The Season 6 Mid-Season Premiere was one of the most shocking, emotional, and jaw-dropping episodes of the Walking Dead EVER…unless you’ve read the comics. TWD readers have been waiting a WHILE to see one of the most iconic storylines play out on screen…and they’ve finally got their wish. The majority of the episode was taken directly out of Issues 83 & 84 from the “No Way Out” storyline:
Below we’ve compiled the BIGGEST parallels AND differences between the Mid-Season Premiere and the comics. Enjoy:
1. The Saviors
Known in the comics as The Saviors, these rag-tag group of rebels serve as SOME of the henchman for upcoming villain Negan. Their group notoriously terrorizes nearby communities and claims possession over anyone and anything they see (at least half, anyway). Here are the similarities and differences between their arrival in the show vs. the comics:
Similarities: In both the show and comic, a motorcycle-riding gang (The Saviors) corner Rick’s group and tells them their stuff belongs to Negan. In both instances, this results in Rick’s gang bamboozling them and chopping their heads off.
Differences: As awesome as it was, the RPG solution that played out in the show isn’t EXACTLY how it went down in the comics. Instead of Sasha & Daryl (who aren’t in the comics), the Saviors ambush Rick, Michonne, Andrea, Abraham, Heath, and Holly. In fact, this first face-to-face encounter occurs a bit further along in the story (Issue 97, to be exact). Additionally, Rick lets one of The Survivors live just to send Negan a certain message… Here’s the action:
Despite the differences, we still ended up with severed Savior heads.
2. Death of the Andersons
Here’s a quick refresher of the jolting scene:
Similarities: In the comics, Rick and the gang DO trek through walkers in gut ponchos. Jessie has trouble calming her son down and the argument eventually attracts the walkers straight to them… leading to Sam’s bloody demise. Overcome with emotion, Jessie is ALSO consumed by the walkers, leaving Rick in complete shock.
Differences: In the comics, Jessie only has one son, Ron, who’s basically the show version of Sam (not the most courageous kid of all time). As they exit the house Michonne runs ahead to escort Denise to the infirmary. Moments later, comic Ron pauses in the middle of their gut poncho parade to tell Jessie he’s scared…leading the walkers to them and Ron getting eaten.
The Show Ron doesn’t exist in the comics…meaning he doesn’t shoot Carl and Michonne isn’t forced to kill him. But that leads us to…
3. Carl’s Eye
Ah yes, the pivotal moment that finally answered the questions, “Why is Carl wearing an eyepatch in all the Walking Dead comic merch?” and “Why do fans keep saying, ‘EYE can’t wait for the Carl moment?'” Here’s what did and didn’t go down:
Similarities: After the death of Jessie and her son, Rick’s forced to chop off Jessie’s hand to free Carl. Carl is shot immediately after and somehow manages to infamously say, “Dad?” before collapsing in shock. The subsequent events are taken RIGHT from the comics… a panicked Rick carries Carl to the infirmary while Michonne carves a path.
Differences: Since show Ron doesn’t exist in the comics, Carl is actually ACCIDENTALLY shot by Douglas (the comic’s version of Deanna) when he witnesses Jessie and her son get eaten, panics, and shoots wildly at the walkers. Not only is Carl shot in the eye but Douglas is quickly eaten by the walkers *cough Karma cough.*
4. Denise’s Heroics
Being the only doctor in a town during a zombie apocalypse is like being the only non-famous Kardashian (Rob): it’s tough. So when walkers invade you better be f***ing ready. Thankfully, there’s Denise. Here’s how her character played a role in each medium:
Similarities: In both the comics and show, Denise puts aside her fear of the walker invasion and saves Carl’s life while Rick goes full Mel Gibson from The Patriot outside.
Differences: In the comics Denise is NOT kidnapped by a Wolf because, well, Wolves aren’t a thing in the comics (although we did have the much less problematic Scavengers). INSTEAD, she opts to walk with Rick, Michonne, and the others WITHOUT a gut poncho to get to the infirmary. Knowing Denise will attract a lot of attention, Michonne carves a path for them to make it to the infirmary. Also, one of the most obvious differences is she’s an actual doctor/surgeon in the comics, not someone who’s just been winging it. So as nervous as Denise was to help Carl, comic Denise is MUCH more competent than her TV counterpart.
5. The Battle for Alexandria
Whew, thank god for Rick’s crazy paternal rage. Without it we might not have seen one of the greatest battles in Walking Dead history (shhh All Out War fans). Rick’s heroism inspired the rest of his group and the other Alexandrians to exterminate the walkers for good.
Similarities: Rick does convert his anguish into rage and leaves the infirmary to single-handedly axe his way through dozens of walkers. Inspired by this courageous feat, other Alexandrians like Aaron, Michonne, and even Father Gabriel join the fight to take the walkers out one by one. There are no walkers left by morning, and the streets of Alexandria are littered with the bodies of the undead.
Differences: First of all, Glenn and Maggie were NOT stuck in trap situations. Instead, Abraham was camped inside with Rosita until they heard Rick going HAM outside on the walkers. Then this happened:
Oh, right. There’s also a HELL of a lot more cursing during this whole battle. Finally, there (sadly) was no RPG-into-the-lake move that caused the walkers to walk into a lake of fire. As badass as it was, it’s even more awesome that Rick’s crew could take them out without it, amiright?
6. The Aftermath
Similarities: The majority of the walkers have been decimated and the survivors take a much-needed breather. Rick also comes to Carl’s bedside and admits the Alexandrians are stronger than he thought. In both the comics and show, Rick seems helpful and vows to rebuild Alexandria and expand the community. In both instances he also begs Carl to wake up so he can show him a new world.
Differences: The next morning there are STILL walkers pouring through the gates of Alexandria, though it is a manageable problem. Also, Rick takes responsibility for Jessie and Ron’s deaths…saying he shouldn’t have made them flee but in the future they’ll have ways to more easily escape.
Want to read full comic version of the attack? Then grab Volume 14 from our Walking Dead shop and get ALL the backstory (including what happens to Morgan)!