We’re less than a month away from the return of The Walking Dead, and fans of the epic zombie drama can’t wait to get their teeth back into their favourite show. If you could sum up Season 6 in three words, thus far, it would be “Negan is Coming,” a bold statement more than a hint, and something enforced by the appearance of his henchmen in the mid-season finale.
Fans are anticipating/dreading the arrival of brutal villain Negan — in his wake comes violence, death and the demise of a major character, if you follow the comics anyway — but the fans will also be thrilled to hear about another comic book character coming into the fold. That’s right, Paul “Jesus” Monroe will be making his debut in Season 6, too.
The Walking Dead creator and writer Robert Kirkman has been discussing Season 6 with Entertainment Weekly, and reveals what we can expect from Jesus’ introduction.
“Jesus is just such a fun character to write in the comics. At this point in the life of the series, my thought is the apocalypse has been going on for so long, the people you encounter in your day-to-day life have to be extremely skilled. They’ve been surviving for a reason, whether they were at a place like Alexandria that’s very safe, or they’re a great leader of their group and somewhat sadistic but in control of their group like Negan, or someone who’s an absolute, complete badass like Jesus. He’s smart, quick, very athletic. He’s kinda been surviving on his feet. He’s going to be bringing a lot to the show. There’s some cool stuff coming with him”
British actor Tom Payne (Skins, Waterloo Road) will be portraying Jesus on the show, and has the uneasy task of bringing the popular character to life. A fan-favourite of the comic book readers, Paul Monroe takes his name from the biblical character of the same name, and is forgiving and open, something rarely seen in The Walking Dead. Despite this, he is extremely tactical and is prone to letting his fury and emotions get the better of him. He is highly skilled in unarmed combat and the comics hint that he has a military background. He also shares skills with everyone’s favourite Daryl Dixon — he is a competent tracker.
His introduction in the comics becomes more pronounced following the death of Glenn, who dies at the violent hands of Negan, and his baseball bat, Lucille. Rumours persist that these scenes will be adapted into the show at the end of Season 6, and heavy rumours of a major character death have been circulating for months, as confirmed by Comic Book. Glenn’s name is in the mix, despite a huge fake-out death earlier in the season, and sparse rumours of Norman Reedus’ departure at the end of Season 6 hint at his possible demise. Carl is also in the frame, but with such a pivotal role in Negan’s future story, he may be spared for now.
Whether Jesus’ portrayal is loyal to the source material or not, it should be interesting to see another friendly face arrive in Alexandria — or wherever the survivors end up. Payne has a lot riding on his shoulders. Primarily a TV actor, Payne will slot nicely into a show that has utilized and developed the cream of the TV crop, so to speak. No official images of the character have surfaced — yet — but the impending arrival means we shouldn’t have to wait too long. With so much at stake in Season 6, and the fans on high alert for anything considered a spoiler, expect images to surface online sooner rather than later.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC at 9 pm on February 14, 2016. Negan and Jesus are coming!
[Image via AMC]