We’ve already head from show-runner Glen Mazzara on exactly who AMC’s prisoners are, but we thought we’d take a closer look at how the characters compare to their comic counterparts, especially after the events of “Sick.” From the start, it’s worth noting that Rick and the others weren’t nearly as distrustful of the prisoners in the books, at least in the beginning, as the inmates were found sitting peacefully in the cafeteria, and offered to share their supply of food with no question. Like their AMC counterparts however, they had been locked in the room for some time, and thus couldn’t know the full extent of society’s breakdown until Rick brought them up to speed. So without further ado, from right to left… Big Tiny – Big Tiny had no specific comic counterpart among the prisoners, but he certainly seemed gentle and reasonable enough. Too bad for that whole “I got scratched, but I feel fine, although my fellow inmate is now murdering me” thing. Oscar – Like Big Tiny, Oscar has no direct counterpart, but seems plenty level-headed. It isn’t made clear how much he knew of Tomas’ plan to kill Rick in the middle of battle, but as one of the only two survivors we’ll be interested to see what happens with him going forward. Physically, he most resembles comic character Dexter, most of whose qualities were shifted to Tomas. Axel – Axel isn’t specifically named, but we’ve confirmed him to be AMC’s incarnation of the comic character. Certainly, AMC’s Axel seems much smaller, even younger than his comic book counterpart, but time will tell if he turns out to be as peaceful or reasonable as the books. Also worth noting is that comic Axel was incarcerated for armed robbery, but AMC’s version claimed to be convicted of enjoying “pharmaceuticals.” Andrew – Much like the comic book Andrew, AMC’s version appears as a small, ineffectual man loyal to the most aggressive member of his group. While we certainly aren’t going complain about the character lacking his comic book hairstyle, it isn’t made clear exactly how deep the relationship between Andrew and Tomas goes, whether they were lovers as with Andrew and Dexter in the books. Tomas – While Tomas has no counterpart among the comic book inmates (even if his name resembles Thomas), Tomas shares most similarities with Dexter, who similarly struggled with allowing Rick and his group to stay in a prison he believed belonged to them. However, Tomas seemed to be far more violent and hot-tempered than Dexter, who for the most part wasn’t looking to conflict with Rick and his group at first.
AMC: It’s made clear that over the previous eight months, Hershel has given Carol medical training to assist with Lori’s eventual delivery. Her limited, albeit functional medical knowledge comes in most handy when Hershel himself is injured, and Carol becomes the most qualified to treat him. Likewise, by “Sick”s end she resolves to use the endless supply of walking cadavers to fortify her knowledge of human anatomy, should the worst happen to Hershel, and she be the only one to deliver Lori’s baby.
THE COMICS: Perhaps because she still had Sophia to care for, or became increasingly batsh*t crazy, the comics’ Carol never assisted anyone medically. It was Andrea who did her best to tend to Allen when Rick was forced to amputate the man’s leg, and Woodbury defector Alice who both patched up Dale’s own severed leg, and delivered Lori’s baby.
AMC: From the get-go, Tomas doesn’t take kindly to the idea of Rick and his group taking over the prison, particularly their former cell block. Outgunned and with few other options, Tomas agrees to take one of the other cell blocks, and share half the food supply if Rick and his group will help them clear it of walkers first. THE COMICS: If we’re equating AMC’s Tomas with the comics’ Dexter, the un-armed Dexter was willing to share both the food supply and the prison facilities with Rick and his group from the start. It was only after the survivors locked him up believing him responsible for a savage murder, that he plotted with Andrew to retrieve a hidden supply of guns, and evict the survivors from the prison by force.
AMC: While it remained to be seen if Hershel would even survive his traumatic amputation, Maggie wonders how he could practically go on given all the running they have to do in their dangerous lifestyle. Beth on the other hand, clearly in some kind of shock, begins cutting the legs off Hershel’s pants in preparation, while Carol reasons they might find some crutches somewhere. THE COMICS: As Dale was the only one to survive his amputation, getting around soon became difficult following his recovery. It was Andrea who first found a pair of crutches that the man could use to functionally get around, and Andrea again who later worked with Tyreese to fashion a peg leg Dale could use to be even more mobile.
AMC: In a moment alone, Lori asks her husband what he plans to do about the five inmates also taking residence within the prison, given the threat they could potentially pose. Rick muses that killing them might be one of his best options, to which Lori tacitly defers to her husband’s judgement. Remembering how that worked out with Shane, Rick calls her out on it. THE COMICS: The morality of killing for protection was far greyer in the comic world of ‘The Walking Dead,’ as Lori violently objected to the idea that Rick might have the moral authority to hang even one of the prisoners, after the man viciously murdered two little girls. Lori would eventually come around to the idea, especially after remembering her own anger toward another inmate earlier.
Taking Back the Prison, Inmate Style
AMC: After agreeing to help clear out another cell block in exchange for half the food supply, Rick lightly arms the inmates and sets out with his group to take down whatever walkers they encounter. Despite Rick, Daryl and T-Dog’s instructions however, the inmates recklessly launch themselves at oncoming walkers and try taking them down with shankings and riot-type attacks. THE COMICS: Given that comic Rick didn’t have such a tense relationship with the prisoners in the beginning, there was no need to clear out a cell block together. Dexter did take them around the facilities, though the inmates were never shown to be so reckless as to ignore instructions to attack the brain.
Carl Continues Sucking Less
AMC: Rather than wait around or waste time organizing the food, Carl undertakes a mission of his own to find medical supplies for Hershel. Once he returns with the supplies however, his mother quickly chews him out for such a reckless endeavor, and Beth’s concurrence causes him to run away in anger. THE COMICS: As we mentioned last week, the Carl of the books hadn’t developed quite as much by the time of the prison, and mostly kept to playing with Sophia rather than undertake any dangerous missions. Much of the hidden resources of the prison were uncovered by Glenn and Maggie in their amorous explorations.
AMC: Ignoring Rick’s advice to keep formation, Big Tiny wanders off for a moment and finds himself in confrontation with a group of stray walkers. One of them manages to overcome its handcuffs by literally ripping off its own hand, and the bone scratches Big Tiny on the back. While Tiny assures the others that he feels fine, Rick insists nothing can be done for the man, and Tomas impulsively ends the argument by beating Tiny to death himself. THE COMICS: While Big Tiny has no comic counterpart with which to compare, it’s of interest to note that no character in either the books or series have been explicitly shown to turn as the result of a scratch. Presumably the walker’s exposed bloody bone made Tiny’s “viral” infection more likely, but it’s never been concretely confirmed.
AMC: Wanting to prepare herself should Hershel succumb to his injuries, Carol enlists Glen’s help in putting down a nearby female walker, for the purpose of using the lifeless body to study female anatomy in the event of Lori’s possible C-section. THE COMICS: While we’ve already shown AMC’s Carol to be more stable than that of the books, fans of the comic will note an added sense of irony to this scene. In the books, it was Woodbury medic Alice who had the group capture a live walker for study, which Carol would eventually use to commit suicide by allowing it to bite her.
AMC: As part of their efforts to clear out a cell block, Rick enlists Tomas to open one side of a double door to control the flow of walkers into the room. Disobeying, Tomas opens both and begins a bloody melee between the group and the incoming walkers. Not only does Tomas attempt to take a slash at Rick by swinging wildly at a walker, but also deliberately pushes one of the creatures on top of Rick to make it look like an accident. Thankfully, Daryl was too awesome to let that succeed. THE COMICS: While Rick and the inmates never intentionally sought out any walkers, Dexter’s insurrection accidentally left an un-cleared cell block open, releasing a horde of the undead upon the group. Both the inmates and the other survivors turned their attention toward fighting off the walkers, and it was Rick himself who nearly allowed one to overtake Dexter. But then…
AMC: Tomas clearly having made several attempts on Rick’s life during the melee, in the aftermath Rick wastes little time in ending the problem then and there, driving his machete into the man’s skull and killing him. Only Andrew seems taken aback, or squeamish about this action. THE COMICS: Dexter never appeared to make any direct attempts on Rick’s life, but Rick saw an opportunity in the chaos of the battle, and put a bullet through Dexter’s head to end the problem of his insurrection. Only Tyreese saw Rick’s deliberate act, though Rick himself would later confess it to the group.
AMC: Clearly implicit in the plot, and terrified by what Rick did to Tomas, Andrew flees through the prison and winds up in a seemingly enclosed courtyard. With no other exits, and walkers descending toward him, Andrew attempts to return only to find Rick sealing the gate behind him. Rick advises the frightened inmate to run, though we only hear his screams coming from outside the door. You know what they say about comic book deaths… THE COMICS: Andrew surrendered his weapon immediately after Dexter’s death, though minutes later distraughtly fled into the field outside the prison, never to be seen from or heard again. Many a ‘Walking Dead’ fan have theorized that the character survived, though Robert Kirkman himself has more or less confirmed his off-screen demise. Makes you wonder…could they be going a different route for AMC? More on that later.
Someone Remembers What CPR Is
AMC: When Maggie observes Hershel’s labored breathing to have ceased, Beth cries out for help, and Lori administers CPR that successfully manages to revive the man, even if his jerking back to life briefly resembled that of a walker. THE COMICS: No incident like this ever befell Hershel in the books, but ironically it was Maggie herself that once attempted to commit suicide via hanging, only to be revived by Glenn’s CPR efforts. In that instance, a character named Abraham had prepared to shoot Maggie as she jerked back to life.
The Fate of the Prisoners
AMC: With Big Tiny and Tomas dead, and Andrew most likely zombie kibble, only Oscar and Axel are left standing (or kneeling) by the end. Axel pleads for their lives, claiming not to have been the violent type of criminal, and Rick allows them a cell block to keep to as per their deal. Time will tell how relations between the pair and the other survivors fare. THE COMICS: Easily the most reasonable of the four inmates, comic Axel too survived the insurrection attempt, and was allowed to live with the group in the prison for a time. Most characters never fully trusted the man, even as he attempted to dissociate himself from his fellow inmates, but there were at least no further problems.
AMC: While Carol prepares to begin her research with the cadaver, an unseen figure is observed to be watching from the treeline. Who might it be? THE COMICS: The comics could provide a number of potential answers to this question, though we can’t know for sure. It’s possible that the observer comes from Woodbury, though in the books neither the Governor nor anyone else from the town found the prison before Rick and his group accidentally alerted them to it. Our best guess is that Andrew didn’t get as corpse-ified as his off-screen screams would lead us to believe, and might be observing the prison looking for the moment to strike!