Duane Jones

Well…things excalated quickly. This week’s The Walking Dead episode has been quite an eventful one, and while no new character has been introduced, there’s an old one we never talked about (I started covering the series from Season 3) who appears. In Bury Me Here, we have Morgan experience quite a trauma, that makes him have some flashbacks about his wife, who’s only mentioned but never seen in the comics, and his son, Duane. The boy only appeared in Season 1, in Days Gone Bye, where he’s the one who finds a delirious Rick and mistakes him for a walker. We left him in his barricaded house, but we learnt that, after some time, he tried to put down his undead mother, but couldn’t do it, with the result of her slaughtering him and turning him into a walker. It’s unknown if Morgan put him down or let him “live” as a walker. In the comics, his story is equally tragic: let’s see together.

Duane Jones was born in CynthianaKentucky, the son of Morgan and Jenny Jones. Duane lived a perfectly normal life, albeit not for long: he attended primary school, he had friends, a nice house, two loving parents…then the world ended when he was still a kid. The Outbreak, the event that released a virus that turned people into ravenous monsters after their death, put an end to everything, With the dead invading the streets and eating people alive, Duane and his family started moving from an abandoned house to the other, never settling for too long in the same place, trying to be safe…but that wasn’t enough, as Jenny was bitten and died from a fever soon after, turning into a walker herself. Duane was alone with his father, and the two of them kept moving in the effort of staying alive. One day, while covering his father who was entering a new house, Duane spotted a walker roaming nearby: he hid himself and hit him in the face with a shovel. Morgan heard the noise and came checking…only to realise that the man Duane had knocked out wasn’t a walker, but a living person. The two Joneses took the man in the house they were staying at the moment, and nurtured him back to health: they learnt his incredible story, as he had just awoken from a coma and found the world upside down; his name was Rick. While Morgan explained to Rick what had happened while he was in the hospital, Duane played with a gameboy his father had found for him, leaving all the talks to the adults. The day after, Rick wanted to move to Atlanta, hoping to find his family, but he wanted to repay his debt to Morgan, so he brought both him and Duane to the police station he used to work in. Once there, Rick took some supplies, and left to the Joneses a car and some guns, wishing them good luck and leaving immediately after. With a car, father and son didn’t have to move in Cynthiana only, and they could find other shelters. Plus, Morgan could now teach Duane how to use a gun, as there would have surely needed it.

Duane travelled with his father in and out Cynthiana, looking for safer shelters in certain times of the year, and coming back to the city when looters or herds had moved away from it; once, around the same time Rick and his group arrived to the prison, they celebrated Christmas together on an unspecified snowy mountain. Duane had learnt how to defend himself in the meanwhile, thanks to Morgan’s teachings…but that wasn’t enough to grant him survival in the post-apocalyptic world. During an unspecified occasion, back in Cynthiana, Duane and his father got separated while fighting a group of walkers, and Duane was bitten and killed by them. Obviously, he reanimated…but Morgan didn’t have the courage to kill him, and clinged to what remained of his son, even if it was just an empty shell. The zombified Duane was chained in the back of the house Morgan lived in, where he would have starved…if it wasn’t for his father. Duane fed on what Morgan brought to him, the first meal being a couple of dogs hanging around the neighborhood, the other something much tastier: humans. Four men, looters, visited Morgan’s house and threatened him, and the man killed them in self defense (or so he said), later giving their bodies to Duane to eat them. Months later, Rick came back to Cynthiana, this time accompanied by his son Carl and his friend Abraham: the trio found a deranged Morgan, as well as the zombified Duane. Rick tried to convince Morgan to kill the monster that now was his son, but didn’t manage to: when Morgan finally agreed to join Rick’s group, he went to the back of the house with his gun, and shot…but not to Duane, rather to the chain that was holding him. Now free to move and to feed on his own, Duane joined the thousands of walkers infesting Cynthiana, a mindless beast among many others like him, just the obscene parody of the boy he was.

Duane Jones is a gentle and sometimes naive boy, a loving son who tries to live his childhood and pre-teen years in a world crumbling down. His self-defense skills are good, but still the ones of a twelve-years old, and he mostly relies on his father’s protection. Now a mindless zombie who only craves for living flesh, Duane’s very existence reminds Morgan of his greatest failure…

Gavin

gavinfilmWhile slowly (very slowly) building the alliance and the premises to an all-out war, The Walking Dead introduced yet another less-than-secondary character, this time a minor antagonist. Actually, he already appeared in The Well, but he wasn’t named by then. Anyway, the leader of the Saviors‘ cell taking care of The Kingdom‘s tributes, in New Best Friends, is revealed to be Gavin, portrayed by Jayson Warner Smith. In the show, he’s apparently reasonable, especially considering the average of his group, while in the comics there’s really not much to say about him, being the result of some British guy winning a contest and appearing in the series as a Savior as reward. Not much is something nevertheless, so let’s take a look at the original guy.

Pretty much nothing is known about Gavin’s early life, not even his surname (albeit the guy who inspired him is called Gavin Meakings). He probably lived in the State of Washington or in Virginia, but it’s unknown whether he had any family of what his job was. What we do know is that he was in his twenties when the Outbreak began, and he was among the few ones surviving the first days during which the dead started rising to consume and infect the living, and society rapidly collapsed, leaving the remaining living people in a state of anarchy and in a constant fight for survival. Albeit it’s likely Gavin was with a group, it’s unknown what he did and where he went at first, but being it a way or another, he ended up in The Sanctuary, a huge abandoned factory now occupied by The Saviors, a large group of well-armed and well-organised people. The Saviors were ruled by a psychopathic tyrant, Negan, who decided of the gavincomics1death and the life of his subordiantes and of the many communities falling under his authority, but at least he guaranteed a decent life to the ones loyal to him. Inside The Sanctuary, you could chose to live there as a slave, working to progress into the social ladder, or to join the Saviors’ militia, hoping to survive the missions against communities of living people and herds of dead ones, but gaining a lot of privileges from the status of “soldiers”. Healthy and able to fight, Gavin obviously chose the second option, and became a Savior.

Gavin managed to climb the ladder even among the Saviors, and for some reason he became one of Negan’s trusted men. When a new community, the Alexandria Safe-Zone, fell under Negan’s dominion, one of the residents who didn’t accept the “deal”, actually just a kid named Carl, infiltrated The Sanctuary and tried to kill Negan. Despite managing to kill a couple of Saviors, Carl was obviously captured, and Negan decided to use him as leverage to convince his father, Rick, the leader of Alexandria, to be more cooperative; first, he had to give back the son to his father, unharmed, to show his “good intentions”, and Gavin was chosen to be among the ones present at the moment of the “new deal”. When Rick arrived, worried for his son, it was Gavin who was tasked with holding the lively kid, preventing him to escape or to do something stupid (like he had already done before) while Negan and Rick discussed. Rick wasn’t exactly in a talkative mood, and he attacked Negan, wanting his son back. Gavin and the others were about to intervene, but they were stopped by their boss, who wouldn’t allow Rick to punch him in front of his men to be saved by them: it was a matter of reputation. After beating the crap out of Rick with his own hands, Negan was finally able to make a new accord with him, and ordered Gavin to release the boy. The two groups came back to their respective bases, with peace finally restored between The Sanctuary and Alexandria Safe-Zone…or so it seemed: Rick, in reality, started gavincomics2preparing an all-out war of the communities against the Saviors, and Gavin would have had to be ready for it, as it would have been a difficult fight even for a powerful and numerous group such as the one he was a part of…

Gavin is a remorseless and loyal Savior, a man always ready to follow the orders of his leader, Negan, with little or no doubts in doing also horrible things to assure himself a decent life in the post-apocalyptic world. A skilled combatant, he’s a good fighter with guns and blades alike, as most of the Saviors. As the battle between good and evil has become a sheer quest for survival, Gavin has no problem in chosing to follow a clearly bad guy, as long as he grants him a longer life.

Mark

markfilmStill with The Walking Dead, same episode, different character. As the final part to Carl‘s horror tour of The Sanctuary, in Sing Me a Song we witness Negan inflicting a severe punishment to a boy for sleeping with one of his wives: the boy is Mark, portrayed by Griffin Freeman, and he had his pretty face disfigured with a white-hot iron (only to be mocked by the tyrant immediately after for letting his bladder go during the torture). Mark is taken away immediately after he passes out due to the pain, but we’ll most surely see him and his girlfriend again when the show starts again on February. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at him as he is in the comics (while we try to remember him as he is still handsome in this pic from the last episode he won’t look like the Phantom of the Opera).

Nothing is known about Mark’s life before the Outbreak, but he was very young when the end of the world happened, and he probably was a student. He lived either in the State of Washington or in Virginia, and it’s unknown what his family situation was. The only thing we know about his past is that he had a girlfriend, Amber, and that the two of them survived together, sticking together to find shelters and provisions, protecting each other from the flesh-hungry walkers and hostile groups of survivors. Of course, the two of them alone were not nearly enough to ensure survival, and they needed to join a larger group; they eventually found one, even if it wasn’t exactly the best choice possible: The Saviors, a large and well-armed group of people who gained more and more power by forcing other communities to give them half of what they produced, if they didn’t want to be destroyed. Life for the newcomers wasn’t easy at all, as they had to struggle for each meal, working like slaves and even fighting for food. A possible solution arrived when Negan, the deranged leader of The Saviors, took an interest in Amber, and claimed her as a new wife; this would have allowed Amber to live in luxury, while Mark would have been promoted as part of the deal to member of the Saviors’ army, obtaining several advantages from that. After discussing the matter together, Mark markcomics1and Amber decided to accept Negan’s offer, and the girl became his youngest wife. Life was definitely easier for the two of them, but something wasn’t right nevertheless: reason told them to stay apart and to enjoy the little comforts they could get from their new situation, but heart told them something different, as they still loved each other and wanted to be together. Mark and Amber started seeing each other secretly, and slept together behind Negan’s back: bad idea, as everybody was always ready to report to Negan…something that inevitably happened.

With Negan knowing about their “affair”, Mark couldn’t do anything but to wait for his punishment: sleeping with one of the boss’ wives wasn’t something easily forgiven. Tied to a chair, he was put in front of the entire community as Negan disfigured him with a white-hot iron, made an example for everyone to see, while Amber cried in despair. Carson took care of him and helped him recover, and when he could come out of the infirmary, he had his shame forever printed on his face. This, however, didn’t pull apart Mark and Amber, as the two were closer than ever, victims of the same cruelty, bonded by their hatred towards Negan. Soon after his disfigurement, Mark was seeing his girlfriend again, and during one of their clandestine meetings they spotted Carson escorting some prisoners from Alexandria Safe-Zone, including Eugene, out of The Sanctuary, an act of clear treason. Spotting a chance to leave Negan’s dominion, Mark and Amber approached him, and asked him to be part of the escape group: hidden in the back of a van with most of the prisoners, the two youngsters were finally ready to reach Hilltop Colony and to start a new life there. Shortly after their exit from The Sanctuary, however, the escapees were intercepted by a sentinel, Donnie, who shot the van and tried to stop it: Mark worried about the situation, fearing of losing even more than half of his face this time, but eventually Eugene managed to kill Donnie, and the group could rest on the roof for the night and continue their trip the morning after. At the end of their journey, Mark and Amber decided to stay in Hilltop, and there they remained markcomics2even after the war against Negan ended and the Militia won it, with Dwight taking control of The Saviors and changing them to a peaceful community in league with the others. Peace, however, lasted only a couple of years, as during a fair in Hilltop Amber went missing: Mark believed she had left him for antoher man, but reality proved to be much more tragic than that…

Mark is a young man who still follows his heart more than his reason, and he simply can’t live without Amber, his girlfriend and the one and only anchor in the post-apocalyptic world for him. A skilled fighter albeit inexperienced, Mark is proficient with both guns and blades, enough to be a part of the Saviors’ army. Reckless as only a boy in love can be, Mark is young enough to learn how to survive in the new world…but he better do it quickly.

Amber

amberfilmNow, let’s jump to The Walking Dead again, to see who else joined the ever-expanding cast. In Sing Me a Song, Carl does something incredibly stupid and infiltrates The Sanctuary to try and kill Negan on his own. He obviously fails, but the man takes a liking in him and offers him a tour, introducing the boy to his harem as well. In here, we meet one of his youngest wives, Amber, portrayed by Autumn Dial. We see Amber in quite a bad moment, as she just “cheated” on Negan with her original boyfriend, and she avoids punishment just by declaring her love to the tyrant and by apologizing. This is exactly how we meet her in the comics, but it’s just the beginning of her story. Let’s see together…and beware of spoilers, as usual.

As for most survivors, we don’t know pretty much anything about Amber’s early life. A very young girl, she lived either in Virginia or in the State of Washington, and considering her age she was most likely a student when the Outbreak occured. With people running everywhere to seek refuge from the dead hunting for their flesh, Amber did her best to survive as well, and luckily enough she wasn’t alone, as she was with her boyfriend, Mark. Together, Amber and Mark survived the first days of the apocalypse, and learned how to survive in the new world: one thing they knew for sure, they couldn’t survive without a larger group. It’s unknown how they first met The Saviors, but they eventually ended up in The Sanctuary, the group’s main headquarters, and joined them…immediately realising they didn’t exactly made the right choice. The Saviors were ruled by a tyrant, Negan, a psychopath who controlled a large and well-armed group of people with an iron fist; among Negan’s many privileges inside the community there was polygamy, and he took whatever girl he liked as his wife. He already had several wives, but he took a liking in young Amber as well, and he demanded her for himself. Since being a regular citizen in The Sanctuary was exhausting, being forced to struggle over every single meal to ensure survival, Amber thought it could be good to be ambercomics1with Negan, assuring a better life to Mark as part of the deal: she became his newest wife, while Mark joined the Saviors’ army getting some privileges as well. Of course, rationalising the choice didn’t make it any better, and above all Amber missed Mark just as much as he missed her. Inevitably, the two kept seeing each other, and they slept together. If there was something that Negan didn’t tolerate, however, was one of his wives cheating on him, and when he inevitably found out about Amber’s “affair” with Mark, he rushed into her room to confront her. Another one of Negan’s wives, Sherry, who had abandoned her man as well, defended Amber, and allowed her to stay unarmed…but Mark wasn’t as lucky, and he was disfigured with a burning iron.

Despite Negan had just hurt the man she loved, Amber was forced to declare her love to him, promising to be a good wife from there on…but of course, this act of violence was just the last drop. Negan failed, as Mark’s disfigured face only remembered Amber just how much he loved her, and she didn’t stop loving him for how he looked now. They kept seeing each other, being more careful not to get caught…until, one night, they stumbled upon something more serious than somebody cheating: they saw Carson, Negan’s advisor, helping the prisoners, Eugene and his “ammo crew“, escape. Finally spotting a chance for them as well in Carson’s treason, Amber and Mark asked them to join, and they followed Eugene to the van he planned to use to escape. Hiding in the back of the van with Mark and Eugene’s men, Amber was scared when a Savior guard, Donnie, shot the vehicle, stopping it on the road to Hilltop Colony. Luckily, Eugene had a plan, and after blocking the van’s horn to lure a herd of walkers to their position (thus diverting it from The Kingdom, where they were headed), he disposed of the distracted guard, and instructed all his passengers to take shelter and rest on the van’s roof, as they would have reached Hilltop the morning after. The plan worked quite fine, and Amber was able to reach Hilltop along with all the other escapees…just in time for the final war against Negan and the Saviors still loyal to him. For some sort of miracle, the Saviors were eventually defeated, and Negan was imprisoned: this marked the beginning of a brand new life for all the communities ambercomics2involved, but despite The Sanctuary being now under Dwight‘s control and part of a peaceful alliance, Amber didn’t want to go back there. She and Mark settled down in Hilltop, and they became an integral part of the community. Life, finally, was just as peaceful and rewarding as Amber had dreamt it to be…until the next threat appeared on the horizon, one that could shatter the beautiful dream the four communities had been building together.

Amber is a young and sometimes naive girl, an emotional young woman who’d do anything to protect her beloved boyfriend, Mark. Faithful and loving, she accepts to be one of Negan’s wives just to assure Mark a better life, but she’s unable to control her feelings, and she ends up endangering him and herself as a result. A simple girl who has to make difficult choices in a complicated world, Amber is stronger than she looks, but possibly not strong enough for a world such as the post-apocalypse one.

Gary

garyfilmTime for the third and last comicbook-based character appearing in The Walking Dead episode Service, another Savior of course. When The Saviors pay a visit to Alexandria Safe-Zone, one of them approaches Negan and gives him a camera, with Rick Grimes‘ video interview to enter the community on it, much to the Saviors’ leader amusement. The camera-bringer is Gary, portrayed by Mike Seal. Even by appearing this way, he scored higher than his comicbook counterpart, who mostly acts as a background character, and receives a name only the moment he dies (in a pretty stupid way, even). As usual with TWD, proceed with caution as some spoiler may be lying ahead…only mild ones in this case, though.

Not much is known about Gary’s past, pretty much nothing actually, not even his surname. He lived somewhere in Virginia or in the State of Washington, and it’s unknown if he had any family and what kind of job he had, if he had any. When he was around his thirties, however, all of this stopped being important, as the Outbreak wiped out civilization from the world. Gary became just one of many, the last human survivors trying to escape from the hungry walkers (dead come back to life to feed on the living) and to find a place in a new, anarchist world order. Gary was relatively lucky, as the group he joined was an extremely powerful one: The Saviors, an army of conquerors led by an insane but extremely clever man, Negan, a charismatic leader who was building a new world with himself as its leader. Gary, who had nothing against violence to begin with, was recruited in Negan’s main army, designated to The Saviors’ headquarters, The Sanctuary, instead of one of the many outposts. Being a Savior brought along a lot of advantages and comforts, in exchange only of total and undisputed obedience to Negan, something that came pretty easily to Gary, who had never been a leader. Gary followed Negan in the “peaceful conquest” of some nearby garycomics1community, always offering them two alternatives: either they accepted to be protected by The Saviors in exchange of half of what they produced, or they faced total destruction. Needless to say, anytime the approached communities chose the second option, Gary was on the first line in the following massacre. He was assigned to Dwight‘s squad, and he followed the direct orders of Negan’s right-hand man. They never had any particular problem, until a large and organised community, Alexandria Safe-Zone, was subjected to The Saviors.

At first, Alexandria bent like all the others, but after the initial shock their leader, Rick Grimes, started to organize a rebellion, joining forces with two other large communities, Hilltop Colony and The Kingdom. The resulting alliance, called the Militia, was bold and daring, and they even assaulted The Sanctuary head-on. Such a behavior required punishment, and Negan wasn’t late in delivering it: after a number of minor squabbles that usually involved kidnappings and hostages, he finally ordered Dwight to bring his men to attack Alexandria directly, and Gary was among the ones chosen for the task. Each savior was given military equipment, so that the battle wouldn’t have lasted long…or so they believed, of course. Alexandria’s walls were tall and strong, and Negan didn’t want them to be destroyed, since he could have used them after the conquest; Dwight ordered the ones who carried grenades to use the explosives to bring the defense down, but without damaging the walls. Always enthusiast when there was blood to be shed, Gary ran on the first line, and prepared to throw one of his grenades over the wall, hoping to kill the defenders…unfortunately for him, on the other side there was Paul “Jesus” Monroe, a skilled martial artist, who kicked one of Dwight’s garycomics2grenades back to the group, right in front of Gary. The grenade blew up, and so did the one Gary had in his hand and all the others he had strapped to his belt. The explosion tore him in half, leaving only a zombified torso in his place, forcing the surviving Saviors to retreat temporarily.

Gary is a violent and sadistic man, dumb enough to be the perfect pawn for Negan and Dwight, but smart enough to follow any order coming from them. He’s a skilled combatant, trained with both short-ranged and long-ranged weapons, and he can also use explosives. A perfect soldier, he kills on demand and is ready to die on demand, never questioning the commands he’s given.

David

davidfilmWith no more characters from trailers or movies (not officially confirmed ones, at least) we can focus on the tv series, starting with The Walking Dead. Another character appearing in Service is a hateful member of The Saviors, another one came to plunder Alexandria Safe-Zone‘s resources: David, portrayed by Martinez. He’s the one threated at gun-point by Carl, but he’s also the one who shows quite a disturbing interest for young Enid…and the comics’ readers know that, being familiar with the character, that kind of interest won’t lead to anything good in the near future. Let’s take a look at the original character and, as always with TWD, beware of spoilers (if the tv series choses to take the same route as in the comics, of course).

As usual, we don’t know much of David’s early life, not even his surname; he lived either in Virginia or in the State of Washington, but it’s unknown what kind of job he had or whether he had a family or not. Being it a way or the other, following the Outbreak he found himself in the same situation of everyone else: running for his life, trying to escape from resurrected corpses who wanted to feed on his flesh. Albeit it’s more likely he joined some group to survive, a man as hard and brutal as himself was hard to be led to cooperate with anyone…until he found someone tougher and crueler than he was: Negan, a psychopath who had embraced the philosophy of the “survival of the fittest” and turned it into a “survival of the strongest” one. Acting more on instinct than on calculation and submitting himself to the stronger one, David joined Negan’s group, The Saviors, and entered the main army located in The Sanctuary. For David that was a candy shop: he could vent all his violence and prevarication, finding himself blending perfectly in Negan’s “utopia”. He exerted his control on the subjected communities, bringing Negan’s law outside The Sanctuary, and even the other Saviors found out it was better to keep him at distance; Negan entrusted him also with delicate missions, knowing far too well that he was perfectly able to keep his dogs on a tight rein. When some scouts came to The Sanctuary warning that they had spotted two men, possibly belonging to a larger community, David was sent to davidcomics1spy on them along with a bunch of other Saviors: the men were Eugene and Abraham, looking for supplies and ammo. When they came back to their colony, Alexandria Safe-Zone, David came back to report, and returned soon after in company of Dwight, Negan’s second in command. The group tried to enter what seemed to be one of the largest and richest communities they had ever seen, but they failed to do it, so they came back to the Sanctuary to report: Alexandria had been spotted, and Negan would have surely taken action.

This happened shortly after, and as usual David was part of it: he was present when Negan and a remarkable number of other Saviors ambushed Rick Grimes and his group, and he was pointing a gun at Rick’s head while Negan smashed Glenn‘s skull with his baseball bat Lucille. Following that episode, things excalated quickly, and David watched with pleasure as Grimes surrendered and Alexandria became another one of the communities subjected to The Saviors. The new ones were tougher than the others, however, and they soon started planning an uprising, joining forces with two other large communities, Hilltop Colony and The Kingdom. During one of the battles between the alliance and The Saviors, the latter captured a woman from Alexandrya, Holly, a beautiful blondie who David had eyed up in her colony already. Holly was kept inside The Sanctuary, and David was among the ones making turns to guard her. During his watch, the woman asked him for some water, and David saw an occasion waiting for him there: he told her he wasn’t supposed to give her any, but that he was ready to give her some, if she was ready to do something she wasn’t supposed to in turn. When Holly understood what he meant, David had already started to make his move: he assaulted her, ripping her shirt and trying to take off her pants, but in that very moment Negan arrived. Negan was a violent man himself, davidcomics2but he had some rules, the first of which was: “No rape”. David perfectly knew this, and he started begging for forgiveness…something that he was not given: moving quickly and swiftly, Negan stabbed David in the neck, then proceeded to apologize to Holly. Even dogs on a leash sometimes became rabid and needed to be put down.

David is, simply put, a wild animal: acting purely on his instincts, he is a violent, brutal and sadistic man, who takes what he wants when he wants it, and who treats anyone around him as tools for purpose or pleasure. A skilled combatant with both short-ranged and long-ranged weapons, he’s basically a coward, and even if he always plays the tough wolf, he becomes little more than a puppy when a bigger dog like Negan is around.

Tara

tarafilmIn The Walking Dead episode 07×04 Alexandria Safe-Zone doesn’t look so well in its first dealing with The Saviors, but we get to know some other member of the hostile group. Among the ones spotted in Service there’s one we already heard the voice of in The CellArat, portrayed by Elizabeth Ludlow. In the episode she doesn’t do much more than plundering the community along with the other Saviors, but we’ll have plenty of time to know her. In the comics her name is different, actually it’s spelled backwards: Tara (they changed it in order not to create confusion with Tara Chamblers, an established character in the main cast). Let’s see together who this tough she-Savior is in the comics.

Little is known about Tara’s early life, not even her surname. She was born in a family of Asian descent, and she lived somewhere in Virginia or in the State of Washington. Quite a rebel, she lived her own way, provoking common sense with her piercings and tattoos. When the dead started to resurrect to eat the flesh of the living, however, nobody put attention to her look anymore: the Outbreak brought any civilization to extinction in a matter of months, and Tara, as well as everybody else, was forced to learn how to survive on her own in a post-apocalyptic world. Resourceful and violent, she managed to survive the first days and the ones that followed, and she eventually found a group she fit quite well within: The Saviors, a band of brutal conquerors led by a cunning and charismatic psychopath, Negan. Most of the women arrived to The Sanctuary, the Saviors’ headquarters, found simple jobs and entered Negan’s harem, but Tara was different, and she became the first woman to enter Negan’s army, an equal among the many men composing it. She didn’t have anything to be envious, of course: she could be just as menacing, brutal and lethal as all the others, and she enjoyed plundering the resources of other communities following Negan’s orders. There were a few people she respected, but one of them was Dwight, Negan’s second in command. Everybody, however, made mistakes: when he was coming back from taracomics1Alexandria Safe-Zone, one of the newest acquisitions in the “saved territories”, Dwight was followed to The Sanctuary by one of the residents, Paul Monroe. Tara intercepeted the man along with fellow sentinel John, and she threatened Paul to cut his balls off if he didn’t surrender…but the man was a martial artist, and he easily overpowered both her and John. Back on her feet, Tara was ready to shoot him, but Dwight stopped her, claiming that Negan wanted to question Paul: luckily for Monroe, Tara listened to Dwight’s orders, and let him walk away on his feet.

From that point on, things excalated quickly: the little sign of rebellion from Alexandria became something more, and the defeated community forged an alliance with other two, The Kingdom and Hilltop Colony…as well as with a rogue faction of Saviors who didn’t want Negan as a leader anymore, led by none other than Dwight. Tara didn’t follow Dwight in his rebellion, and she remained loyal to Negan in the following war, a war that The Saviors were winning from the very beginning…until tides turned and she found herself on the losing side. The Saviors were defeated in a final battle in Alexandria and Negan was taken prisoner, but The Sanctuary wasn’t destroyed, as the victorious communities wanted to create a peaceful world after that all-out clash. Dwight came back to The Sanctuary as the Saviors’ new leader, adding the once hostile community to a net of cooperation and trade with the other three: Tara, who already liked Dwight despite his betrayal, chose to stay with him, and adapted to the new world order, even if with some difficulty. For two years, the communities lived in peace and created an effective micro-society, but everything changed once again when Dwight, feeling the pressure of being a leader, decided to step out, and left The Sanctuary. Tara, commenting with fellow Saviors Sherry and Mark, played tough and remarked that the community would have been better without Dwight around, but in truth she was all but pleased by her leader’s decision, and she felt abandoned without taracomics2a guidance. When some time later Vincent, a resident from Alexandria Safe-Zone, came knocking to The Sanctuary asking for aid against a new hostile group, the Whisperers, Tara had only menaces and insults for him, and she sent him away without providing help: from that moment on, The Saviors had to take care of themselves only, and she didn’t want anything to do with the other communities anymore.

Tara is a violent and angry woman, who believes in strength as the only means to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. She’s an accomplished fighter, skilled with both guns and kinves, and she doesn’t have any qualm in using them if the situation requires (but even if it doesn’t). Tough enough to be put on par with the Saviors’ men by a sexist like Negan, Tara is surely a force to be reckoned with, even among a group such as The Saviors.