Spoilers up to #150.
Like many Walking Dead readers, I’m beginning to suffer from series fatigue. That’s not to say I’m not emotionally invested in the characters or the story anymore. The problem is, I’m still too invested.
Anyone who has ever read the comic or watched the show knows it’s not a good idea to become attached to any of the characters. But after 150 issues, it’s hard not to care. After 150 issues, I want more than death. I want to see how Rick, Maggie, and their communities work to continue rebuilding some semblance of civilisation.
With only a handful of iconic survivors left (only four of whom have been around since the first arc), Kirkman is running out of meaningful characters to kill. Here are some reasons I’m reluctant to see any more of them go.
While Kirkman has warned readers not to discount the possibility of Rick’s death, killing him in a landmark issue would feel like too much of a stunt. If anyone does die, as in #100, when a fan-favourite, Glenn, met his maker at the hands of the series’ latest Big Bad, it’s more likely to be one of his friends.
Not long ago, Rick confessed to Michonne that he’s happier with Andrea than he ever was during his marriage to Lori. That’s why it would be a mistake to make her a casualty in another one of his wars. We’ve already watched Rick slip into grief-induced madness after the prison battle claimed the lives of his wife and infant daughter; him losing his common-law spouse to Alpha one hundred issues later would be a sure sign that Kirkman is running out of fresh ideas.
Rick’s struggle to keep his son safe has always been the beating heart of the series; while the pain of losing Andrea would be enough to destabilize him, Carl’s death would send him over the edge in a way that it would be hard to come back from. Even though it was Carl’s Romeo & Juliet-esque romance with Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, that incited the conflict between their communities, Rick would die before he let anyone lay a hand on his only surviving child.
Now that Ezekiel is gone — the latest in a string of dead lovers stretching back to before the apocalypse — I wouldn’t be surprised if Michonne, worn down by tragedy, tried to redeem herself for the deaths of her children by volunteering for a mission that would see her go out in a blaze of glory. That said, I hope she doesn’t. After everything she’s been through, she deserves to find love and happiness with a man whose fate isn’t to wind up on the business end of her sword.
Not only did Maggie’s own people just try to murder her, but she still has unfinished business with Dante. Besides, it would be beyond cruel to orphan poor Sophia again, and little Hershel needs at least one parent to take care of him.
For Sophia to die now would feel pretty random since, with the exception of a few bullies, she’s rarely around whenever anything violent is happening.
Jesus will live forever. Enough said.
If I had to place a bet, my money would be on Eugene, whose thirst for blood over the deaths of his girlfriend, Rosita, and her unborn child outweighs everything, including his will to survive. It would be a shame to lose him, though, as his superior scientific knowledge means he still has a lot to offer their burgeoning civilisation.