1) Emotional Impact Of Character Deaths
The best quality of Kirkman’s comic is hands down its ability to establish these wonderful characters, give them a proper backstory and personality, get us emotionally invested, and then have them suffer a horribly gruesome and grizzly death which hits you like a sucker-punch to the stomach.
Compare that to the show, and every single death has been like getting poked and prodded with a wet noodle – you don’t even give a damn. Hell, I’ve even found myself rooting for characters on the show to die not because I hate their personalities or actions, but because they’re lifeless wastes of space who don’t add important substance to the show.
Dale in general is a perfect example for the show’s character misuse, but his death is especially wasteful and forgettable. Jeffrey DeMunn’s Dale was nothing but a rambling old man who only interjected fartsy senior wisdom and lectured the camera, while the comic version of Dale was a savior to one of the most important survivors, not to mention being a lover to that same character – which raised some pretty morally ambiguous relationship points about what flies in the apocalypse.
Either way, when Dale is torn open by that field-wandering zombie that Carl let free, all I could think about was how such a prolific comic book character was unjustly re-invented for the screen without an iota of the same gripping presence. Then compare that to his death in the comic, and it’s even more disturbing, as Dale goes out in a blaze of heroic glory that saves the entire group from an outsider threat. I won’t say who or how, but I can guarantee you his final actions are in no way what you’re imaging right now. No guns or fighting – just trickery and self-sacrifice.
See pretty much every death in the show thus far – including Andrea.