Jeffrey Dean Morgan, most know by nerds as Edward Blake aka Comedian in the 2009 Watchmen adaptation, has been cast as big TWD baddie Negan who will play prominently into season 7. The casting for TWD’s most villainous villain called for “an imposing, charismatic, brutal, frightening, ferocious and hilarious sociopath in his 30s to mid-40s that is both a leader (and killer) of men.” Judging only by his work in Watchmen, I 100 percent give my blessing to this casting and am VERY excited, but at the same time downtrodden that Negan is finally being introduced into the television universe.
For those who don’t read the comics, Negan is the biggest threat Rick and the gang have ever confronted. He makes The Governor look like just another walker in terms of threats posed. He’s the leader of a group of thugs known as The Saviors. Two quirks identifiable to Negan are his almost intolerable potty mouth – he literally swears after every word – and his beloved, barbed wired-laced bat Lucille, which he always carries around with him.
Of course, I won’t spoil any plot details, but if you haven’t been satisfied with the action from TWD this season, get ready for some serious fireworks next season. I can’t say how long the “All Out War” story line will go for, but Morgan (Negan) is expected to show up at the end of the current season 6 and be a series regular starting in season 7.
Negan appearance in the show means a couple of things for viewers. Number one: Glenn probably isn’t dead… right now. When it happened, of course I thought the worst as did every TWD lover across America. No way Glenn falls into a pile of zombies and walks away scratch free. But, a couple dozen theories later and upon further viewing, Glenn doesn’t actually get torn apart like “Thank You” would lead us to believe. No way “Now” would spend so much emotional energy on Maggie wanting to find Glenn then giving a big speech about how much she misses him then revealing she’s pregnant then erasing his name off the “dead wall” just to find out anticlimactically that he really has been dead this whole time. So going on the assumption that Glenn will come back later this season (I’m guessing it’ll be a mid-season finale reveal), his “encounter” with Negan will be very inefficacious. Of course, it will have quite a bit of weight to it, but not nearly the emotional weight it would have had if we already didn’t spend so much emotional energy on Glenn’s “death.” All that said, I’m thinking the show will diverge from the comic as it’s done so many times and choose a different character to go through the events Glenn goes through in the comic with Negan. If Mr. Nicotero wants the desired effect in introducing Negan as issue 100 did, I’d suggest Daryl take the place of Glenn. He’s the only other character who’s been with Rick for as long as Glenn and has the same if not more fan appreciate. Of course I too love Daryl, but for the sake of the show, he needs to get real intimate with Lucille.
The second meaning of Negan’s arrival is TWD might be coming to an end. Season 7 could very well be the last season of TWD given the pace of show against the comic books. Now, “All Out War” is a long story line with many intricate moving parts that will undoubtedly be changed and expanded upon in the show, but I feel like sixteen episodes would do the trick. Knowing where the end of “All Out War” leaves our survivors, neatly ending the show on the season 7 finale would put a nice bow on top of the whole series. As a giant fan of the show, I want to keep watching TWD for the rest of my life. As a fan of the franchise, I know there’s no bigger spectacle short of a worldwide conflict (which I wouldn’t want to see anyway) that our survivors can encounter.
Negan’s coming signifies a lot of good surprises coming to fans who only watch the show. I’m excited to see how they adapt the comic to fit the show. Sans Andrea and Dale, they’ve done a great job introducing characters into TWD television universe to fit dynamically into Rick’s group. Finally I’ll find out how to properly pronounce the name Negan (short E or long E).