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The Walking Dead Comics, TV/Film

The Walking Dead Mid-Season 8 Finale: Comic vs. Show

Spoiler Alert

The Walking Dead Mid-Season 8 Finale was FULL of emotional moments – some came from the comics while others were unique to the show. Before we can address the Carl moment at the end, let’s start with these major comparisons.


Negan’s Attack


Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, Saviors - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The comic version of All Out War is told in two volumes (12 issues). Part One ends with Negan bombing the living hell out of Alexandria, so fittingly the Mid-Season Finale features that same scene…sort of. Here’s how it all played out:

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In the comics, Rick holds a meeting in Alexandria’s church to discuss how to defeat Negan when suddenly, one of the windows explodes. Rick hurries up the hill and sees Negan standing on the hood of his truck demanding to see him. Rick hides and Negan gets impatient, so he brings out an undead Holly with a bag on her head. If this sounds familiar it’s because this already happened in the show with Sasha:

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After this, Negan and the Saviors toss over grenades, which destroy buildings and blow off Heath’s leg. Denise (who’s still alive) gets bitten, Ezekiel (who’s in Alexandria and not holed up in The Kingdom) saves Michonne from getting blown up, and Maggie shows up (like she did in The Season 7 Finale) to force Negan to retreat.

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Obviously in the show, things were much different. While Negan’s explosive attack on Alexandria was the same, the details were different. Negan also arrives unannounced to Alexandria, but he does it at night and Rick is NOT there. Instead, it’s Carl who rushes up the fence to see what’s going on. Carl offers to sacrifice himself so no one else gets hurt, and Negan almost agrees to it. Then, Daryl causes a distraction, Carl bails, and Negan is forced to bomb Alexandria. In both instances, Negan’s impatience leads to him bombing Alexandria.


Carl’s Role


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As we mentioned, Carl plays a much bigger role during Negan’s attack in the show than the comics. In the source material, Carl holes up with Andrea (who’s still alive and plays a mother figure to him) until Rick makes them evacuate the house. The three of them run through Alexandria until a grenade explodes behind them, knocking Carl unconscious. Rick rushes him to Denise for medical attention and then passes out himself from exhaustion. Despite his wounds, Carl makes a full recovery because in the comics, he does NOT get bitten.

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In the show, Carl IS bitten and determined to save his people before he succumbs to the walker bite. So, he concocts a plan to move his friends, family, and Alexandrians into the sewer while he creates smoke grenade distractions in the town. His diversion plan with Daryl is also a success and leads to the deaths of nearly a dozen Saviors. Unfortunately, Carl gradually becomes weaker and weaker and is forced to join his friends in the sewer, where he reveals his bite wound to Rick and Michonne.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


Dwight’s Double-Cross


Austin Amelio as Dwight - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

In both the comic and show Dwight betrays his fellow Saviors during Negan’s raid on Alexandria. In the comics, he shoots several Saviors outside of the walls of Alexandria. Jesus notices this and can’t believe what he’s seeing.

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In the show, Dwight pursues Daryl, Rosita, and Tara on the road and then shoots and kills his Savior comrades in his biggest betrayal move yet. Laura survives and shoots Dwight in the arm before escaping.

Austin Amelio as Dwight, Lindsley Register as Laura - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


What Didn’t Happen


As you can tell the Mid-Season Finale included a lot of scenes that were NOT in the comics. Moments like Rick and Carl’s flashback, Aaron and Enid’s Oceanside meet-up, the Saviors’ take-over of The Kingdom, Ezekiel’s counter-attack, the kidnapping of Jerry (who doesn’t exist in the comics), Maggie’s leadership at The Hilltop, Rick and Negan’s battle, Michonne’s Savior kill, and of course Carl’s walker bite did NOT occur in the source material.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Jayson Warner Smith as Gavin, Saviors, Kingdommers - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Khary Payton as Ezekiel - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Steven Ogg as Simon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Cooper Andrews as Jerry, Mike Seal as Gary - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC


What did YOU think of the comic/show comparisons for the Mid-Season Finale? Which moments were your favorite? And which comic moments do you hope to see in the second half of the season? Tell us in the comments – and we’ll see you with our next comparison post in February!

  1. BASTET. December 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    When fans can compare the 2 but learn to separate & appreciate them individually, that makes it all good.

  2. Pistal December 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    At first I was angry that Carl was going to die from a walker bite, which I was pretty sure our survivors have been extra good at avoiding, but now I think that I am getting used to the fact that this show doesn’t have to follow the comics. It really hasn’t followed them that well anyway so why would I expect to see Carl live through to the end or as far as he is now in the comics. I am glad that the show is splitting more from the comic, it makes it more interesting/fun to watch when I don’t know what is going to happen. Lets kill Negan while we are at it and get it over with, make Maggie proud.
    Also I feel like the show needs to come back together a little more, this season so far has been really mixed up and hard to follow but again maybe that is on purpose, War is messy and we wouldn’t want to make it seam like everything is going to be okay when its not. Time will tell, you still have my attention.

  3. Nogle December 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    I really wanted to hear the Lucille two comment from the comic, was disappointed it wasn’t in there

  4. omegamind13 December 11, 2017 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    I’m a fan of both but I guess it’s hard to digest decisions like killing Carl because I love him in the comics. To see his growth and how he’s molded by the zombie apocalypse . What he becomes being influenced by his father, by Negan, and a crazy life. That part of the story is gone now. That and I totally wanted to see his eye hole get licked. It’s not like I’m going to stop watching the show but I was really disappointed. RIP Carl Grimes.

  5. Bennydice December 12, 2017 at 6:35 am - Reply

    There is no comparison between the comic and the show……The comic is gold and the show has turned into a pile of shit

  6. BarbaLucy December 12, 2017 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I couldn’t wrap my brain around Carl’s death at first. Then I realized I was comparing and despairing again. Two different stories. Now once I got that through my stubborn mind I feel I can appreciate both stories for what they are.

  7. Cazlou1980 December 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Part of me can’t help but hope that this is the TV version of Rick getting shot by the “tainted” arrow, and that wasn’t a real walker….. though really it’s far too early to be picking up on THAT storyline! 😢

  8. deadlawyer December 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    I was totally down for killing Carl’, but the execution and show itself felt cheap.

    Listen, there were a lot of problems with the show. My wife won’t even watch it anymore and calls it torture porn.

    The comic on the other hand was a lot smoother. Things kind of went downhill with whisperer’s war: Looking forward to new arc.

  9. IloveTWDsomuch3 December 15, 2017 at 9:43 am - Reply

    THAT’S IT, ROBERT IVE STICKED WITH TWD AFTER LORI AFTER ANDREA AFTER HERSHEL HELL EVEN AFTER GLENN!!!!!!!! BUT THIS TIME YOUVE GONE TOO FAR, YOU CANT KILL CARL LIKE YOU DID ANDREA IN THE COMICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m done with TWD show. Don’t tick me off even more or I’ll quit the comics too and that’s money lost. I ALMOST HUNG MYSELF GODDAMMIT. YOU DOING TOO DAMN MUCH.


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