It’s always a little disorienting checking back in on The Walking Dead—or, more properly, on a trailer for The Walking Dead—after a decent chunk of time away from AMC’s nigh-endless zombie drama. It’s not just the “Well, now, who’s this?’ questions that pop up as a natural consequence of the show’s ravenous attitude toward its cast; we might not know everybody who’s kicking around Alexandria at the moment, but we’re at least tuned in enough to recognize Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, and Melissa McBride. Still, though: The appearance of scythe-wielding weirdos in Halloween costumes and the dudes in ceramic power armor did throw us for a bit of a loop today, when we watched the show’s Comic-Con@Home panel, moderated by (the apparently equally inescapable) Chris Hardwick.
On the surface level, the themes being explored in the first part of the show’s final season appear to be pretty standard: Verily, humanity does appear to have been the real monster all along! But the side details are definitely trending goofy, even for a show that’s currently trying to build an emotional core around a literal comic book supervillain who just said goodbye to his special baseball bat. The armor guys are clearly from the Commonwealth—who get a by-now-fairly-standard cheesy VHS introduction at the end of the trailer, and who comic fans will know play a major part in the endgame of Robert Kirkman’s original series. As for the guys in the skull masks with the fancy metal scythes…Well, we’re sure active watchers of the show will be ready and willing to tell us what’s up with those dudes. (No, we know, they’re called The Reapers, they were introduced in Season 10, and they’re apparently a bunch of murderous badasses.)
As to the panel itself, it was heavy on questions that nobody involved seemed comfortable answering, given the spoiler-heavy nature of the show. We do at least get a funny moment of Jeffrey Dean Morgan—lounging luxuriously—expressing what seems like genuine shock that his character is still starring on the series, though.