Ah, Lucille, the beloved bat belonging to The Walking Dead's nasty villain, Negan. How he loves her so, both in the comics and on the hit AMC series, in which Jeffrey Dean Morgan brings all that weird, misguided affection to bloody life.
From how she got her start to where she ultimately ends up, Robert Kirkman's excellent comic series lays out Lucille's backstory and future pretty extensively. The vampire bat herself, meanwhile, has popped up all over the place in pop culture, from the locker rooms of Major League Baseball teams to board games designed to teach fiscal responsibility. She truly is one of a kind.
Here are 15 fun facts about Lucille that you might not know, but be forewarned. While the show tends to veer from the comics' narrative, there are major SPOILERS from the comics below that may show up in the series at some future point.
15 NEGAN WASN'T LUCILLE'S FIRST LOVER
So how did Negan actually find the bat that would become his beloved Lucille? In a spin-off of The Walking Dead comics called Here's Negan, we see how our favorite villain first laid eyes on the bat, which was being carried by a fellow zombie apocalypse survivor named Paul at the time.
In the eighth installment of the comic, Negan meets Paul and a few others at a gas station, and while there is tension at first, the future fiend finally joins them. Spotting the weapon in Paul's hand, Negan admires it, saying, “Nice bat.” Later, around a campfire, the group is attacked by walkers, and Paul and the rest unfortunately don't make it. Negan picks up the bat and starts bashing away, eventually killing all the zombies. He drops the bloodied instrument of death on the ground and starts to walk away, but turns back and picks it up. He takes ownership of the bat – and, well, that's the beginning of their beautiful friendship.
14 SHE'S GOTTEN AN UPGRADE
In issue #122 of the comics, Negan comes up with a nifty plan on how to “modify” their weapons so they can wipe out the rebellion rising up against the Saviors. This includes his beloved Lucille.
To effectively defeat their enemies, Negan says they should “infect” their weapons with walker guts. Even though he probably doesn't want to muck up the beauty that is Lucille, Negan nonetheless demonstrates by rubbing her against a subdued walker, getting some of that gooey and fleshy zombie bits all mashed up in her barbed wire. Yummy! Why do this, you might ask? The man explains that when they fight with the weapons, even the smallest injuries could give the survivors the virus, thus eventually damning them to zombie land at some point. It works, too, as some of the Hilltoppers are infected after their battle with the Saviors.
13 SHE'S USED FOR MORE THAN JUST BASHING SKULLS IN
On the show, Negan's locker room talk remains fairly PG-13, but in the comics, the man is absolutely vulgar, and he's been known to use some very colorful F-bombs. He particularly likes talking about his penis. In fact, when he and Paul's group are sitting around the campfire, Negan goes on and on about how mighty his member is.
It's not all that surprising to know that Negan has actually gotten intimate with Lucille, because that's just the kind of crazy world they live in. After Carl takes a chunk out of Lucille in Issue #113, Negan tells Rick that Lucille may just be an “inconsequential piece of wood”, but she is “the only b**** I've ever truly loved. If I could... I'd f*** her. And yes... that means in my most private of moments I've probably rubbed my d*** against her. I'm not ashamed to admit it.” So that's not weird or anything. (We're assuming he steered clear of the barbed wire end, but then, who really knows with this guy.)
12 COMICS DEBUT VS. SHOW DEBUT
Most of us have seen by now how Lucille made her debut on the AMC series. At the beginning of Season 7, we watched the sadistic Negan line up Rick and the gang, introduce his barbed wire bat babe, and describe how she was thirsty for some payback for the death of some Saviors. Negan first bashed in Abraham's head (and then Glenn's) until they were good and dead.
In the TWD #100, things go a tad differently. Instead of Abraham and our beloved pizza boy, it's just Glenn who meets his demise at the hands of Lucille. What the show's creators did keep, however, is the hyper-graphic way in which Glenn died, with his eye popping out after Lucille's first blow and his attempts to say something to his love, Maggie, before being smashed to a pulp. We think the show was way worse. It quite literally splintered our hearts into a million pieces with each swing.
11 SHE'S A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER...OR A RAWLINGS...OR...
While it's never been discussed in the comics, the general consensus from die-hard fans who want to make a replica of Lucille says that she's probably a Louisville Slugger. The blank oval one-fourth of the way up the bat's neck is pretty much exactly what the border of a Louisville looks like. Then again, it could also be a Rawlings bat, as that company employs a similar oval in their design. We can't really know for sure, because Lucille's logo has worn off in the comics.
In any event, it's a wooden bat, and if you are looking to make a Lucille of your own, one Reddit user suggests you use thin barbed-wire rather than a thicker variety because it's easier to wrap. You can also buy a ready-made Lucille, of course, but we'll get to that later. We just hope you're making this bat for purely decorative measures – or to use to only kill zombies if said apocalypse were to happen. (Insert Screen Rant liability clause here.)
10 HOW LUCILLE GOT HER NAME
As we mentioned above, the spin-off comic Here's Negan explains exactly where the name Lucille comes from – it was the name of Negan's wife pre-apocalypse. Before the walkers took over, Negan was a high school gym teacher and still not a nice guy. He berated his students and cheated on his actual wife, even after she was diagnosed with cancer. He eventually realized how much he loved his lady and stayed by her hospital bedside until the end. Just as the things started to go haywire outside, she died, and he called her by name: Lucille. She then turned into a zombie, and Negan asked a young kid still in the hospital to kill her for him.
Negan shared his own words about Lucille in #156, and he gets all mushy when he talks about her. “I lost someone… One day they were there… and then it all just fell apart. They died. And it broke me. I don’t feel anymore. I don’t feel sad… I don’t feel scared… I don’t feel happy. I’m just… here. That’s my strength.”
9 SHE HASN’T CLAIMED NEARLY AS MANY VICTIMS IN THE COMICS
As we know, Lucille has become a pretty powerful killer of zombies – and those survivors who oppose Negan. On the show, Negan wields the thing like it's nobody's business, and she's with him in pretty much every scene. Along with Glenn and Abraham, we see that there's a wall in one of the Saviors' outposts that lists about 20 unnamed people who were killed by Lucille. That brings us to a grand total of at least 22 poor souls who've run afoul of the crazy maniac and his number one gal.
In the comics, however, Lucille hasn't killed as many victims. In fact, up to this point, we've only seen her obliterate one significant person (RIP Glenn) while Hilltop resident Ethan recounts how he saw Negan kill two of his friends, Andy and David, while out on a mission. It seems like in the comics, Negan prefers to use a knife to murder those he deems unworthy or a threat, like idiot Spencer Monroe in Alexandria when he tries to trash-talk Rick. Guess he saves Lucille for other, er, things. Yuck.
8 SHE'S NOT THE ONLY NAMED WEAPON
It turns out that Negan isn't the only one to give his beloved weapon a name in the Walking Dead universe. In the Telltale Games, Molly is character who carries around an ice climbing pick she calls “Hilda.” Like Lucille, Hilda has many uses, like climbing buildings, picking locks – and, of course, killing zombies and people. She first appears in the game “Around Every Corner,” in which Molly and Hilda help some people escape a sticky situation and return to their safe haven called Crawford.
Also in the video game series, a character called Danny St. John names his rifle “Charlotte.” Danny lives on a farm with his family, and they lure people there to kill and dismember them, turning them into meat as a trade for protection and supplies. Guess we know what Charlotte is used for, then.
7 DWIGHT BRIEFLY OWNED LUCILLE
In the comics, Dwight becomes the first of what will become the Saviors when he, his wife Sherry, and others befriend Negan and allow him into their group. Dwight comes to regret it as Negan takes over and ends up stealing Sherry and mutilating Dwight's face.
In the show, we've see so far how Dwight might be playing a long game to eventually overthrow Negan, much like it's played out in the comics, but at one point, in issue #126, Dwight ends up taking possession of Lucille when a wounded Negan is captured by Rick. Dwight then assumes control over the Saviors. Later on in “The Whisperer's War” volumes, Dwight gives Lucille back to Negan so he can try to kill one of the comic series' new characters, Beta. However, Lucille meets her final fate in that encounter.
6 SHE DIES TRYING TO BREAK BETA'S BACK
Beta is a member of the Whisperers, a mysterious group that covers themselves with zombie skin in order to walk among them and not be attacked. Beta serves as the second in command to Alpha, and he helps her lord over the maniacal group. When Negan tries to infiltrate the gang, he ends up decapitating Alpha, which sends Beta into a rage.
So in issue #159, Negan and Beta throw down, and when it seems Beta is getting the upper hand, Dwight tosses Lucille over to Negan, and he starts bashing away. Poor Lucille, however, suddenly splits in two on a whack to Beta's back. It could have just been fatigue for the wooden bat, but clearly, Negan is devastated, and he furiously blames Beta. Negan isn't able to finish the job, however, as he is attacked by walkers, and two Whisperers are able to drag Beta to safety.
5 HER FINAL RESTING PLACE
Naturally, Negan needs to give his beloved Lucille a proper burial – though it really turns out to be a memorial for his dead wife. Negan finally softens and realizes a baseball bat is not really a proper substitute for the love of one's life.
In issue #162, Negan kneels at her grave and just pours his heart out. “I never got to bury you before. I know this isn't the same... I'm sorry you were never truly put to rest. I'm hoping... This is the next best thing." He goes on about how he hopes she's in Heaven and that she's found a true love who, well, satisfies her over and over, unlike anything he was able to do when she was alive. Finally, Negan admits, "I'm sorry I named a stupid f****** baseball bat after you.” So now what is Negan gonna do?
4 SHE MADE A CAMEO IN SUPERNATURAL
This sent TWD fans into a frenzy. On an episode of the CW show Supernatural earlier this year, Lucille made an appearance. As demon-fighting brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) return from a mission to the Men of Letters bunker, all bloody and covered in grime, Dean is holding the lovely barbed-wire bat in his hands, which is also covered in the red stuff. He swings it around, saying, “Dad loved this thing.”
Of course, this crossover moment has a wonderfully meta side to it, because “Dad,” aka John Winchester, was played by none other than Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who played the boys' father in the first season of Supernatural long before he took on the Negan role. And like Negan, John also loved leather jackets and killing non-humans. Cool, right? Lucille also had a recent cameo on The Big Bang Theory for some kicks, but that's not nearly as cool, so we'll move on.
3 SHE'S PART OF A POPULAR BOARD GAME
That's right, Lucille has been immortalized as a token in The Walking Dead Survival Edition of Monopoly. Lucille joins other tokens, which include Michonne's Katana sword, Rick’s hat, a mini RV (that's a mini stroke of genius), a telephone (we're not entirely sure about that one) and a bucket of body parts (yep, they went there... and why not?). Still, out of them all, we'd definitely pick Lucille as our token. She's a winner.
There are some other fun changes Monopoly does to fit into the game into TWD universe. Currency has been replaced with supplies, houses are walls, and hotels are guard towers. Can't have enough of those, that's for sure. Chance cards become Scavenge cards, and the Community Chest cards are Supply Chest cards. Properties to own include The Sanctuary, The Kingdom, Hershel Greene's farm, the Prison, Woodbury, Hilltop, and of course, Alexandria. Obviously, it's a must-own for TWD fans.
2 SHE'S FOUND HER WAY INTO SEVERAL MLB LOCKER ROOMS
Several baseball stars like the Washington Nationals' superstar Bryce Harper, L.A. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, and Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez were sent their very own Lucilles in a promotional gimmick for Season 7 of The Walking Dead. Even if they might have thought it was a little odd, many of the players tweeted their thanks. J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers tweeted a clip of himself opening up the gift box, telling the folks watching at home to “Just call me Negan.” Harper even took his out onto the field. Could you imagine a pitcher staring that bat down?
While most were appreciative and took the gag gift in stride, one team got into trouble for tweeting a pic of a player holding Lucille. According to The Daily Telegraph, the New York Mets posted a photo of Lucille being held by Jose Reyes, a player who was once charged and suspended over domestic abuse allegations. The Mets promptly deleted the tweet.
1 HOW TO GET YOUR OWN LUCILLE
As we mentioned previously, you can either make your own Lucille (there's even how-to tutorials for how to do so) or scour the internet for one you can buy. There's the one you can get for $69.95, which they say is “a REAL replica of Negan's Lucille from The Walking Dead. No plastic, rubber or foam; Lucille is constructed entirely of wood and metal”, though that one comes with a disclaimer: “Needless to say, this is not a toy. Please handle Lucille with care, and keep out of reach of children. We cannot be responsible for any heads smashed.” Or there's another one for slightly less that is made of foam rubber and comes pre-bloodied. If you're into that kind of prop thing.
How about a throw pillow with a picture of Lucille whose shape spells out, “I'm Negan”, or a Lucille that is completely crocheted? Look, there's a lot of Lucille options out there, so make good choices.
So, now that you know a little more about good old Lucille, let's see how closely the show follows her story from the comics. We're kind of excited to see JDM as Negan break down over Lucille's grave, but then, that probably won't happen until the Whisperer War, and who knows when that's happening.
Do you know of any other fun facts surrounding the vampire bat herself? Which of the Lucille-themed pieces of memorabilia did you just add to your personal cart? Let us know in the comments.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead returns in October.