WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead comic series.
At the end of April us Walking Dead comic book readers were given a glimpse into the backstory of Negan for the very first time. In a 12-part series titled Here's Negan — which is released inside Image+ magazine — Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard are revealing the pre-apocalypse story of the villainous character four pages at a time.
In the first issue we learned that Negan was a coach or gym teacher before the apocalypse, and that despite working with children, he has always had a potty mouth. The first issue also ended dramatically with Negan's wife or girlfriend collapsing onto the group and having a seizure.
In the second issue we learned that following her seizure, Negan's wife was diagnosed with cancer, something which he did not take very well. The issue ended with the reveal that he was cheating on his sick wife with another woman, and he tells the other woman that his wife has cancer.
So now that issue 3 has been released what have we learned? Well firstly it picks up exactly where Issue 2 left off, with Negan and his mistress in bed together. The woman gets angry with Negan telling her about his wife's cancer, believing he was trying to make her feel guilty, and proceeds to break up with him. Negan then returns home and we find out that his sick wife actually knew about the affair. What's more than that she then questions his choice, asking "what's wrong with you? Why would you pick the sick one?"
As the issue progresses Negan and his wife enjoy their time together as she slowly deteriorates, finally ending up in hospital on her death bed. However that's when things kick up a notch, when the hospital door bursts open and a hospital worker shouts to Negan that the hospital is being evacuated and he needs to leave with him. Negan obviously refuses to leave his wife's side (she's too sick to be moved), and the man leaves without him. As the issue ends Negan looks out the hospital window to see chaos erupting below and a few figures who look suspiciously like walkers.
So with nine issues of Here's Negan left to be released it looks like the zombie apocalypse has already arrived, and Negan found out about it in the same place Rick did: a hospital!
There's a lot to take away from these first three issues, even though they only total 12-pages so far. In Issue 1 we immediately realized that Negan has always been a hard ass who loves being in a position of power, evidenced by his coach/teacher role. In the following two issues we also learned that despite his affair (which, to his credit he was obviously open about with his wife), he truly loved his wife and in her last few weeks or months spent all the time he could with her. Readers also got to see a vulnerable, weaker side of Negan, which is something we haven't really seen in the comic series thus far.
I also can't help but feel that perhaps this backstory also explains a little of Negan's currently comic book storyline involving a character named Alpha, who is also bald.
With 36-pages and nine issues of Here's Negan yet to be released there's still plenty of Negan's backstory to see, and given that we're already seeing the zombie apocalypse begin to unfold we'll soon undoubtedly learn how he came to be in possession of Lucille and in control of the Saviors.
To get your own copy of Here's Negan, pick up a copy of Image+ magazine at your local comic book store. The next four pages of Negan's backstory will be release in July.