THE WALKING DEAD VIRUS

The origins von the zombie outbreak oase been left deliberately pass out on die Walking Dead. But can we figure them out all the same?


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By Alec Bojalad | september 3, 2020 | | comment count:0
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Photo: AMC

Back in the “Before Times” of january 2020, The wade Dead creator robert Kirkman fielded a twitter question about a pandemic unrelated to ns one the would quickly seize the world.

Du schaust: The walking dead virus

“What was the origin of the zombies outbreak on the Walking Dead?” one twitter user wanted to know. Kirkman answered ns question simply and succinctly with:

“Space spore.”

You may oase noticed the the austausch above consists of no links to ns tweets an question. That’s since they no longer exist. Kirkman turned off his “space spore” tweet shortly after dozens von websites choose it up und ran through “The wade Dead Creator Reveals zombies Outbreak Origin” headlines. 


One could forgive the internet Take industrial Complex zum taking Kirkman’s answer and running through it though. Kirkman has actually a decent monitor record of spoiler-reveals. Through 193 issues of The wade Dead, he was fond of holding spoiler-y info over readers’ heads an his Letter hacking Q&A sessions weist the zurück of ns book. Notfall only that, however Kirkman was once a contestant top top Comedy Central’s
midnight
und when hold Chris Hardwick cheekily asked for an upcoming Walking Dead spoiler, Kirkman just flat out revealed that someday a character named Negan möchte arrive to kill glenn on die show, several seasons ahead des the actual moment.

Alas, this Twitter austausch was one of those instances whereby Kirkman really was joking. He evidenced as much in April via his account. 

In reality, Kirkman has constantly been adamant that the origin of the zombie pandemic on The walking Dead would never ever be explained. And bei the end, the writer was true kommen sie his word. The Walking dead concluded its operation with concern 193 last year and nowhere in those 193 issues zu sein there any indication von what kind of virus or supernatural occasion could oase reanimated corpses around the world. 


For years Kirkman steadily preserved that the cause von the zombies outbreak was never important. He was more pertained to with informing a an easy horror (and danach action/adventure) story with relatable characters. Zombies were inherent to that mission as antagonists and occasional umgebung obstacles.

The closest Kirkman ever came kommen sie going ~ above record an describing what caused the zombie outbreak was an the Letter hacks section zum Issue 147. In it, the explained just how someone becomes a zombies thusly:

“Just kommen sie get this on document once und for all… und it zu sein complicated, i know… here’s how zombification works. Everything makes civilization come back as zombie after castle die–it’s inside them. It’s within everyone. No matte how anyone dies, as lang as die brain ist intact… they turn right into a zombie. Well… bites, and direct to blood call with zombies gunk, <…> reasons death. It’s a solid infection the leads zu fever that kills someone. Then the “virus” or whatever ist already an them… transforms them into a zombie.”


Kirkman’s words there indicate that the cause von zombification zu sein indeed some kind of virus. Yet ultimately, it was never important zu Kirkman or the story zu further elucidate what kind of virus can bring the dead rückseitig as shambling monsters. What was important was that die “rules” des the virologe were understood.

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And both The go Dead comic und TV zeigen made certain those rule were developed early on. In the comics, it’s the Governor who reveals zu Rick and Michonne that everyone is “infected” and will return as zombies after death. Bei the show, CDC medical professional Edwin jenner (Noah Emmerich) expose this info to Rick. Jenner even has fascinating MRI footage of what wake up to the brain once a person dies during ns zombie apocalypse. After all ns electrical impulses von the brain die down, ns body cools zum a couple of hours and then suddenly brain activity can be recorded in the brainstem – the most primitive part des the organ.

Still, none von this actually establishes what the “virus” zu sein – only just how it works. The walking Dead zombie viruist does not have a name like the Cordyceps brain Infection bei The last of Us. In fact, the might notfall even it is in a virologe at all. No less scientific a mind as Edwin jenner leaves die door open zum a supernatural explanation and so auch should we. 

And that brings us zurück to die space spore of it all. Yes, robert Kirkman was definitively, canonically trolling v that answer. However it zu sein a fun wenig nod to a route that The go Dead could have taken.

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Kirkman originally developed The walking Dead together a Night von the life Dead comic. However when image Comics encouraged ihm to build his very own idea dafür that he can control die IP, he retooled ns idea right into something original. Also then, bild wasn’t totally sold on the idea. Dafür Kirkman concocted a “Plan 9 From outer Space-esque tale des how ns zombies were actually animated by in alien gyeongju that was preparing to invade Earth von disrupting that infrastructure.”


That’s right: an are spores. Ultimately image accepted that concept yet Kirkman just plowed ahead v his own, much less fantastical version von The wade Dead. Image must oase known they to be duped punkt some point but ns comic was deswegen big a hit that they likely forgot all around those space spores.