Posted by Tom Chapman @tchapman
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

While the seventh season of #TheWalkingDead may be more of a crawler than a walker, we have seen some interesting character developments in the first run of episodes. With Rick and Daryl all but broken at the hands of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's #Negan, it is time for the women of the group to step up. With Maggie, Rosita, and Michonne having bigger cojones than Negan himself, did Episode 4 show us someone tooling up for the impending bloodbath?

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

It looks like the sword-savvy Michonne has another character from The Walking Dead's history in her crosshair, and Danai Gurira could be swapping her blades and dreadlocks for some blonde hair and a sniper rifle. For those who follow #ImageComics, you will know that this was the path that Laurie Holden's long dead character took; here is why Michonne is channeling her dead friend Andrea, and the birth of Andreonne.

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Public Enemy No.1

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

To be honest, Andrea's death is something I am still not over, with the character going from hero to zero in one fell swoop. Andrea's demise at the end of Season 3 was attributed to the sacking of (second) showrunner Glen Mazzara. Mazzara himself had replaced the legendary Frank Darabont, who had hand-picked the actors to play each individual character. By the time Mazzara came on board, Darabont's vision had been lost, and then when current showrunner Scott Gimple joined, changes were afoot. Ultimately Andrea wasn't long for this world of walkers and wisecracks.

Up until the Season 3 Andrea had been seen as a strong woman, serving as the female Rick. However, the TWD team really dropped the ball by having the seemingly unflappable Andrea shack up with resident bad guy The Governor. It was a turn out of sorts for the character, and not one she would get a chance to recover from. Queue the Season 3 finale and an understated swansong for Andrea.

Rick's Right Hand Woman

Image: AMC/Image Comics
Image: AMC/Image Comics

While TV Andrea may be a distant blot on the horizon of the end of the world, her comic book counterpart is as badass as ever. Now at Issue #160, Andrea is not only an expert sniper, but the lover of Rick Grimes himself. The comic books may only be used as a template for the show, but surely Season 7 is the first step to Andreonne?

#AMC frequently deviates from the source — mainly because creator Robert Kirkman won't tell the showrunners how he plans to end the comics — and for a while now the katana-wielding Michonne has been merging into the Andrea-esque Mrs. Grimes.

Even at the current issue of the comics Andrea is still alive and kicking as the badass (sometimes) leader of the Alexandria Safe Zone. A seasoned fighter and with the scars to match, Andrea calls her and Rick "survivors," with young love blossoming. After the events of Negan's "All Out War" storyline, Carl even refers to her as "mom"; well, anything is better than the last one. We have already seen Michonne and Carl bonding, so is the show just pulling comparisons, or is it making up for the desecration of TV Andrea?

Gurira herself has been asked about the issue, to which she said, "We'll see." Pushed further on how the storyline of Michonne to gun-girl will develop, it looks like she, Danai, could soon be climbing the bell tower:

"She's not that good at it, we do know that, but she definitely is trying to find a way. She was, at least at the beginning of the episode, trying to find a way to combat this issue in as effective a way as possible. Of course, a gun can be a very effective way to handle something versus just her swords. We'll see if she gets to the point where she picks it back up again, or she gets one to pick back up again. They did just give them all their weapons."

The Queen Of The Kingdom

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

But what about comic book Michonne, surely she has enough on her plate already, hacking her way through the undead? The rest of the story for Michonne sees her begin a saucy romance with cat-loving Ezekiel in his Kingdom. However, with Michonne and Rick already together, surely three's a crowd? Don't worry, AMC has that covered too — enter happy homemaker Carol, who is seemingly merging her path with what would have been Michonne's.

The Carol of the comics is long dead, but seems to be following Michonne's storyline at The Kingdom. The story where King Ezekiel tells Carol how he saved his tiger, Shiva, from the apocalypse is the exact conversation he has with Michonne in Issue #110. The show seems to be at a bit of a lost end of what to do with the bloodthirsty Carol at the moment, so having her take on the romance of Ezekiel at least gives her someone to bake tiger-shaped cakes for. Fans have already started shipping Cazekiel, and we couldn't be happier!

Bullets And Babes

Image: Image Comics/AMC
Image: Image Comics/AMC

However, Michonne isn't the first one to take on the spirit of Andrea. The lonesome warrior princess Sasha took her position up the Alexandria bell tower to become the Andrea of Season 6; who knows, maybe it is Sasha who will keep the gun skills, or could have an '80s training montage where she teaches Michonne her mad skillz? There is one problem though, Negan took all their guns — but when has that ever stopped this lot?

Image: AMC
Image: AMC

Meanwhile, Laurie Holden cries into her torn up copy of Robert Kirkman's comics, unable to forget what could have been. The original plan for Andrea was to ride in on a horse for the Season 3 finale and save the day. Contracted to eight seasons, there was supposed to be a LOT more of Holden in the zombie apocalypse. While Andrea may be walker chow by now, her spirit lives on, which is a bittersweet consolation given how amazing her comic book counterpart is. Sure, Michonne is no Andrea, and couldn't hit a sleeping Baby Judith at 50 yards, but with the show expected to run until the AMC well has run dry, she has plenty of time to learn.

Andrea's end was nevertheless tragic, and Holden was definitely burned by the show — I mean, who could forget her in that one episode of Chicago Fire, or as Adele in Dumber and Dumber To? Let's all bow our heads and say a prayer for Andrea, God rest her annoying zombie bones, it could be worse though, you could be Sarah Wayne Callies!

Watch this tear-jerking Andrea montage, and don't forget the poll below!

Poll

Do you think Michonne should become "new" Andrea?

[Source: Comicbook.com]