The next character from the The Walking Dead trailer is yet another member of Magna‘s group, and the one who possibly received the most radical change from the comics: Kelly, portrayed by Angel Theory. Kelly will be introduced as the overprotective sister of Connie, and her shadow during all the time they spend on the road and in Alexandria Safe Zone… but in the comics, Kelly is actually a man (and a very manly one, even), and he’s definitely not Connie’s brother, but rather her boyfriend. The reasons behind this change remain unknown as of yet, but it’s possible that the sisters dynamic will bring something different to the show. Maybe. Anyway, let’s take a look at the original Kelly.
Nothing is known about Kelly’s life before the Outbreak. He was in his thirties when the dead started to come back from the grave to eat the living’s flesh, and he was among the many people who reached a governmental shelter in Washington D. C. when the plague became a serious national emergency. Within the shelter, Kelly knew a girl, Connie, whom he fell in love with, reciprocated: the two started a romantic relation, love beyond the apocalypse. Together, they realized that the place they were using as a haven was becoming far too crowded, as there was no more government to take care of the place, and the emergency was nowhere to be solved: people kept coming in, but there were no plans to receive them. Because of this, both Kelly and Connie decided to leave the shelter, following a woman named Magna who had organized a small group to try their luck outside and look for another place to live in. During the travel, that actually lasted for months, Kelly developed quite a respect for Magna, who naturally filled the position of leader, and he even became good friends with another man of the group, Bernie. One day, the group found itself on the path of a massive herd, led away from a nearby community by a man nicknamed Jesus. The herd obviously attacked the convoy, and in the resulting fight Bernie got killed. Kelly was saved by Jesus, who bought him and his group time enough to escape on their horses, but when the stranger offered Magna to join his community, Kelly was very vocal about his negative vote: those were the men who had caused Bernie’s death, and he had no intention of joining them then or ever. The group, however, voted otherwise, and Magna accepted the offer. Against his will, Kelly was forced to follow everyone else to Alexandria.
Here, Kelly’s distrust for the group didn’t diminish, quite the opposite: Alexandria was like heaven on earth, a perfect place to live in that looked like an oasis in the desert. Kelly spoke with two members of the community, Rick and Andrea, but didn’t trust either of them: to him, everything looked a lot like a trap. Also Magna was cautious, and she decided to sneak into the jail to learn something more; in order to protect her, Kelly and Luke decided to follow her to keep her safe, but it eventually it was the other way round, as the two men immediately believed the lies that the only prisoner, Negan, told them about Alexandria and its inhabitants, while Magna saw through them and led her people away. Wanting answers, Kelly and the others cornered Andrea and threatened her, but the woman calmly told them that she would have answered all of their questions (another time, however), and that if they hurt her they would have all died. The menace was something they could believe, but also the promise was, and the next day Andrea offered the whole group a coffee and told them everything they wanted to know about Alexandria, Negan and the other communities. Apparently, Alexandria was just as good as it looked, and he and Connie were actually willing to believe they had finally found a home. Kelly and Connie even participated to the fair that gathered people from nearby communities, and for the first time in years they had fun… but immediately after that, Rick informed the various groups that many people from the several communities had been killed during the fair by a group called the Whisperers, and even one man from Magna’s group, Luke, was among the victims. Enraged for this attack, Kelly was more than ready to join the Militia, the armed group Rick organized to move war to the Whisperers: he had been waiting a long time for a place like Alexandria, and he would have fought to defend it.
Kelly is quite an impulsive and emotional man, ready to react with distrust and (verbal) violence to everything he doesn’t immediately get or that doesn’t seem good to him. A capable fighter and a valuable member of the Militia, he’s however volatile and hard to convince to follow orders, something that may eventually put him or others in serious danger.