Watching The Walking Dead as a comics fan has always been a curious experience. You have to find a mid-point between enjoying the show for what it is, and gaging just how well it holds up to Robert Kirkman's source material. You know that you should be impressed with the initiative the show takes, and the creativity it displays in going its own route, yet there's that persistent knowledge of what will happen next, and you have to keep yourself watching rather than judging.
This feeling reaches peaks and troughs throughout The Walking Dead, but reaches an apex as the show approaches the big moments from the comics, and oh boy is Season 6 about to approach one. Season 5 of The Walking Dead seemed to establish a calm before the storm, and it's worth us fans wondering whether that storm just might be the All Out War storyline!
The Walking Dead has been faithful so far
Strangely enough, The Walking Dead has always been strictly faithful and incredibly callous when it comes to adapting big events in the comics. It seems the broad events that define the entire arc of the series remain the same, while the fates of specific characters can vary wildly. For example, the entire prison storyline played out pretty tightly to the comics, yet the death of Lori was much less sudden. Conversely, that very same season saw the death of Andrea, a move that would seem almost unthinkable in the comics, at least for now. The All Out War storyline is such a tremendous shock to the system for Rick and his group, it seems The Walking Dead Season 6 must be careful in adapting it.
All Out War in The Walking Dead Season 6
The Walking Dead Season 6 still has some way to go before elements such as Negan and the Saviors come into play. There's still the wolves to deal with, the gradual disintegration of the Alexandria Safe-zone and all that rather unfortunate business with Carl's eye to deal with. While yes, I can't imagine The Walking Dead Season 6 going all out and introducing Negan in the very first episode, I'm sure the show runners will be keen to make it to a plot line with such juicy drama. I mean how can you resist a bullying faction of survivors who put hot irons to their faces and have no qualms about using the cruelest methods to keep others subservient? Oh yeah, about those cruel methods...
Are TV fans ready for the All Out War storyline?
The All Out War story is essentially kicked off by the main characters growing tired of being under the ruthless heel of Negan, yet emotionally, at their very core, the conflict is spurred on by the death of a beloved character that has been around from the beginning. I would not be surprised if The Walking Dead Season 6 did decide to use the potential death of Glenn as a marker for shit truly getting real, though what would be even more interesting would be using fan knowledge of this plot beat as a bait and switch. Imagine if Season 6 built up to this tragic moment, and right at the last second, Negan chooses Daryl to die instead. While the show runners could be brave enough to make this move, I'm not sure the AMC headquarters are fitted with anti riot gear.
The All Out War storyline contains the fewest zombies of any in The Walking Dead canon. Whole issues go with only humans as the threat. The show may be apprehensive to make the true commitment to Kirkman's material, but I trust TV fans to be on board with this turbulent upcoming arc. I mean, we've made it this far haven't we?