(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for recent issues of The Walking Dead comics. You've been warned.)
Issue #165 of The Walking Dead has fans of the comic and show neck deep in conspiracy theories — check out this notable theory from my collaborator. If you are not up-to-date on The Walking Dead comics, Issue #165 brings the reader to a world where Rick and Negan are friendly and fighting their way out of a house surrounded by walkers. Carl is trying to blast and slash his way through a herd while the Saviors are advancing on a weakened Alexandria. Elsewhere, Jesus, Michonne, Eugene and Andrea are on horseback leading walkers away from Alexandria like lemmings before dumping them into the sea.
After being surrounded by walkers, Eugene is rescued by Andrea. All seems fine until Andrea has her “oh shit” moment and realizes that her neck is wounded, clearly suggesting that she may is and sure to turn. Here’s where the controversy comes in.
Though the evidence seems obvious, people are suggesting that Kirkman is only trolling, messing with, and manipulating readers to set up another angle. I would argue that Andrea is infected and going to die. As a top-tier character, Andrea becoming infected in Issue #165 may seem odd, but she has to die. Here are five reasons why:
1. To Align The Comics And The Show
Quite simply: The show and the comics have diverged too much. By killing Andrea now, we can focus on Rick getting together with Michonne in the comics, just like they are in the show. If you’ll notice, comic Michonne has seen little panel time since the time jump. I say Kirkman has been waiting to kill off Andrea to merge storylines. Richonne in the comics? Yes.
2. To Push Rick Against The Whisperers
Andrea’s death is just what Rick needs to brush the dust off his prosthetic hand, polish up the cane, and whoop some Whisperer butt. After all, their mega-herd is the cause of Andrea’s death, so it makes sense that he would exact his revenge and become the badass of old.
3. To Push Rick Against The Saviors
Grief is a tricky thing. Rather than take out our frustrations against the rational target, we go after whomever is closest at the moment. As we saw, the saviors are ready to knock on the broken-down gate of Alexandria. Wrong place at the wrong time.
4. To Turn Rick Against Eugene
If it’s not the Whisperers' fault, and it’s not the Saviors’ fault, whose fault is it? Eugene’s, of course. Rick told him to leave his sleepy butt at home, but Eugene didn’t listen, which led to the loss of Rick’s lady love. Sorry, Eugene. You’re dead, too.
5. To Plan For Rick's Demise
When Rick dies — and Kirkman has said from the beginning that Rick will die — it will need a monumental amount of buildup. This is not be something that a five-issue arc can cover. I say that Issue #165 sets up a series of events that lead directly to Rick’s demise. Will Rick kill the wrong people or let the wrong people go? Will he be so distraught after losing another lover in the apocalypse that he will make a deal with the devil himself — Negan? Andrea’s death will be the beginning of the end for Rick.
Meanwhile, let's take a moment to remember a fall character from the show who left a rather large, Joey-shaped hole in our hearts. Be sure to check out other Walking Dead content over at Movie Pilot Video.