Here’s Negan: Part 4
This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll be continuing our multi-part series on the origin of The Walking Dead’s biggest baddie, Negan and his deadly friend, Lucille.
And since I haven’t done a Negan podcast in a while and the next 3 issues of Image Plus really flow together well and are very fast paced, I decided instead of just doing 4 pages from Here’s Negan on the show, I’m going to break down 12 pages! Issue four of Image Plus picks up right after the events of issue 5. But if you don’t remember give the last episode a listen. Let’s just say as, the bleep has just hit the fan. A doctor had just bust in to Negan’s wife’s hospital room and told him to run. Negan then looked outside and saw the dead attacking the living.
And the neat thing about that is I automatically thought of the spin-off show, Fear the Walking Dead, which I love. I love seeing how all this started, so I was thinking this is just like Fear, we get to see more of how things broke down and the world went to crap.
So let’s get into issue 4 of Here’s Negan and see where all this goes. We start with Negan just looking out the window and muttering under his breath that there is something wrong with the people he sees outside the hospital window. Negan hears a crash and opens his wife’s hospital room door to see a kid running past telling him to run. He closes the door and rolls a piece of hospital equipment to block the door. He looks scared. Page two really got to me. Negan sits at his wife’s side, the shading on the panel is great. Negan’s says it’s better she’s like this, that it should all be over by the time she wakes up….but as he is speaking he realizes she is gone. The next two panels are fantastic. Negan is lying across his wife gripping the sheets and balling. The last panel just shows him sitting in a dark corner of the room. Again, it’s always interesting to see emotion coming from Negan. Now in page three Negan hears a boom from outside and investigates, there, with hands pressed against the window he watches as the world unravels.
And yeah, I know what you’re thinking. His wife is dead. When is she coming back. Remember in the show and in the comics they’ve said anywhere from 10 minutes to a day. Well his wife, Negan’s wife comes back on page four, gurgling and reaching for him in a half page splash. She tries to get out of bed and falls to the floor. To that Negan whispers her name for the first time…Lucielle?
So wow. I had a pretty good feeling that the bat was going to be named after his wife, or maybe daughter. But my money was on wife. So the thing Negan uses to dole out justice, vengeance and lessons with is named after someone he obviously, especially at the end, loved deeply. That is even more disturbing to me and I can’t wait to see him get the bat and why and when does he start to call it Lucielle.
On to issue 5 of Here’s Negan. We pick up right where left off. Negan is terrified and confused. Lucille is on the floor, she can’t really move because she is wrapped up in tubes and stuff like her respirator. He bends down and gets in close saying he doesn’t believe this, that it can’t be real. He gets in closer and waves his hand in front of her face and asks if she knows who he is, that he’s her husband, but she just growls and tries to attack him. He recoils in horror, again, there’s all that raw emotion coming off him. He then leans in and kisses her forehead and tells her he’s sorry. Then he does something that really surprised me…he leaves. He pushes the stuff away from the door, looks back crying and leaves. He can’t bring himself to kill her. On the last page he comes face to face with the horrors of the new world. There are dead people everywhere who haven’t turned yet and we see the kid from issue 4 who told him to run, trapped behind a gurney with three walkers trying to have him for lunch. He looks at Negan who looks as scared as the kid, and asks for help.
Onward to issue 6. Well this issue is all action and more insight on who Negan is and what he is going to become. Negan attacks the walkers who are attacking the boy. He’s strong, but is not prepared to how vicious these things are and that you can’t seem to hurt them. The kid yells to him that he needs to destroy their brains for them to stay down. Negan then handley puts them down with a fire extinguisher. After he’s bashed in a couple of walker’s heads he collapses and when asked if he’s ok by the boy Negan looks horrified and exclaims how can he be, he just murdered those people. The boy then tells him you can’t kill someone who’s already dead, that these aren’t people anymore, but reanimated corpses who attack and eat people. Negan asks the boy what’s he’s talking about and the kid tells him it’s been on the news for days.
This is just how invested and preoccupied with his wife’s illness. The zombie apocalypse was underway and he missed it. Now he’s smack dab in the middle of it. And this may be how Negan survived the initial days of the downfall. Yes, he’s fit due to his job as a high school gym teacher, he’s strong and capable in that way, but I think the key is the information that he gets right off the bat. Unlike most, within the first 10 minutes of things going south, he knows that if you die you come back, if you’re bit you come back and you need to destroy the brain to put them down. Most didn’t have this knowledge. I think back to the walking dead episode where The Governor was on his own, living with the family in an apartment after the fall of Newberry and the families father reanimated after dying. The family didn’t know that if you just died you came back. He could have killed the whole family. Negan knows a lot right off the bat…no pun intended. I think that’s the first bat pun I’ve made this entire series, but I doubt it’s the last.
Back to page 3. Negan is sitting, exhausted. He then asks the kid if he would do him a favor. Negan tells the boy there’s one more in a room down the hall, another walker, and could he go and take care of it for him. The kid says sure and trags the fire extinguisher down the hall.
On the final page the kid has come back and asks Negan if that was his wife. Negan is sitting, head down, I know I keep saying it but to see Negan so down and not in charge is odd. Negan vacantly asks him what, what did he say. The Negan we know reasserts himself and he says, Listen Kid, We’re all having a shitty day…now let’s get the fuck out of here. But he’s not all smiles and bravado, he’s looking down, he’s grim and the shading on the page separates him from the boy and Negan looks sad and alone.
Well that was issue 4 through 6 of Image Plus’s Robert Kirkman’s story, “Here’s Negan”. And you know what, I think I’m going to do this Negan origin series in 12 page blocks from now on. They just really flow nicely.
I’m pretty far behind watching the Walking Dead on AMC, I think I have about 3 episodes to catch up on but now I think I’ll just wait till it comes back from mid-season break. But I’m just loving the show. Never quite sure when I see people knocking it. Great acting, dialogue and story. The effects are awesome, and as a comic reader it’s neat to see how they change things up from the comic, what they add, what they take away. Great stuff.