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"Beta" (real name unknown) is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 154 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. A high ranking member of the Whisperers, initially acting as second in command to Alpha, he became the de-facto leader of the group after her demise. He served as one of the secondary antagonists of Volume 26: Call to Arms (along with Brandon Rose) and the primary antagonist of Volume 27: The Whisperer War and Volume 29: Lines We Cross.
Brutal and unmoving, Beta is aggressive to any and all outsiders. He is obedient to a fault and strictly adheres to the rules set by Alpha, even when she does not follow them. He is extremely protective of Alpha, partially as her bodyguard and second in command and also in part due to his feelings for her. Beta becomes even more dangerous after Alpha's untimely death, leading the largest herd ever seen through Alexandria in an attempt to kill the survivors in revenge.
One thing that Beta is fiercely protective over is his face and appearance. He wears his 'skin mask' on his face at all times, even outside of the presence of walkers. If anyone tries to remove it, Beta will try to kill them without a second thought, even if they are fellow Whisperers.
Beta is a very large man, standing at around 7 ft tall. He wears a long trench coat and, unlike other Whisperers, only wears a roamer scalp and upper face instead of a full skin-suit, likely due to being unable to find a roamer as large as he is. Despite his size, Beta is blindingly fast on his feet, probably owing to his background as an athlete. He is armed with two large knives that he uses to deadly effect. All of this makes him the most dangerous combatant among the Whisperers.
Before Alpha's death, Beta acted as her main enforcer and right hand. His position effectively prevented any Whisperer from challenging Alpha's leadership, thus ensuring her rule over the group. Beta was unwilling to challenge Alpha himself (due to his feelings for her). When he takes control of the Whisperers, Beta is shown to be a competent strategist at first, nearly completely destroying the Hilltop in his attack. His revenge plan ultimately fails, however, as he incorrectly assumes the Whisperer herd will be enough by itself to destroy Alexandria, thus failing to exploit his advantage over the survivors. With most of the Whisperers killed and the giant herd used, Beta retreats in hopes of building up his strength to attack once more. His plans, however, are foiled by Jesus and Aaron.
Prior to the outbreak, Beta was a very wealthy celebrity. He was a famous basketball player turned actor, starring in movies and car commercials.
Beta confronts Negan, with many other Whisperers, after Negan crosses the border marking the entrance to the Whisperers' territory. After Negan expresses his wish to join the Whisperers, Beta orders the other Whisperers to take Negan to Alpha. Later that day, Beta confronts Michonne and Aaron, in search of Negan under orders by Rick Grimes of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, in the same location. Michonne attempts to explain that she means no harm and is only after a fugitive who crossed the border. Beta ignores this and with his fellow Whisperers attack the pair. Michonne and Aaron try to deflate the situation and refuse to kill any of the Whisperers. Beta takes advantage of this and stabs Aaron in the gut.
Before Beta can deliver a final fatal strike to Aaron, Michonne intercepts his strike and saves Aaron by deflecting his blades. She then slashes Beta across his face with her katana causing him to scream. After Michonne kills another Whisperer, Beta knocks her to the ground remarking that she "will make a lovely mask". Once again, Beta is interrupted before he can kill Aaron or Michonne this time by the Alexandrian militia led by Dwight. The militia kills every member of Beta's Whisperer party with the exception of Beta himself, who escapes.
Beta returns to the Whisperer camp where upon seeing Alpha strike Negan he offers to kill him on the spot. She orders him not to do so. He then slams Negan against a tree for lying and claiming that he was unaware of the existence of the Whisperers. After commenting about Beta's impressive height and intimidating appearance, Negan says that despite his lies he has a lot to offer the Whisperers.
As Negan begins to settle into the Whisperer community, Beta starts to question his presence. Alpha asks whether he is challenging her and her commands, but Beta assures her he isn't and Alpha forgives him. Most of the Whisperers appear amazed on how skilled Negan is at killing walkers though Beta does not trust him in the least. During the night, Negan sees a Whisperer woman being raped, but ends it and tries to kill the two men trying to rape her. Beta intervenes, stops him, and informs Negan of the men's right to rape the girl and that he prevented her from being able to prove her strength. Beta informs Alpha that Negan's insult must not go unpunished, and Negan is forced to sleep by himself.
After Negan flees, Beta discovers the headless body of Alpha. He knows that Negan killed her and is devastated and furious at her death. Beta says that after Alpha's death, there will never be another alpha (even though he still becomes the de facto leader of the Whisperers). He declares war against Negan and the rest of the joint communities, saying that they will all die.
Panicking after witnessing the immense herd of Whisperers, Gabriel Stokes, of Alexandria, who was keeping watch in a water tower for the advancement of the Whisperers, abandons his position and begins descending the ladder, begging for help. He suddenly loses his hold on the ladder and falls, only for his right foot to become lodged on one of its railings leaving him stuck and in agonizing pain as his leg snaps. A voice addresses Gabriel's pleas which is revealed to belong to Beta, who "releases" Gabriel by slicing open his abdomen. Beta and the Whisperers continue on their journey as Gabriel is devoured near to the bone by the horde.
Disguised in the herd, Beta attempts to attack Dwight, but fails when Negan gains the upper hand, first beating him with his rifle and then with Lucille; he hits Beta in the back so hard that Lucille is destroyed, infuriating Negan. However, the increasingly overwhelming herd prevents Negan from killing him, and two other Whisperers arrive and carry an unconscious Beta to safety.
One of Beta's rescuers remarks that no one has ever seen Beta's face, and goes to remove it; however, the barely conscious Beta fatally stabs him before he can, starting to say that no one may see his face, before passing out again. Once Beta comes to a few hours later, he and the three Whisperers around him vow to continue their plan. Despite being in tremendous pain (even falling over a few times), Beta and his small group successfully direct their massive herd towards Alexandria, with Beta remarking that the dead will finish what they started.
Weeks pass after Beta's final attempt to destroy Alexandria and the surrounding communities fails. The group successfully directs most of the horde into the ocean, finishing off the rest of the herd themselves. Beta separates himself into the surrounding wilderness, his attempt to avenge Alpha and the other whisperers a failure.
One night he finds Paul Monroe and Aaron sleeping in the forest en route to the Hilltop. Sneaking up on Paul while Aaron is sleeping, Beta prepares to strike but Paul quickly spots him. The two brawl while Aaron rises and has to fight walkers surrounding them. Beta is almost about to plunge his blades into Paul until Aaron shoots Beta through the chest. After finishing off the remaining walkers, Paul and Aaron remove Beta's mask and are stunned to recognize him as a famous and wealthy basketball player. Beta suddenly rises and cries that he has no name and is no one before succumbing to his wound with a thud to the ground. With his death, and the demise of the four remaining Whisperers at their camp nearby, the Whisperers are defunct as a group.
- Killed By
While Beta is fighting against Jesus, Aaron shoots him through the chest. He then blacks out as they pull off his mask and recognize him as a famous celebrity. Suddenly, he jolts up yelling that he has no name before dying. Given that his brain wasn’t destroyed, it is likely that he turned later on.
This list shows the victims Beta has killed:
- Gabriel Stokes
- Samuel (Caused)
- Paula (Caused)
- Andrea Grimes (Caused)
- At least 6 unnamed members of the Militia (3 Direct, 3 Caused)
- 1 unnamed Whisperer
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- "No. You are my Alpha."
- —Beta to Alpha[src]
- "You. You're the one I want."
- —Beta to Negan during the first battle of the Whisperer war.[src]
- "Alpha was very clear. Our border was not to be crossed."
- —Beta to Michonne, instigating the fight.[src]
- "You should not have come here."
- —Beta to Aaron after stabbing him.[src]
Beta and Dwight both hate each other, being the leader of their opposing forces (Beta leading the Whisperers and Dwight leading the Militia). During the battle in the field, Beta tackles Dwight and nearly stabs him but is stopped by Negan. Dwight gives Lucille back to Negan while he is fighting Beta in order to get him killed.
- "I release you... you should have whispered..."
- —Beta before and after killing Gabriel Stokes[src]
Beta seemed to care for Lydia as she was Alpha's daughter. During the war Beta sends a bunch of Whisperers and zombies to the Hilltop for battle and for Lydia's return. But she turns on them losing the care of Beta.
- "Won't let you live... you both die tonight... can't let you find us... tell your friends where we are... not before we're ready for you."
- —Beta trying to kill Jesus shortly before getting killed by Aaron[src]
- Negan nicknames Beta "Frowny Mctwoknives" and "Beta Mctwoknives" due to the latter wielding two large knives
- Negan has also given him the nickname of "the Jolly Green Giant".
- Even though Beta says that nobody will become the alpha after Alpha's death, he still becomes the de-facto leader of the group.
- Standing at 7 feet tall, Beta is the tallest character to appear in the series. He is a head taller than Negan, who himself is a very large man.
- Besides wearing a walker mask as in the Whisperer tradition, Beta also uses it to mask his face, which he doesn't want anyone to see. He made this point by killing a fellow Whisperer who tried to take off his mask.
- It is revealed in Issue 173 that Beta was a famous basketball athlete and an actor prior to the outbreak, and he hides his face to conceal his identity.
- Beta is also one of three primary antagonists in the Walking Dead universe to not to have their name revealed, the other two being Alpha and the Stranger.
- Being a famous basketball player turned actor, Beta is one of the few celebrities encountered in the Comic Series.