If you have had a conversation with me over the past couple years concerning the Walking Dead comics, I am sure you have heard me rant about Negan. When AMC announced the famous comic antagonist had been cast, you’ve probably also heard me raving!
Oh Negan… my favorite psycho genius bad guy.
For those who have not read the comics, you are probably wondering “Why is everyone so excited for this Negan guy?”. Buckle up because this is going to be a crazy ride…
Simply Negan is the sort of guy that believes what he is doing is for the better good. In my opinion, he isn’t that different from Rick’s character in some ways. Both believe what they are doing is the only way to get the world back to a better state. Both have a code in which they live by…no matter what. The contradiction between the two men is at least Rick seeks compassion, he has empathy and he struggles to hold onto his humanity. Negan, while practical and intelligent, on the other hand seems to enjoy manipulation and embraces mayhem.
Negan and his group of “Saviors” remind me of gangster or mob stories. You know the ones; a man buys a bar in an established corrupt neighborhood. Thugs come into said bar with baseball bats. They “suggest” the bar owner pays them to protect the bar (ironically) from thugs. In other words, pay them to leave you alone. The bar in this story is Alexandria. The bar owner is Rick. The thugs are the Saviors, and Negan the Godfather.
A lot like Tony Soprano, Negan emulates fear in order to keep his flock in line and loyal. He’s likable yet terrifying. All we know is that he may have been a used car salesman before the world went to crap. Maybe that is his charm, he’s able to sell water to a drowning man. This strategy is actually a good one in a world where people are more dangerous than walkers. Who would mess with the guy everyone fears?
This would probably work if it wasn’t for the fact that Negan LOVES being the big bad wolf. I mean, he absolutely LOVES the carnage.
The Saviors are there to help, and I guess they do in some regards. Just remember, everyone loved Tony Soprano too despite the trail of dead he left in his path.
I am curious how AMC will pull off this character. In the comic, every other word is profanity. The violence he creates is gnarly. Even for cable television, it may be rough to completely do justice to the character on the page.
I cannot express how excited I am to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the role. His portrayal of The Comedian in The Watchmen was perfect. I see this as a very similar roll since Negan has this joyous demented sense of humor that is almost enchanting.
How many F-Bombs can AMC get away with though? Get excited, get nervous and… seek protection!!!