'Walking Dead' Won't 'Look Back' in Season 4B -- But Who's Ahead?

The Walking Dead S4B Key Art - S 2014

The Walking Dead S4B Key Art - S 2014

AMC has released the poster for The Walking Dead's 2014 return, when the second half of the show's fourth season roars back to the schedule on Feb. 9.

The art features a battered Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and stronger, almost taller Carl (Chandler Riggs), hitting the road and turning their backs on the prison after the deadly battle with the late Governor (David Morrissey).

With the prison (finally) out of the picture and Rick's group divided (again) and on the road (again), several new characters are poised to make their debut in the final eight episodes of the season.

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Among them are three staples from the comic book series that serves as source material for the drama: Southland's Michael Cudlitz, Retired at 35's Josh McDermitt and Twilight's Christian Serratos, who play Abraham, Eugene and Rosita, respectively.

In the comics, Abraham is a former Army sergeant turned sports coach who travels with high school science teacher Dr. Eugene Porter and Rosita Espinosa -- a group that crossed paths with Rick and company while at Hershel's farm when the trio was headed for Washington, D.C. In the comics, Rosita ultimately has romantic ties with both Abraham and later Eugene. After more than 110 issues, both Rosita and Eugene are still alive and kicking.

"The prison has fallen, there won't be any more stories there, and now our characters are out on their own," comics creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman told THR. "They've lost the prison, they've lost where they live and where they were building their lives, and they're also separated and have lost each other. They're out in the unknown trying to survive. We're going to be going into some very interesting places with all of these characters and seeing new sides to all of them as they figure out how to survive."

In addition to the trio, Greek alum Andrew J. West has boarded the series as mysterious character Gareth, who does not appear in the comics. He will be a remix of an unidentified character from the comics, continuing showrunner Scott M. Gimple's season-four approach to the drama. Gareth will have a big presence and play an important role on the series.

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One character the AMC zombie drama won't introduce in the back half of season four, Gimple said, will be current comics villain Negan, whose dastardly deeds make The Governor look tame. "I'm super-excited to get to Negan's story, but there's a lot of cool story to tell before that. We're not getting to him this season; I wish we were," he told THR.

Check out the new season-four poster above, and hit the comments with what you're looking forward to seeing when The Walking Dead returns Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit