The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere: Show vs. Comics

All Out War stands as one of the most famous story arcs in The Walking Dead comics. Now that it has reached the show, how did the premiere episode compare to the source material? Similar to our comic/show posts from Season 7, we compared the biggest moments of the Season 8 Premiere to its comic counterparts (mostly from Volume 20: All Out War Part 1) below:


Rick’s “Dream”


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Sorry, but the Season 8 Premiere did NOT answer the question of whether the the Old Man Rick sequence from the trailer is real or a dream. While Rick didn’t experience any strange flash-forward-like dreams in the comics, there IS a time jump following the events of All Out War. In fact, the town fair Rick and Michonne mention in the show is actually PAST the time jump. The jump occurs in Issue #127, and the fair (pictured below) occurs in Issue #142:

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Preparing for War


Tom Payne as Paul 'Jesus' Rovia, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Khary Payton as Ezekiel, Ross Marquand as Aaron, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

(Before we dive in – note that in the comics Rick is still with Andrea. A lot of Andrea’s personality has been attributed to Michonne in the show). MOVING on, in both the comic and show Rick bids farewell to his family, checks up with Ezekiel and Jesus, and heads to The Sanctuary. The preparation takes WAY less time in the comics, where the show gives each character room to check in with each other.


Carl’s Scavenging Mission Didn’t Happen In The Comics


Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Nicotero/AMC

Those scenes with Carl scavenging around the gas station and interacting with a starving survivor did NOT occur in the comics. However, it WAS a great homage to his father Rick from the pilot episode, which we edited side-by-side together here.


Daryl’s Side Mission Didn’t Happen Either


Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Nicotero/AMC

In the comics Daryl and Tara don’t exist and Carol and Morgan are dead, so this side mission to divert walkers to The Sanctuary didn’t happen. Then how did the walkers reach Negan? In the comics, Rick instructs his people to shoot out the windows and create a cacophony to lure the undead right to The Sanctuary.


Rick’s Entrance


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Finally, some comic/show comparisons we can get behind. The iconic scene in the comics of Rick and his allies arriving at Negan’s doorstep and shooting guns over their head played out nearly identically as the show. In both cases, Rick gets Negan’s attention by shooting in the air and tells him they don’t have to go to war. In both instances, Negan is frustrated by Rick’s intrusion but DOES have a back-up plan…


The Gregory Plan


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Negan’s grand plan to use Gregory to lure The Hilltop to his side failed miserably in the show and the comics. After realizing no one cared about Gregory and he wouldn’t gain any new followers, Negan kicked him off the balcony. Some minor differences: in the comics, eight people from The Hilltop stepped forward whereas zero did in the show. Also, in the comics Negan kicks Gregory off the balcony, where it was Simon who shoved him off in the show. In both instances, Jesus loyally stuck by Rick’s side.


The Battle


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In both the comic and show, Negan and Rick can’t come to an agreement and they ignite All Out War. In the comic, The Saviors shoot first while in the show, it’s Rick. In both instances Rick commands his people to shoot out the windows to attract the nearby walkers straight to The Sanctuary.

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In both the comics and show Rick’s group overwhelms the Saviors and force them to retreat. Some minor differences: in the show, Negan’s forced to hole up in a trailer, where he sees Father Gabriel and delivers the shitting your-pants-line. In the comics, Negan uses the line on Dwight as they watch the walkers close in. Also, that mini stand-off where Rick had Negan pinned didn’t play out in the comics at all. Negan was far less vulnerable.

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Another change: In the show Father Gabriel drives the armored RV to The Sanctuary gate and Rick detonates it – blowing an opening into Negan’s stronghold. In the comics, Holly (who isn’t in the show but is essentially a version of Sasha’s character) goes rogue and plows her truck through The Sanctuary gate (she’s trying to get revenge on Negan for killing Abraham – who she was in love with). Although she’s successful in blowing a hole in the building, Holly is immediately taken prisoner by Negan (like Sasha was in Season 7).

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The Aftermath


As Negan and The Saviors get surrounded by walkers, Rick and his crew leaves. In the show, Rick tells his people whatever happens they’ve already won. In the comics, Rick’s remarks are more brief and less awe-inspiring:

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And that wraps up our comic/show comparisons for the Season 8 Premiere! What were your favorite comic/show moments? Let us know in the comments and stick around for next week’s comparisons.

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