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Both The Walking Dead comics and television series are set in a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with bloodthirsty zombies, but otherwise the world appears reflective of one we live in today. Turns out, though, it was almost a full-blown space story.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, TWD creator Robert Kirkman revealed that aliens almost showed up in the comics. After Kirkman started receiving letters from fans arguing about how long the series would last, he responded to their comments with a joke which a number of people took seriously. The joke proposed that aliens would be introduced around Issue No. 75 and everything would be ruined from there on. Here's what Kirkman had to say about the debacle:
"Very early on in the series I started getting letters where people would say, ‘You say you’re going to do this book for a really long time, but this idea doesn’t seem to have any legs. My response as a joke was, ‘Oh, we’re going to this until issue 75, and then I’m going to run out of ideas, and then I’m going to do an alien invasion and just kind of completely ruin the book. That’s when we’ll jump the shark and it’ll be terrible and everybody will hate it."
All of these conversations took place well before The Walking Dead rose to the popular heights it's reached today, so no one could've predicted how long the series would actually last. When the line of comics surpassed expectations and reached No. 75, Kirkman made good on his hopes for aliens in The Walking Dead comics by placing a gag reel of panels at the end of the issue.
Robert Kirkman teases aliens showing up and The Governor returning as a cyborg.
The section in question included a fully colored set of pages that depicted aliens, yes aliens, invading the world of The Walking Dead. It's only a handful of pages, but the panels are long enough to see Rick suit up in armored superhero costume and the Governor back in battle as a cyborg. All the while, an army of aliens are taking over the world, adding to the number of threats the survivors are already dealing with. It's everything we'd expect from an alien invasion on The Walking Dead and then some.
While those pages were all released in good fun, fan response to this alien invasion was anything but positive. Kirkman points out that many long-time fans chimed in to tell him that he ruined the series by introducing aliens. He laughed at the notion of fans actually believing the gag panel to be part of the story, and in truth, it wasn't Kirkman's fault. Had those fans read the "Letter Hacks" page Kirkman included at the end of Issue No. 75, they would've understood that the alien section was merely a joke.
The "Letter Hacks" page explains the joke about aliens showing up in The Walking Dead universe, and why Kirkman decided to use that slate of panels as a gag. This information would've been useful to the group of people who didn't read through the page and immediately skipped over to the alien section. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.
Could aliens actually work in the world of The Walking Dead?
All things considered, an alien invasion on The Walking Dead might be interesting to see play out. I mean, zombies are already a thing in this universe, why not aliens, too? Plus, adding a sci-fi element like aliens would introduce a potential solution to that pesky zombie infestation. Theoretically, an advanced race of aliens who are capable of traveling to Earth could have the technology and intellect to create a cure to the zombie virus. Therefore, aliens could be used to phase out the zombies, that is, if a cure is the endgame. Then again, what would The Walking Dead be without it's, well, Walkers?
Kirkman's alien joke could even be integrated as an extra wink to Issue #75 on AMC's #TheWalkingDead. The television series is no stranger to airing dream and vision sequences, so it might be fun to play around with one that depicts an alien invasion. The segment wouldn't have to be too long, just long enough to see Rick in that armored, plated suit and the Governor back as a cyborg. Just as long as viewers stick around long enough for the "Letter Hacks" portion of the show.
[ Source: EW ]