Warning: SPOILERS for The Walking Dead Issue #175.
After 15 years and 175 issues, the New World Order saga of Image's The Walking Dead comics just brought a major character close to Michonne back from the dead. However, now that this long-dead character has survived a trip to the grave, what ramifications could this have for AMC's TV show of the same name?
Following months of teasing in the comics, the landmark Issue #175 took our hardened survivors to The Commonwealth and set up a whole new chapter of the ongoing series. From the humble beginnings of the Atlanta camp all those years ago, fans have seen communities like Woodbury, The Kingdom, and The Sanctuary. However, The Commonwealth looks set to be the biggest yet. In addition to amping up the shadowy Stephanie as next potential big bad, #175 also saw the return of Michonne's presumed-dead daughter Elodie.
Michonne, Magna, Yumiko, Eugene, Siddiq, and Princess stepped through the gates of The Commonwealth to kickstart the six-issue New World Order saga of the comics, but our katana-wielding badass got more than she bargained for. When approaching a wall of the missing, Michonne found a picture of herself staring back under the title "Have you seen my Mom?" It appears that Elodie's apparent demise all those years ago was just a ruse, and that she is out there somewhere amongst the 50,000 residents of The Commonwealth.
Obviously, #175 seems like just a dot on the horizon compared to the TV show - which is currently middling around Issue #120 - but it could lead to some interesting plot points for Scott Gimple's world. There are already calls for The Walking Dead to skip the whole Whisperers saga to pick up the pace after Negan's "All Out War", and logically set up someone like Stephanie as the next villain for the show. Also, now that Rick is facing a future without his son Carl by his side, the introduction of Michonne's offspring could stir up the family dynamic.
On the TV series, Michonne was shown to have a son called Andre through flashback. Just like Elodie, Andre is thought to be six feet under, but he could also be set for a miraculous recovery. Even with a body being shown, The Walking Dead has a sneaky habit of bringing characters back from the grave whenever it feels like it. Importantly, we never saw Andrew die on the show, and were only informed that he had been devoured by walkers when Michonne went on a supply run. Leaving the plot thread conveniently hanging, the show now has the perfect way to reintroduce Michonne's son further down the line thanks to the comics.
Either way, the introduction of The Commonwealth could be a help or a hindrance for the flagging show's ratings drop. There have always been complaints that the various showrunners have failed to explore the likes of Washington D.C. or other major cities outside Atlanta, while The Commonwealth could be the perfect solution to that. However, with other critics calling the show out for having too many meaningless background characters and even a main cast that is too large, the introduction of another 50,000 survivors could dilute an already watered-down storyline even further.
With the biggest community ever, an emotional Michonne story arc, and the promise of yet another villain for Rick to butt heads with, Issue #175 could be just what The Walking Dead's TV counterpart needs to gain some new life. With a whole rebuilt world just at our fingertips, AMC's show could excel at doing what it does best by making human survivors an even bigger threat than the gnashing teeth of the walkers outside the gates. If The Walking Dead manages to reach an equivalent point on our screens, expect all the death, destruction, and decaying corpses that fans of the show and comics love so much.
Source: Image Comics