The Walking Dead keeps committing to the comic book in all the wrong ways

The Walking Dead is back after its traditional midseason break, careening toward the conclusion of the “All Out War” saga and the end of the feud between Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his archnemesis Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Thus far, the show’s big bet on Negan has been a bit of a misfire, with ratings hitting staggering lows last year and Negan himself largely absent from the first half of the show’s eighth season.

But a midseason relaunch is an opportunity to start again, so in the weeks ahead, I’ll be analyzing the show through its presentation of Negan: how he acts, how he delivers his jokes and threats, and most importantly, how his character develops in contrast to our supposedly virtuous heroes. We’ll look at all the…

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