The Walking Dead season 10 is back later this year but the fate of fan-favourite Rick Grimes is still unconfirmed. However, the comic books have just confirmed Rick Grimes’ fate. Express.co.uk exclusively spoke to its lead illustrator Charlie Adlard about the moment.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Issue 192.
Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) is one of the most beloved characters of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
So fans were left devastated when Rick left the show in season nine to work on a series of TV films based on the series.
When the news was first announced, many thought that Rick would be killed off during the season and were relieved when he wasn’t.
But, the latest issue of the books has revealed that there was a different fate awaiting him in the comics.
Issue 192 of The Walking Dead saw the beloved character killed off in a heartbreaking moment.
Following a different storyline to the show, he was shot in the chest by Sebastian.
This came after Rick was responsible for removing Sebastian’s mother, Commonwealth leader Pamela Milton, from power in Issue 191.
Fans were left waiting between the comics to find out what the fate of his character would be.
Tragically, Issue 192 released on Wednesday, June 5, saw Rick turn into a walker briefly before his son Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) finds him and is forced to shoot him in the head.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Charlie Adlard revealed the fate of Rick had been planned for a while.
“I’ve known for a long time that Rick wasn’t going to last until the end,” he explained.
“That was one of the things Robert [Kirkman] said to me years ago he was planning but I was never 100 percent sure that he was going to do it.”
He also spoke about how the comic had always been able to keep fans guessing on what will happen next.
Adlard said: “The book thrives off no one is safe, we’ve always said that to everybody.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that this book could easily survive without Rick. The book isn’t called Rick, it’s not Spider-Man, it’s not Superman.”
Adlard has been involved in the comics since the beginning, working with writer Robert Kirkman for 15 years and drawing all of its climactic moments.
But Adlard was definitely aware that this was an important moment in the comics.
He explained: “You realise you’re drawing a significant moment and this moment should be honoured.”
The illustrator was also determined to not to let the pressure of the moment get to him however.
He said: “I have to draw it ‘better’ because it’s a significant moment but as soon as you have those thoughts in you’re head you’re automatically not going to.”
And in his own words: “In the end it’s just marks on paper.”
Rick’s death on screen seems more uncertain and questions over whether the show will follow the same storyline given Lincoln’s departure in series nine.
Alongside this, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is no longer on the show, having been killed off in an earlier season.
As Adlard himself isn’t involved in the TV show, it’s not something he has the answer to.
However, he did say that many of the storylines do find a way onto the AMC series.
“We know fully well the TV show takes the majority of their plot lines from the comic,” he said.
“If it wasn’t for the comic book there wouldn’t be a TV show.”
In terms of what’s next in the comic books, Adlard also kept tight-lipped on any spoilers.
He teased: “I think The Walking Dead universe is very strong and it has enough characters within it take up not just his mantle but take up the story and where we’ve left off after that.
“Believe it or not we’ve got a few surprises up our sleeves yet to raise some more eyebrows in the fandom.”
Adlard was speaking ahead of the major exhibition of his drawings from The Walking Dead that opened this week and will run until November 3.
Called Drawn of the Dead, the exhibition is on at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in Shropshire.
The Walking Dead season 10 returns to AMC and FOX in October 2019.
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