WARNING: Spoilers for 'The Walking Dead' TV and comic series ahead!
Two weeks after it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be taking on the iconic role of the villainous Negan in [The Walking Dead](tag:201193), viewers finally got their first taster of the Big Bad when his men, the Saviors, were introduced in a prologue scene following Sunday's mid-season finale, 'Start to Finish.'
If you missed the clip, which aired part way in AMC's new series [Into the Badlands](tag:3648767), check it out below:
So, with the big question of who will play Negan finally being answered, and our first glimpse of his men, or at least nine of them, it may now beg some other questions for those Walking Dead fans who might not read the comic series: Who exactly are Negan and the Saviors, and what makes them such a big deal?
Well, never fear because I'm here to give you a crash course on the villainy of Negan that will have you up to scratch on this big baddie in no time! For those worried about big spoilers, I'm going to cover Negan and the Saviors' introduction to the show and their first big shocking moments, or basically the moments that I believe could be included in either the Season 6 finale, or early Season 7 of the show.
The first whispers of Negan
Negan is first mentioned in Issue 95 of the comic series, shortly after Rick and the gang make a trip to another walled community named the Hilltop Colony. After making the acquaintance of the Hilltop residents, it's revealed that Negan is the leader of a group named the Saviors. After Negan began making a lot of demands and threats, a Hilltop resident named Gregory struck a deal that entitled the Saviors to half of everything that Hilltop had, including supplies, crops, and livestock. In return, Negan and his Saviors promised they would keep walkers away from Hilltop. However, when Negan didn't receive what he deemed a sufficient amount of supplies, he would beat or kill Hilltop residents.
When Rick and his group return from their first visit to Hilltop, they encounter some of Negan's Saviors, whom Rick and the gang quickly kill, leaving just one man alive to send a message to Negan that Hilltop is now protected by Rick. Rick and the gang also demand half of Negan's supplies, before sending the man away.
Now, obviously the Saviors had a very different introduction in the TV series, instead running into Sasha, Abe and Daryl as they returned from leading the walkers away, not to mention that at this stage we're still yet to meet the residents of Hilltop. Because we only got a small snippet of the scene, there's no telling if the tides (which at the moment look very much in the Saviors' favor) will turn and the roadside will soon run red with the blood of the Saviors as in the comics, or if the TV series will continue to slightly deviate from the comics and create its own scenario – sadly only time will tell, and I guess well find out next February.
Negan's big moment
Despite all the talk of this Big Bad, we aren't actually properly introduced to him in the comics until Issue 100, when he and his Saviors ambush Rick, Carl, Michonne, Heath, Glenn, Maggie, and Sophia (who is still alive in the comic series) while the group is on their way back to Hilltop. Realizing that this is the group who killed his men, Negan has the Saviors line up the group members on the ground, and armed with a wire-covered baseball bat nicknamed 'Lucille,' Negan plays a deadly game of "eeny meeny miny moe," which results in Glenn's skull being bashed in.
Following Glenn's death, Negan and the Saviors then show up to the gates of Alexandria to demand their supplies, and generally harass and strike fear into the residents of the Safe Zone. Once they've successfully established themselves as the dominate force in the area, and Negan has ridiculed Rick Grimes (a man you don't want to ridicule!) the group leaves, and makes their way back to their base.
Obviously Negan's story doesn't stop here, but with such a wide catalog of evil doings, there are simply too many to summarize in one article, but in short: Negan is coming, Negan is evil, and the residents of Alexandria better watch the fuck out. Are Rick and the gang up to the challenge? We'll just have to wait to find out!
Source: Walking Dead Wikia