POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Unless eyes and ears aren't a part of your physical being, you are well aware of Negan being the newest Big Bad on The Walking Dead. Negan is not only the most insanely unique and intriguing character from The Walking Dead comics, but quite possibly one of the most unique "villains" ever created. Yes, he is absolutely the lead antagonist to our beloved group of Survivors, but that doesn't necessarily make him a villain. He himself is a survivor that has adapted in a way he felt was needed to ensure his survival in a world gone to sh!t. He's brutal and quite often presents himself as a maniac, but he's honest and his intentions are no different that those of our labeled "hero" Rick Grimes. Once you realize this it only makes him all the more interesting.
With Negan finally being introduced to the show with a brilliant, albeit short performance from Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I can't wait to see how they translate this dynamo of a character onto the screen. I have no doubt that Jeffrey Dean will deliver the goods with a memorable performance, but I hope the writers stay as true as possible to the comic and present him with some worthy material to work with. If I was capable of holding the show runners hostage with a list of demands that must be incorporated into the show, these would be some key moments I feel are mandatory to ensure true justice to the character. Without getting to spoiler heavy, omitting character names and key points...I give you said list.
1. They slightly botched his introduction merely because they decided to end the show on a cliffhanger and avoid showing who was on the receiving end of Lucille. This was a cheap move that did nothing but take the true sting out of an amazingly horrible moment. With that being said they have to right the wrong and show the beating full force. If they truly are going to push the limits as far as blood and gore are concerned, this is THE moment that all their efforts should be directed toward. And please stay true to the comics and let the victim be the same, don’t change it. It’s a defining moment that acts as a swift kick to the man jewels to make you feel the pain our survivors are headed toward.
2. Yes, Negan comes across as a slightly unhinged, ticking time bomb that can potentially explode at any given moment, but he is extremely funny. He’s a sarcastic, twisted bastard that loves toying with people…not just Rick and company, but his own people as well. There is a scene in the comics where he leaves his beloved bat Lucille in the hands of one of his soldiers. Once the bat is returned, the conversation that ensues is beyond absurd, bizarre, and yet hilarious how Negan toys with his man. Negan asks “Were you gentle? Were you kind?” (to Lucille). The Savior responds a tad confused “Uh…yes,” to which Negan responds “Did you treat her like a lady?” Not to spoil the rest, but what Negan says after is hilarious and a true standout piece of dialogue that showcases exactly what type of person he is. It’s a moment that HAS to be included one way or another. I can absolutely see Jeffrey Dean deliver this scene with stifling perfection. It may just be a little too much for TV, but if they can squeeze it into an uncut version down the road I will be highly pleased.
3. Negan has no patience for those that aren't loyal, if the neglect of loyalty is geared toward others. There is a scene in the comics in which a member of Rick’s group tries to betray him to Negan by informing Negan of Rick’s plan to challenge him. Rather than Negan welcoming this warning his response is far different than anyone would expect. He brutally kills this person for being a snitch and then later informs Rick about how he did him a favor in murdering the traitor. Negan has morals and despite the manner in which he displays it, it is a standout moment that easily differentiates him from your average villain. Oh and showing exactly how he rids Rick of this traitor in the comics would be a nice addition to see on the TV as well.
4. A story line that they have to explore on the show and not omit is the strangely unique relationship that develops between Negan and Carl. The psychopathic Father and Son relationship that ensues is a unique twist that will lend some freshness to the mix. They absolutely can’t avoid this because it shows a totally different side of Negan in his own sociopath way as well as a different, more interesting side to Carl. Carl is a character that needs some major development and including Negan will help give him that added boost. Again, trying not get too spoiler heavy, but Negan's fascination with Carl's missing eye and his desire to "Touch it," cannot be forgotten. If they don't include that scene I might just give up on the show and go back to re-reading the comics.
5. Negan doesn't just bully those outside of his group, but he is a strict advocate of rules and regulations that he viciously instills upon his people as well. Obviously the main focus is going to be on the conflict between Negan and The Survivors, but in order to get a better look into the mind of Negan they will need to show his interactions with The Saviors, especially when it comes to maintaining order. He has rules and some pretty nasty ways guaranteeing you will follow them. A flash back showing what happens to Dwight is in order as well as how he deals with sexual predators. Oddly enough, he is a man of morals.
Negan, without a doubt, brings forth some of the most memorable moments ever to grace the pages of The Walking Dead, far too many to mention. The list of standout moments are endless, but those were the ones I felt to be the most character defining cuts that give the reader a vivid look into the complex layers that make up Negan. The series, for some odd reason, loves to start out with a bang then follow up with filler episodes that can easily be omitted. Rather than diving into side stories like exploring where are Carol and Morgan, or scenes between Enid and Carl, they need to make Negan the primary focus for at least the first half of the season. Negan can provide excellent filler material that is funny, unique and will keep the viewer interested at all times. He’s a character of epic proportions, so please treat him right and maintaining as much of his twisted dialogue as possible would be highly appreciated.