My recent review of The Walking Dead comic started a chain of thought in my head about current events in the television version of Rick Grimes and company’s story.  To wit, I’m finding it most interesting to examine the comic book’s characterization of Negan, and how he occupies a similar narrative role to the TV version of The Governor (a sinister counterpart to Rick, with similar goals regarding the safety of his people, though not sharing Rick’s moral stance).  Though there is some variance in how the tale is being told, the paranoid part of my brain wonders if there hasn’t been an effort to bring the two character takes in line for reader/viewer cross-pollination purposes.

 

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) also finds Negan’s verbal tics overdone and insufferable, but that’s another matter entirely, asking: Is the character of Negan just another iteration of The Governor?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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4 Comments

  1. February 18, 2013 at 10:43 am — Reply

    He is New Governor. After he is deposed we will get Governor Classic again, and we will rejoice.

    In all seriousness, he seems like nothing more than a paint by numbers big bad. It all seems very familiar, just mix and match some TV tropes, like the arc villain, the false friend, hero killer with his own paid harem. Throw it all at the wall and see what sticks. Yawn.

  2. Frank
    February 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm — Reply

    The TV governor is predictable pycho bad guy. The comic Negan isn’t there yet.

  3. Arbor Day
    February 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    I’m half expecting a ‘flip the script’ moment to come about, like an invading army, foreign or domestic. Forcing Negan and Rick and all the small communities to unite American Revolution style.

  4. February 19, 2013 at 9:25 am — Reply

    I don’t think Negan is anything like the Governor.

    Their motivations are different: The Governor wanted to kill those outside Woodbury, using ‘strangers’ to feed the zombies he used in the gladiatorial fights to keep his own citizens entertained, while Negan wants those outside his community to help serve his community, ensuring the survival of all.

    Their psyches are different: The Governor was evil and nothing about him was likeable while Negan is a ‘special’ kind of nuts and you almost find yourself NOT hating him.

    It’s too easy to say that every other leader of any other community is just another Governor because the Governor was the first we ran into. But, they’ve all been different. They’ve all provided their own challenges that the group has had to overcome.

    And, more, the group has been in a different place mentally each time they’ve come up against this opposition (ie: Rick’s approach to dealing with Negan has been informed by what he’s gone through with the Governor, with the Hunters, with that gang that he and Carl and Abraham encountered on the road), with a different cast of characters to deal with the threat providing different strengths and weaknesses.

    To say that they’ve all been the same is to say that all of Batman’s villains are, really, just different iterations of the Joker (after all, they do all share similar elements and a flair for the theatrical but without Batman’s moral compass to guide them) or that most of Captain America’s rogues gallery are just a variation of Red Skull (I mean, Zemo and Zola and Hydra and AIM and nearly everyone associated have similar motivations, don’t they?).

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