A year after ending the long-running The Walking Dead comic series after 193 issues, Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard — the creative partners behind the comics — have resurrected the comics franchise for a limited time only. Negan Lives #1 is a 36-page one-shot centering on the comics’ all-time greatest villain (and later, antihero), played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the AMC series.
The issue will be available on July 1st in comic-book shops only and at no cost to the retailers. It’s all part of an effort by Robert Kirkman to kick comic-book stores back to life after so many of them were shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic:
“I’ve been inspired by Steve Geppi and Diamond’s efforts to shine a light on how essential the Direct Market is to our beloved industry with their #backthecomeback campaign,” Kirkman said. “While Charlie Adlard and I had laid the series to rest, this felt like something special we could do for the store owners who made our series a success to begin with. To that end, I’m happy to report that 100% of the revenue generated from this book will go to the stores selling it. The retailer community does backbreaking work to get comics into the hands of our loving fans, we should all be doing more in these trying times to show them how appreciated they are.”
It is a very generous effort, and one that other comic-books may also benefit from, including Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee’s new comic book, Fire Power, Vol. 1: Prelude, which arrives in comic-book stores on the same day.
In the comic series, Negan exits the main action after The Whisperer War, which will also be ending in the pending tenth season finale of the AMC series (Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan is expected to continue to be heavily featured on the show in the 11th season and beyond). Negan is not seen in the final issues of Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic, but we are left to understand that he is still alive, living in a small house with a tombstone for his wife, Lucille, and that Carl visits periodically and brings him things.
Presumably, Negan Lives #1 will follow Negan after the events of The Walking Dead, and though Kirkman says that it’s a one-off, who knows what its success may bring? With Negan now the nominal lead in the comic series (along with Daryl and Carol), I’m sure that showrunner Angela Kang would appreciate some more ideas for future episodes, whenever the series moves back into production.
Check out the cover.