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Walking Dead: How Fake Comic Covers Teased a World after Rick

Walking Dead Rick Grimes Deat

Earlier this year, The Walking Dead ended on a surprising high-note, closing out without warning anyone with a surprise time-skip in #192. Unlike most finales to long-running series, there wasn't any warning thaThe Walking Dead would be coming to close.

Part of the way series creator/writer Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard surprised everyone was by working with Image Comics to create fake solicitations for issues of the series that never existed. Here's how those solicitations tricked readers into thinking there were more stories to come in the universe.

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How the Walking Dead Ended

In Walking Dead #191, Rick prevented an all-out civil war from breaking out in the Commonwealth. In the process, he essentially dethroned Pamela Milton from power in a peaceful transition of power. Her son, Sebastian, quickly became furious with Rick and, later that night confronted him in his room. Pulling out a gun, he aimed it at Rick and tried to think of a way to get back the life he'd become accustomed to. However, he pulls the trigger and mortally wounds Rick. He shoots him a few more times and flees, leaving Rick to die alone in the night.

RELATED: In The End, Rick Grimes Really WAS The Walking Dead

Carl finds him the next day and puts him down when he comes back as a Walker. Sebastian is arrested, and a funeral procession leads Rick back to be buried with his second love, Andrea. The comic takes a major time skip after these events for the final issue of #192, showing Carl as a peaceful farmer who lives with his wife Sophia and daughter Andrea. The world is in the middle of trying to recover from the events of the overall series, helping rebuild the world and society over the years.

Sheriff Kapoor

To hide the coming end of the series, the death of Rick and the time-skip were kept out of the solicitations for the issue. In fact, Kirkman crafted a series of fake solicitations that hinted at the potential future of the series. This included the arrival of a character called Sheriff Kapoor, who seemed to join the cast as a potentially new frenemy for the survivors. He was featured on the cover for the non-existent The Walking Dead #193, brandishing a gun.

RELATED: The Walking Dead: Kirkman Reveals He Nearly Ended The Series Much Sooner

While that issue was never created, the character still exists within The Walking Dead. After the time skip for #192, he appears as the sheriff of the small town near the farm where Carl and Sophia have made a life for themselves. He's shown to be a reasonable man who befriends Carl and tries to help him during Carl's trial. Kapoor is forced to hold Carl accountable for killing one of Hershel Greene's sideshow Walkers, although he does sincerely apologize for his actions while he's doing it.

The Potential Future

The other two covers for the non-existent issues offered a more radical idea. The covers seemed to indicate that someone would be fatally wounded and even possibly killed by Michonne's blade. According to Kirkman, the covers tell a surprising (and false) story. The covers seem to show Carl potentially dying, with the cover for #196 seeming to show a grown Sophia and her daughter Andrea standing in front of a grave that's implied to belong to Carl.

However, the series had other dangling plot threads that it could have explored if the series had continued. Notably, the comic teased Michonne's interest in running for some form of public office within the Commonwealth. It also set up a new version of Rick and Negan's complicated relationship, now between Carl and Sebastian instead. Ultimately though, all these moments helped ensure that the actual finale of the series came as a genuine shock to readers, which it did.

KEEP READING: Everything That Happened In The Walking Dead During THAT Massive Time Jump

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