With just five episodes left of The Walking Dead Season 6, many fans are dreading the build-up to the finale, because we already know that episode will introduce Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. While we haven't seen this iconic comic book villain in the flesh yet, he's been referenced several times, and we've already met a few members of his group, known as The Saviors. As we impatiently wait for the finale, IGN caught up with The Walking Dead executive producer David Alpert, who made the bold statement that, even though he hasn't debuted yet, Negan is already one of the greatest TV villains of all time.
"We want [people who don't know Negan] to get into conversations with their friends like, ah, that's nothing, and the friends who have read the comics be like, 'Oh, you just don't know. You just don't know.' Negan is one of the greatest villains ever created in TV. It's the greatest comic book villain I've ever read. He's amazing, he's terrifying, he's funny, he's charming, and the reason why I think he's so terrifying is he makes a certain amount of sense. Even though he does horrible, horrible horrific things, there's a certain logic - a barbaric logic, but a logic - to it. I think it's not just the horrible things he does, it's the appeal of that logic. It takes a little while to wrap your head around it."
We first heard Negan's name during the midseason finale prologue in November, where Daryl (Norman Reedus), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) meet a group in the road, who claim that all the trio's property now belongs to Negan. When the show returned from its hiatus, it picked up right where we left off, with our heroes out-gunned and out-manned by these Saviors, although they managed to escape, thanks to Daryl's quick thinking. In last week's episode, Knots Untied, we learned a bit more about this powerful group from Jesus (Tom Payne) and others at the Hilltop Colony. David Alpert explained that they wanted to give viewers some insight into how Negan and his Saviors operate, before revealing him for the first time.
"This guy's built something. He's built something huge, and it's really impressive what he's been able to build. He's done something way beyond what the Governor has done, and he's not hiding behind the niceties the way the Governor was. He's not pretending to be something that he's not. He's a fully self-actualized human, it's just not necessarily in a good way. You need to have that build up, you need to have his minions out there talking about him so you understand how impressive and how large what Negan has built is."
Of course, many fans of the comics are on edge because Negan's introduction in the comics also resulted in the death of a beloved character, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). Negan debuted in the 100th issue of The Walking Dead, where he and his group took Rick and the Alexandrians by surprise, before choosing a random person to kill, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). David Alpert wouldn't confirm if this iconic moment will play out the same way in the comics, but he did reveal that particular issue still makes him "nauseous."
"I still get a little nauseous when I think back to Issue 100. I think Robert Kirkman is a sick and twisted individual, and I think Charlie Adlard is sick and twisted in his own special, uniquely talented way because of the way that page will never, ever leave my mind ever in a million years. I'm angry at them, still, to this day. I think you can't just have that guy [Negan] walk on and start telling that story."
In the preview for next week's episode, Not Tomorrow Yet, it was revealed that Rick and his crew returned to Alexandria, to warn everyone about Negan's group, and that they have to find him before the Saviors find them. What do you think about David Alpert's claim that Negan could be one of the best TV villains ever? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more on The Walking Dead as we get closer and closer to the Season 6 finale.