The Walking Dead: Who's Next?

POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING: The following probably contains spoilers for future issues of "The Walking Dead."

Robert Kirkman is a mean, mean man.

It's easy to come to that conclusion if you've been reading any of his comic books lately, be it "The Walking Dead," "Invincible," "Destroyer" or "The Astounding Wolf-Man." The newly appointed Image Comics partner has filled his books with shocking, undiscriminating death after death. It doesn't matter if a character is guilty or innocent, major or minor - when featured in a Kirkman comic, the Grim Reaper can't be too far behind.

But is Kirkman really a nasty guy, or is his blood-by-the-gallons storytelling method just one of the many aspects that draws readers to his books over and over again? That question will most assuredly be put to the test in his latest "The Walking Dead" arc titled "The Hunt," a storyline that threatens to be even more horrific than the issues that claimed Rick Grimes' wife and newborn daughter's lives.

In "The Walking Dead" #62, our not-so-merry band of survivors continue their road trip towards Washington, D.C. to discover the origins of the zombie outbreak - and on the way, they will be met with resistance by a pack of killers even deadlier than any flesh-eater they've encountered thus far. Bored by the predictable targets that the mindless zombies present, these malicious humans have resorted to hunting other humans, not for survival or Machiavellian gain like the Governor-led Woodbury army...these hunters are killing for fun.

With "The Hunt" destined to claim the lives of at least a few fan-favorite cast members, Kirkman swung by CBR News to weigh in on each and every character's odds of surviving the latest arc. But be warned... you might not like what he has to say.

Commentary by Robert Kirkman

Subject: Rick Grimes

Reasons He Might Live: Eh, he's pretty much been the focus of the book since the beginning - could the title survive without Rick? He's kind of the soul of the book at this point.

Reasons He Could Die: I almost killed him at the end of the first story arc and I've often said he could die at any minute - and we're at issue #62 and he hasn't died yet - so how much longer could I continue saying that before people start to think he's safe? Maybe it's his time.

Survival Odds: 2 to 1

Final Word: Rick has crossed a few lines in the name of keeping people safe... I hope readers are ready to see him cross a few more.

Subject: Carl Grimes

Reasons He Might Live: How many kids could I possibly kill in this series? I mean, really!

Reasons He Could Die: I sure do seem to love killing fictional children!

Survival Odds: 4 to 1

Final Word: C'mon! I know a lot of readers hate child characters, but c'mon, Carl's kind of awesome, right? I really don't see myself killing this guy any time soon... or is this all just misdirection? Sometimes even I forget!

Subject: Michonne

Reasons She Might Live: Frankly, she's one of Charlie Adlard's favorite characters in the book. He's asked me frequently not to kill her, and she's a fan favorite. If I killed Rick, I'd like to think people would stick around for her. So she seems pretty safe to me.

Reasons She Could Die: I kind of enjoy messing with Charlie Adlard - and since when do I let an artist tell me what to write?! I don't tell him what to draw! Oh, wait...

Survival Odds: 4 to 1

Final Word: At this point, after everything she's been through and everything she's survived... I don't see how I could kill her. You know what? Rest easy, kids - Michonne's safe. There, I ruined that for you. Aren't you glad you're reading this article? She's not going to die! Mostly because I couldn't do this series without Charlie.

Subject: Glenn

Reasons He Might Live: I honestly can't think of one good reason for Glenn to live. Hmmm.

Reasons He Could Die: We've done a lot with Glenn over the years. He's been around since issue #2. Maybe it's his time.

Survival Odds: 20 to 1

Final Word: Glenn's a goner.

Subject: Maggie

Reasons She Might Live: She's a strong female character - something that I believe the book needs as many of as possible. Also, her and Glenn are now raising Sophia, Carol's daughter, as their own... and Glenn's a goner, so I don't want Sophia to have to lose another parent.

Reasons She Could Die: She's been through a lot, she even tried to hang herself once. Maybe losing Glenn will push her over the edge.

Survival Odds: 4 to 1

Final Word: Just wait, Maggie's got some cool stuff coming up in this arc. She's got a lot of weight to carry on those narrow little shoulders.

Subject: Andrea

Reasons She Might Live: Can I say she's one of my favorite characters? Of course, Allen, Tyreese, Lori and The Governor were all favorites at one time as well...

Reasons She Could Die: I try to make sure each death in this series carries as much impact as possible. Andrea has been around for a good long time. We've seen her character mature and grow into what it is today. Fans seem to really like her. She's an important part of the series... all of which are bad signs for a character's future in this book.

Survival Odds: 10 to 1

Final Word: I don't think I've ever regretted killing a character as much as I have... er... would regret Andrea's... if I did decide to kill her.

Subject: Dale

Reasons He Might Live: None.

Reasons He Could Die: He's old, he's slow, he's missing a foot, he's grumpy, and he's constantly talking about leaving the group to go off on his own. He's butted heads with Rick on a couple of occasions... yeah. Plenty of reasons.

Survival Odds: 100 to 1

Final Word: One of the things I've tried to do with Dale is have him remain the same while Rick has changed drastically. Dale and Rick were friends to begin with - very close, actually - and as Rick has grown more accustomed to the world as it now is, he and Dale have drifted apart. But since the story is told from Rick's point of view, most readers just think Dale is a jerk. I think it's pretty funny.

Subject: Sophia

Reasons She Might Live: Who would Carl play with?

Reasons She Could Die: She is a little kid... oh, I'm torn!

Survival Odds: 2 to 1

Final Word: I try to have characters do at least a few interesting things before they die. Sophia, well, her time to shine hasn't happened yet... so honestly, I don't think I'll be killing her just yet.

Subject: Father Gabriel

Reasons He Might Live: He just appeared in the book last issue!

Reasons He Could Die: Well, he is on the outside of the group right now, so he's not trusted very much by the other people in the group. Also, our characters are going to be going through a lot of stuff, right after Gabriel arrived... so... maybe someone will think he's in on it?

Survival Odds: 20 to 1

Final Word: Rick sure does seem to act first and think later. If he thinks Gabriel is causing this, it's not going to be pretty.

Subject: Abraham

Reasons He Might Live: He's tough as nails.

Reasons He Could Die: Sometimes his toughness seems to overshadow Rick's... that's no good, right?

Survival Odds: 20 to 1

Final Word: Abraham has always been a potty-mouthed he-man in this series. Aside from opening up to Rick a bit in a recent issue, he's kind of been a larger than life strong man that seems too good to be true. We'll be peeling back a few more layers to his character in the coming issues. Get it? He's going to lose skin.

Subject: Eugene

Reasons He Might Live: He's the savior! He's the man bringing them to Washington! He's their salvation!

Reasons He Could Die: His story has always been a little shady, let's face it. It's been unclear whether or not Rick and crew actually believe him one hundred percent, or if they just think going to Washington, D.C. is a good idea. They could turn on him.

Survival Odds: 2 to 1

Final Word: Eugene has a mission, and that mission will be put to the test in this story arc... but I'm pretty sure he'll make it through.

Subject: Rosita

Reasons She Might Live: She's Abraham's main squeeze, so she's got a pretty good bodyguard. Also, we've seen that she's not unfamiliar with firearms herself. She's one tough cookie.

Reasons She Could Die: It would be a good way to put Abraham through the paces - and everyone knows how I love to torture my characters.

Survival Odds: 50 to 1

Final Word: For a good long while now - thirteen issues, to be exact - this series has been relatively death-free up until issue 61, so it's definitely time for some blood to spill. Rosita may not have a lot of life left in her. I'm just saying.

Subject: Morgan

Reasons He Might Live: Morgan spent a good number of months attacking and feeding strangers to his poor zombified son before he was found by Rick. He's a twisted, tormented character with a lot on his plate. I wouldn't want to give him an easy way out.

Reasons He Could Die: He's probably at least a little bit crazy... you can never predict what's going to happen with a crazy person.

Survival Odds: 10 to 1

Final Word: It's fun for me having Morgan in the book. He was in the first issue and then we didn't see him again until issue 58. I'd wanted to work him into the book for a good long time... so why in the world would I go and kill him off so soon? This is the question I'm asking myself.

"The Hunt" begins in "The Walking Dead" #62, on sale June 10 from Image Comics.

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