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Walking Dead Wiki
This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his appearance in the Novel Series, his Rick Grimes 2000, Road to Survival, or TV Series counterparts.

"I was never out there. I was never in danger, hunted, terrorized by those things. I was in here before they came to life and started killing people... and I was in here after. So yeah--it's a new world, but god help me... I like this world better."
—Axel to Tyreese.[src]

Axel is a character first encountered in Issue 13 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is an old biker imprisoned for armed robbery, who survived the outbreak trapped in the prison cafeteria, along with Dexter, Andrew, and Thomas. Unlike his fellow prisoners, Axel integrated with Rick's group and became a trusted member.


Despite his grizzly and rough appearance, Axel is a gentle and casual man. He is one of the few characters who seems to be unfazed by trauma, and retains his passive and casual attitude at all times. He is very ambivalent and relatively lazy, occasionally ditching his responsibilities while at the prison. He remains cool headed at all times, and such is displayed in the battle of the prison where, compared to the other survivors, Axel is relatively calm and has accepted the probable defeat. An example of this attitude is his reaction towards The Governor's army, instead of panicking Axel simply exclaimed "We're fucked."

Axel was a trustworthy character, even for a prison inmate. He helped to clean out the zombies in the prison and when the prison got overrun or attacked and would help to burn the corpses. Axel was also slightly perverted, 'accidentally' walking in on Lori and Carol while they were showering and would make sexual comments about the female members of the group. He also had a habit for ending most of his sentences with "You follow me?". Axel died when helping the group defend the prison, during Woodbury's attempt to take it for themselves.


Meriwether County Correctional Facility

Not much is known about Axel's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that he was convicted for armed robbery and subsequently incarcerated in the Meriwether County Correctional Facility.

As the outbreak began, the prisoners within the correctional facility learned of the outbreak through news reports began relayed on the TV. As news of the outbreak spread, the guards of the prison began deserting en masse to be with their families, leaving the prison massively understaffed and vulnerable. Eventually some walkers managed to enter the prison, leading to it being overrun fairly quickly, and the remaining prisoners, including Axel, facing the fate of starving to death in their cells. However, the remaining guards let them out of their cells with the proposal of cooperating to fight their way out of the prison, which the prisoners agree to. Dexter and the coalition of guards and inmates fight their way out of the prison until the guards lock the surviving inmates, Dexter, Axel, Andrew and Thomas, in the prison cafeteria, leaving them isolated from the outside world until the main of group of survivors arrive and free them from the cafeteria.


Safety Behind Bars

Axel is welcoming of the survivors and fits into the group without much trouble, despite their knowledge of his criminal past. He also had a caring and understanding side, shown when he tried to help Andrew realize that Dexter didn't really love him, though this was subsequently rejected by Andrew. He is also a pervert as he watches Lori and Carol shower in the mens locker room while half naked. When Dexter tries to force the survivors out of the prison, Axel stands up for them.

The Heart's Desire

Being the only one of the four convicts to remain with the survivors during their time at the prison and after some general mistrust he eventually earns their confidence, after working hard and being willing to help whenever anybody asked for it, including when helping Rick amputates Allen's leg.

The Best Defense

Axel is seen helping the group in various instances, like clearing out zombies near the fence, and turning on the generator. Later he is seen talking to Tyreese while waiting for Rick, Glenn, and Michonne to get back.

This Sorrowful Life

Axel is seen helping Tyreese burn the bodies of zombies.

The Calm Before

Axel is seen at Glenn and Maggie's wedding and later leaving the prison in the RV to get weapons with Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Michonne and Tyreese. Later, he goes out to "take a piss" and finds the sign with directions to Woodbury and the National Guard Station. After he gets back, he helps clear more zombies from around the fences of the prison. He also attends Carol's funeral.

Made To Suffer

During the initial Woodbury assault on the prison, Axel is shot in the arm. When Dale and several other survivors decide to leave, Axel is seen helping everyone, despite only having the use of one arm. He has a brief fling with Patricia. Alice walks in on the two of them having sex and he later admits to her that he "didn't want to regret anything, you follow me?". Upon Woodbury's second attack, Axel doesn't have much input and is almost immediately killed by an unknown Woodbury soldier.


Killed By

After helping the survivors set up defenses, Axel is shot in the head by an unknown Woodbury soldier during the beginning of the second prison assault.

Killed Victims

This list shows the victims Axel has killed:



"No, No, No, No, No..."
—Patricia about Axel's death[src]

During their last few days at the prison, Axel and Patricia's relationship grew. Before the Woodbury army arrived, they had sex, which was witnessed by Alice. Axel explained to her that since they were possibly going to die soon, he didn't want to have any regrets. He and Patricia are seen in the cafeteria holding each other, when Tyreese died. When the Woodbury citizens shot Axel, Patricia is seen crying and holding his limp body.

Rick Grimes

"They attacking? I heard the shot!"
—Axel to Rick about The Governor[src]

Though Rick was initially wary of Axel (as he was with all of the other prisoners), he eventually came to trust him. This was evident when Axel took sides with Rick's group when Dexter tried to force them out. Axel showed himself to be a hard worker by helping Tyreese dispose of the dead zombie corpses, which led to him being placed upon Rick's list of necessary people. Rick was saddened for a bit after Axel's death during the final assault of the Woodbury colony. His death had an impact on Rick's mind, as he felt guilty for it, (along with Lori, Judith, Hershel, Billy, Patricia, and Alice's deaths). It is also evident that the two were at least somewhat good friends when in the back-up story for Issue 75, in which Rick is more than happy to see Axel again.


"If so, you're setting yourself up for some heartbreak."
—Axel to Andrew about Dexter[src]

Due to their incarceration together, Axel and Andrew developed a friendship of sorts. Axel mentions to Andrew that he can go peek on Lori and Carol in the showers. Andrew is uninterested and tells him that he and Dexter love each other. Axel tries to tell him that the relationship won't hold, because Dexter will be "switching sides" now that women are available again and he doesn't want to see him get his heart broken. This shows that he had some degree of care for Andrew's well-being. This bond was severed when Andrew tried to assist Dexter in overthrowing Rick's control of the prison, afterwards Axel did not try to stop Andrew from running away to his death.


"Oh, no..."
—Axel about Tyreese captured[src]

Often seen with Tyreese dragging bodies to bonfires, the two men had seemed to get along very well. When Rick, Glenn, and Michonne left to explore the helicopter crash, Axel moved a couple of chairs near the fence so that he and Tyreese could spend the night on watch. They also started a conversation. Axel had tried to stop Tyreese and Michonne when they left to hunt down the Woodbury attackers, but, failed. Axel was more than stunned when Tyreese was executed in front of the prison by The Governor.

Hershel Greene

"Well, I hope God brings more grenades."
—Axel joking with Hershel[src]

Due to the fact that Thomas had killed his two youngest daughters, Hershel had an extreme disliking and distrust of Axel because of Axel's criminal background. His attitude was eventually changed by Axel's continuous work in the prison and helping Hershel out with his garden. Although they didn't fully become friends, Hershel and Axel were seen working together in a lot of their appearances together. It can be inferred that those two had put the past behind them.

Billy Greene

Over time, Axel and Billy developed a strong friendship. Axel cared for Billy and was often seen talking and joking with him.

Carl Grimes

Axel and Carl seemed to have a decent relationship, though they were only seen interacting a couple of times. Axel seemed to care for Carl, but, mostly just saw him as another member of the group.

Lori Grimes

Lori never came to trust Axel. After Thomas killed the twins, Lori blamed Axel and didn't trust him. They weren't seen interacting, so whether their relationship had grown from there remains unknown.


Glenn and Axel seemed to have a good relationship. They were seen working together at the gates, clearing out zombies. Glenn more or less ignored Axel, but, later on the two of them are seen joking with each other, which hints at an improved relationship.

Thomas Richards

During their time locked up together in the prison cafeteria, Axel and Thomas seemed to have a neutral relationship. After Thomas murdered Hershel's two youngest daughters, Axel explained that Thomas was not his friend and never liked him.


Although Axel and Dexter were locked in a cafeteria together along with Andrew and Thomas, they were not friends, but, were civil to one another. Axel tried to warn Andrew that Dexter didn't really have feelings for him, but, Andrew choose to ignore him. When Dexter threatens to kick Rick and the rest of the group out Axel was quick to try and persuade Dexter to let them stay which Dexter ignored. After Dexter was killed, Axel was not shown to be upset and told Hershel that he wasn't like him, Andrew, and Thomas.

Alice Warren

Alice frequently checked out Axel's bandage. She also walked in on he and Patricia having sex, but, didn't seem too mortified. Alice asked from Axel if given the chance, would he have left with Dale, but, he confirmed that after his life there, that the Prison was his home.



  • Axel is one of the three characters in the whole The Walking Dead franchise to have a catchphrase, others being Norma Sutters and Sarah.
    • Robert Kirkman stated, "Axel saying "You follow me" is a personality tick, something he's done for as long as he's been in the book.[1]
  • Axel is one of the few characters Robert Kirkman misses and regrets killing.
    • Creator Robert Kirkman wrote:
      "I wanted Axel's death to be pretty abrupt and final... like things would be in real life. No speech, no moment of heroism or sacrifice ...just a sound and a fallen body. Probably didn't live up to what you wanted but most deaths wouldn't in real life. Not many people really get to go out in a grand style."[2]
    • Kirkman also mentioned in the Letter Hacks that he wanted Axel and Patricia to have a relationship so Axel's death would be more tragic.
  • Axel was the only prisoner who gained the groups trust after they got to know him. He also never did anything malicious to the other survivors, though he did have a desire of peeping on the women while they showered.


  1. Issue 41, page 27, Letter Hacks.
  2. Issue 48, page 25, Letter Hacks.