After The Walking Dead Season 7 Premier, there is much speculation about what will happen next. From the get-go, this season is already much darker than anything we’ve seen before, which includes cannibals and a Jabba the Hutt-like walker bursting open above a well – and Negan.

Negan, the newest villain ruthlessly killed Abe and Glenn in front of the rest of the gang. Comic book fans are familiar with his fate, but the television version of him is actually much more sadistic than the comic book version. Since the creators have mentioned changing things up this season, it would appear that anything goes.

Overall, The Walking Dead‘s Negan is much more violent on TV than in the comics. 

Negan from the ComicsNegan in the Comic TWD | Photo Credit CinemaBlend

As a Comic Book Character

Part of the premiere, where Negan said, “Well, you didn’t really think you were going to get through this without getting punished, now did you?” occurs in The Walking Dead – Issue #100 (Skybound). In the comics, Negan introduced a new nemesis for Rick and the gang, but also a launching point to a whole new plotline.

Robert Kirman, the comic book creator, designed Negan as a well-groomed, charismatic and even sympathetic villain. Despite his heavy fist, the majority of his action revolve around teaching Rick’s group his reasons for the things he does, despite their level of evil.

Much like how Batman has been said to need the Joker, Negan’s approach in the comics somewhat tutored Rick to be a more effective leader. Negan’s entire goal in the first episode is to break Rick, which he finally appears to do once he threatens Carl and has Rick willing to sacrifice his son’s arm.

In the comics, when Negan performs terrible, yet personally justified acts, Rick starts to understand what kind of a leader he must become. Essentially, Negan’s actions show Rick that he can no longer continue merely surviving. Instead, he must consider looking for the best methods to rebuild civilization.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as NeganJeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan | Photo Credit AMC

The Walking Dead’s Negan in Season 6

During the second half of Season 6, the character is introduced with various characters saying something along the lines of, “Your property now belongs to Negan.” With each episode, the gang learned more and more about their new enemies.

In Episode 8, for example, Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha met the bike gang of Saviors who requested everything they owned at gunpoint. As Abraham bluntly put it, they didn’t know anything about him.

The hype continued with Jesus and the Hilltop. Rick discovered that the new colony had been giving their rations to Negan’s group in larger and larger shares. The colony had also been ordered to turn over Gregory, the group’s leader as they had planned to execute him.

Jesus told the group that Negan liked to make his point “right off the bat” by killing someone whenever he met a new enemy. In a somewhat confusing turn, Carol and Maggie discover that all of the Saviors are his, which meant that he is everywhere in the form of a Fear-of-God-like leader.

By the time the gang actually meet Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Rick new this new enemy was powerful beyond anyone else they had faced, if only by sheer numbers and action.

Within his frightening approach, there was still something there that showed that he was doing this evil to showcase his ability to keep his own members safe.