8:18pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead': How Negan's First Victim Died in the Comics
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from The Walking Dead season seven premiere and the comic series the AMC drama is based on.]
After a six-month wait, AMC's The Walking Dead finally revealed who met Lucille, the baseball bat covered in barbed wire that Negan used to kill not one but two fan favorites during Sunday's season seven premiere.
And the victims are …
Unlike Robert Kirkman's comic series on which the AMC drama is based, Negan had multiple victims including Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), who has been with the zombie drama since Day 1, and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), the latter of whom outlived his comic book counterpart. (Click here for more on how Glenn died in the comics.)
Abraham was first introduced in season four, with Cudlitz booking the role after producers including showrunner Scott M. Gimple went to bat (sorry, pun intended) for the actor whom AMC feared was too recognizable from his role on Southland. He was promoted to series regular for season five as the former soldier who initially was willing to believe Eugene (Josh McDermitt) had the cure for the outbreak. He would eventually become a key member of Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group — and the guy with the best one-liners on the series.
The AMC version of Abraham outlived his comic book counterpart. On the page, Abraham was killed in The Walking Dead #98 when he is shot through the eye with an arrow — the same way in which the AMC series killed Merritt Wever's Denise in season six. In the comics, it was Dwight — the reluctant member of Negan's Saviors — who murders Abraham. (Dwight was also responsible for Denise's death as well on the series.)
Abraham's death on the AMC series comes as the character seemed to have come full circle. In season six, he was able to overcome his reckless behavior thanks in part to Sasha's help. Together, they formed a bond — and had a very promising chemistry — that inspired Abraham to leave Rosita (Christian Serratos). Abraham's best use on the series may have been his ability to get through to Eugene, who initially used him for protection. At the end of season six, Eugene had overcome his cowardice and was able to defend himself and fight to protect the group. With his knowledge of how to manufacture ammunition paired with Negan's deadly arrival, look for Eugene to play a key role in the show's impending battle against the Saviors.
Abraham's death also leaves Sasha having lost yet another key man in her life. Sasha, who is not in the comics, has been taking on roles played by Andrea — the latter of whose death remains the show's biggest departure from the comics where she becomes Rick's love interest.
Abraham's death comes as The Walking Dead entered season seven with its largest cast to date — 20 series regulars. What do you think about how The Walking Dead handled Glenn's death on screen? Will you miss Yeun? Sound off in the comments below.
Stay tuned to THR.com/WalkingDead for complete coverage. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.