Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is a special edition of our feature where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Aliens were going to play a part in the zombie outbreak in The Walking Dead in The Walking Dead #75.
False (but with an amusing bit of "Truth" mixed in)
As you might imagine, when The Walking Dead launched in 2003, no one, including the creator of the series, Robert Kirkman, thought that the show would be anything more than a miniseries. That's why Kirkman killed Shane so early in the story, as he did not know whether he would even get more than the first six issues that Image Comics committed to publishing.
However, while Kirkman did not know that the series would continue past the initial six-issue story, his intent was always to keep doing the series for as long as he could. He had plans for the book well beyond the original story arc. With The Walking Dead #7, he was joined by Charles Adlard and Cliff Rathburn (replacing the original artist on the series, Tony Moore) and the rest is comic book history, as the comic book was a surprise hit (even before the first six issues were done, Kirkman knew the book was a hit) and still continues to this very day, with over 170 issues having been released so far.
However, some fans were still incredulous, with one fan, Rene, writing in to Kirkman in the letter column of The Walking Dead #7 to ask about the future of the series. Here was Kirkman's response:
So he made just a goofy joke about how, if the book ever made it to #75, it would start having aliens involved and stuff like that. Now, obviously, the book continued along just fine and when The Walking Dead #75 came out, Kirkman was in the middle of a major plot where Rick Grimes and his band of survivors had ended up in a settlement in Alexandria and Rick (who was named Constable in the town) slowly began to unravel as he worried that the towsnspeople (who had managed to avoid seeing the horrors that Rick and his people had encountered) were too weak to protect their city, which Rick saw as a sort of paradise. He began to exert his control over the town when he assaulted a man who was abusing his wife and threatened to kill him, as Rick pulled out a pistol that he had hidden on him. Michonne had to step in and knock Rick out cold...
If you just followed The Walking Dead in the trade paperbacks or omnibi, then you'll remember that part of the story. However, in the actual comic book, there was an additional part to the story, a part that Kirkman never reprinted in the trades.
And he ends up in a new world, all in color, drawn by Ryan Ottley and Cliff Rathburn, the creative team on Kirkman's superhero series, Invincible. In a scene evoking the first issue of The Walking Dead, where an unconscious Rick finds out how the world has changed, Rick learns that aliens have invaded (Rick's outfit is similar to Invincible's costume)...
He learns that his dead friends have been resurrected and turned into super soldiers by the aliens. The good guys have rebelled, but the bad guys now serve the aliens, including the evil Governor, who has Rick's (now not dead) wife Lori hostage!
It's just a hilariously over-the-top idea of how a series like The Walking Dead could, theoretically, jump the shark. Of course, it was all just a dream that Rick had while unconscious after Michonne knocked him out. And, as noted, it was not included in the reprints of the series, as it was always just meant to be a little in-joke between Kirkman and his longtime readers.
So, no, aliens were never going to be a part of The Walking Dead universe.
Remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!