Prior to the start of each season of The Walking Dead, fans ponder one thing: will this be the year that Negan appears? The notorious baseball bat-wielding villain has held comic book readers captivated for some time now, dishing out the type of disdain and vitriol upon Rick’s group that makes the Governor look like a solid, dependable ally. Yeah, he’s that bad.
Now we know he’s en route, thanks to a midseason finale prologue scene – that many missed, but you can watch here – wherein Sasha, Daryl and Abraham meet a bunch of Negan’s comrades. Nothing severe occurs, but that’s the point: the big reveal of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan is being saved for the right moment, as creator Robert Kirkman tells Entertainment Weekly:
“As far as shake-ups go, we have lots of shake-ups from season to season. It keeps things interesting — keeps the blood pumping, I like to say — but Negan is kind of an atomic bomb that’s going to be dropped on the show and the show will probably never be the same after that. So buckle up, I guess?”
Kirkman goes on to explain how Negan’s group The Saviors are far worse than any previous baddies we’ve seen on the show so far:
“I think the Saviors are dangerously organized. The Wolves were psychotic, the Hunters [the group from Terminus] had a lot of weaknesses. When it comes to the Saviors, and Negan in particular, the way I’ve always thought about this in the comics is this is a group that’s led by a guy who’s had his morality dial a few clicks away from Rick toward the darker aspects of his personality, but is still an intellectual and capable leader who’s kept his group alive against all odds just as long as Rick has,” Kirkman said. “It’s really the best encountering the best. When these two forces come head to head, things are gonna get interesting. This is a much different group than they’ve ever encountered. The Saviors are a group they’re not really prepared for.”
That’s quite a statement considering how unprepared they were for that bloodthirsty attack from the Wolves.
For your first glimpse at the terrifying Negan and the remainder of season six of The Walking Dead, tune into AMC on February 14 at 9pm.