kirkman very on was of the people in our group, who do you see becoming the Governor? Of our group, who could become a Negan? That's interesting to me, to watch an evolution of a character and start with them as a hero, and bleed that into antihero, and bleed that into full-on villain. It would have been interesting. In terms of the final conflict within the family, it would have been key. For me, there's a lot left for Madison specifically."
Is this all just a pipe dream of combining Fear and The Walking Dead for the sake of convenience, or is there method in the madness to turn Madison from Alabama slammer to full-blown psychopath wearing the skin of the dead for fun? Let's look at the facts!
Crossovers Are Coming
The timing for a Madison/Alpha evolution couldn't be better, as both Fear and The Walking Dead are just a hair's breadth away from clashing in a big way when one character will crossover between both shows. It seems that it is nearly a dead cert that Sgt. Abraham Ford will be combing his mustache over on Fear The Walking Dead, but who's to say that he will be the only crossover character? Backtracking on early promises that the two shows would never come together, Kirkman and his team of talent are paving the way for a much larger Walking Dead universe. If you look at cinema, expanded universes mean big bucks these days, and it is only a matter of time before TV shows follow suit. Everyone has heard the Breaking Bad/The Walking Dead connection theory, and while you probably shouldn't expect Bryan Cranston to pop up as Walter White on Fear, we should probably expect Abraham (or whoever's) crossover to be part of something much bigger.
You also have to bear in mind that both Fear and The Walking Dead are only really just hitting their stride. After a much-improved Season 3, the prequel show has won over fans and critics to steadily climb in popularity. With new showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, who knows what their plan is for the longevity of the series. As for the main show, the likes of Gimple, Kirkman, and Greg Nicotero have all joked about Season 20. It is safe to assume that no one is going anywhere for a quite some time, and while Madison doesn't have to turn into Alpha right this very second, it is an interesting idea to move forward with.