Episode 37: Here’s Negan – Part 6

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This week on Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll be continuing our exploration into the origin of The Walking Dead’s biggest baddie, Negan and his deadly friend, Lucille in Part 6 of our “Here’s Negan” series where we’ll be covering issues 10-12 of Negan’s origin in Image Plus.

So I’ve saved up a bunch of issues of Image Plus, the monthly magazine where Kirkman is slowly dowling out Negan’s origin just 4 pages at a time. That’s right, remember, there’s only 4 pages per issue. So let’s get into issues 10-12 to see what Negan is up to.

Issue 10 – Image Plus
I have to say, this was one of my favorite issues in the run, and it was so simple and low key, but man, so good. We start on page one with Negan fighting, alone, smashing walkers as he goes with Lucille. Now he hasn’t called the bat by name yet and there is no barbed wire, but he’s getting pretty handy with it. As he stops to get a drink from a pod he he’s a crack and looks up. There is a middle aged couple, they look scared and ask if he has a safe place. You can tell these are not people who are going to make it very far.
And then on page two we see Negan and his new friends walking along, they are telling him how they lost their daughter in panel one, then in panel to we see them being torn apart, Negan of course being the only survivor. Negan is then seen with another companion who is tell him about how they lost someone, and yep, you guessed it, in the next panel she is being torn to shreds. No Negan has not said a word this so far in these four pages. In the last two panels on page 2 he meets another couple, a brother and sister, they are sitting around a fire. She is telling Negan how they lost their father, that he told them to run and he would distract the walkers, but he didn’t make it. And in the last panel, she is getting bitten and her brother is being torn to shreds.
The girl and Negan are then walking out of the store where the attack happened. She is in shock, holding the bite mark on neck. She starts to speak, “I didn’t even feel it, it happened so fast”, but she is cut off by Negan looking her in the eye and saying FUCK YOU. She’s stunned but then he just keeps going, telling her Fuck You, you’re bite now just die. He’s had it, people coming into his life, telling them about all their loose and then dying. Is he mad about always being the lone survivor, does he hate their weakness or is he just sit of the constant stories and talking. It doesn’t matter, he tells her she let her dad died and now her brother, and now she’s bit and she should just die. And with that he walks away. On the last page Negan is again by the fire, it’s night, and he’s cooking up something, there’s a crack coming from the woods, he looks up to find a man coming out of the woods. The man is smiling, looks to be in good shape and is armed and he simply says hi and introduces himself, “I’m Dwight, looks like you could use some company.” So cool, we see Dwight, happy with no scars introducing himself to his future friend and tormentor. If only he knew.
Issue 11 – Image Plus
This is also just another incredible issue. What I love about this issue and the last is the subtle use of time. To fill in what’s between the panels, to see the character grow and change. Like I said, the use of time is just incredible. And what I’m talking about is the fact that in the last issue and in this one, we really have little idea of time passing. In this issue we do because there is a season change, but that’s just it, we don’t know how much time is passing exactle, but it’s months. But this issue picks up right after the last issue. Negan is by the fire and he and Dwight are talking. Negan asks him if that’s a crossbow and Dwight says it is and then Negan says he’ll split his rabbit if he can hold it while they eat. Very funny. We also see that Dwight had crossbow at the beginning and as we’ll see is quite capable with it. They sit and eat and in the last panel Negan is walking through the woods with Dwight telling him he better not be leading him into a trap cause he’s a bad Mother Fucker, but Dwight says he’s just being friendly. Page two is a half page splash where Dwight shows off his group, as they walk through them in the next few panels Dwight is about to introduce them and Negan tells him not to bother, if they are around in a few days or weeks maybe he’ll bother. So issues from the last four pages are carrying over. On the next page Negan is helping load some boxes and Dwight’s wife, Sherry introduces herself and Negan doesn’t protest. But again, this was most likely weeks later. They next few panels are them working there way through the world. One pane is interesting, they are around the fire and Sherry and Dwight are hugging and Negan is starring. Then in panel three they are moving through a forest and it’s snowing, so again we can now see the the movement of time. On the last panel Negan is shaving and Sherry is in the doorway. We learn they are in a hotel cause Negan mentions it and that he likes motels. Sherry says he does to but only for what’s done in them. So was that some flirting, the facial expressions and how they are drawn. The last page is awesome. They are all fighting their way through the hotel, they are being overrun , Negan is in the foreground, swinging his bat but is know calling out members of the group by name, directing them on what to do. In just 4 pages we have seen him go from an outsider to a member of a cohesive team. It’s really cool to see the growth and we also have to ask, is he now leading the group? He’s barking out orders telling the group what to do. Has he already taken over as the group leader. Looks like it.

neganIssue 12 – Image Plus
And in our last issue we see the group dynamic solidify. On the first page we see some long thin panels of the group running from the hotel to safety. When they finally stop they ask where Negan is, fearing he’s been eaten. Page two is an awesome, awesome splash page with Negan in the doorway and about a dozen walkers clawing at him as he fights his way through. It’ a really nice page. I love to collect original art, and this is a page I would buy in a heartbeat. On the next page Negan is yelling for them to fire on the walkers as he gets a little clear and they mow them down. On the last page we see everyone looking at him. One of the group asks, Are we going back in to clear the place out?” With that Negan replies, No, it’s too dangerous. Then he says, “Follow Me”, and the group follows The last panel has the group walking away and in the foreground Dwight is looking down and grimacing. He realizes he’s being replaced as leader and he doesn’t like it. It’s the beginning of the huge pile of shit that Negan will begin to pile on him till he breaks.

So that’s a wrap on three issues. In the issues we see Negan find Lucille and Dwight, go from distant loner to leader of what will be the core group that will make up the saviors. Quite a lot in only 12 pages that spanned a little over a year. So until the next installment of Image Plus’s Here’s Negan, watch out for walkers and men in leather carrying bloody bats.