Despite some notable diversions and (controversial) attempts to spin its source material in different ways, The Walking Dead has tended more and more to follow its comic inspiration. AMC’s rendition remains significantly behind Robert Kirkman’s canon, but a new one-shot The Alien twist for the Grimes family could open up a vast new world by the time AMC’s Walking Dead catches up.

You’re warned of potential spoilers for The Walking Dead comics (as well whatever season AMC might think about adapting it), but a new digital Walking Dead one-shot from Y: The Last Man creator Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin picks up a long-discarded reference from the initial Robert Kirkman books. Namely? Rick Grimes has a brother.

More than that, the new Panel Syndicate comic available online catches up with Rick’s younger brother Jeff in Barcelona, Spain, sometime in the initial days of the outbreak, wherein we supposedly learn that America’s government might have some manner of containing the outbreak. It’s early enough in the story for us to know that seems highly unlikely, though it does point the story toward a boat trip to America. And before you ask:

Kirkman also said of the trip to Spain:

In the comics, we’ve stayed in the continental United States; we haven’t really ever explained what’s happened outside of it. I used to joke that people are hanging out in Australia and they’re fine and it’s just the American continents that are all messed up — but that’s not the case.

Whether or not we can expect AMC’s Rick to similarly share a sibling abroad, it’s hard to ignore the notion of a boat headed for North America at an earlier date of the zombie apocalypse, considering a certain companion series with a suspiciously similar premise.

In the meantime, you can read the one-shot for yourself above (you can name your price to support the artists), watch Vaughan and Kirkman discuss the comic below, and stay tuned for all things Walking Dead.

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