Morton Rose is a character and later an antagonist first encountered in Issue 135 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is a resident of the Hilltop Colony, living in a trailer with his wife and son and serves as an antagonist of Volume 25: No Turning Back.
Morton is a rather short-fused, demanding, and aggressive individual. He is shown to be unsatisfied about many situations he is involved in. For example, Morton suggests extreme punishment for Carl Grimes after he nearly beat his son to death. Carl insists that it was an act of self-defense but Morton doesn't believe him. Another time, when Carl's father Rick, the leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, refuses to go to war against the Whisperers, Morton angrily demands to retaliate, in order to avenge his wife's death. Morton's aggressiveness and exhortation eventually resulted in him getting killed by Rick. For all his faults, Morton deeply cares about his family, as both instances of his aggression involve his loved ones getting hurt.
Not much is known about Morton's life before the apocalypse, except that he lived with his wife and son.
When Carl Grimes defended Sophia - a friend and fellow resident of the Hilltop Colony - and himself from the bullies that previously attacked Brian, another youth of the Colony, because of his looks, Morton immediately showed up at the infirmary, carrying his son Brandon and his friend's bodies on a blanket. He then threatened Carl and Maggie Greene alongside his wife, Tammy, saying that the boy should be locked up because of his attack. Although Carl insists it was an act of self-defense, Morton keeps arguing with Maggie. He finally convinces her of giving Carl some sort of punishment. Carl then walks in and says that if he hadn't beaten up Morton's son then Sophia would have been hurt even worse than she already had been and that he will not apologise for hurting his son. He tells Morton and his family to go fuck themselves, and this enrages Morton, who slams Carl up against the wall, calling him a little shit and to never talk to him like that until he is ordered by Maggie to get his hands off Carl. After that, Maggie sends him and his wife to their trailer.
Later, Morton is sitting at the dinner table inside his trailer with his wife and the Harlan family. They discuss Maggie's power in leadership and how no one voted or had an opinion on her new occupation, implying that she simply began to yell out orders. When they start thinking about a way of ending her "reckless" power, Gregory, the former leader of the Colony who also happens to be in attendance, suggests that they kill her. Morton, Tammy, and the Harlan family decide against it, saying that Gregory has crossed the line. Gregory, however, manipulates them into killing Maggie, saying that her death will save lives. An agitated Morton later visits Gregory's trailer, saying that he will help reclaim Gregory's leadership, but they have to eliminate Carl as well.
After his wife explains to Maggie about Gregory's plan, Morton and Tammy as well as most of Hilltop witness Gregory's hanging after his failed assassination of Maggie.
Morton gathers alongside the other citizens of the communities to hear Rick's announcement concerning the Whisperers' attack on twelve members of the communities. After being informed by Rick of his wife's death, both Morton and his son mourn over Tammy. Morton, at a small meeting with Rick and loved ones of the other victims, demands that they should attack the Whisperers immediately to avenge Tammy's death.
At a later communal meeting, Rick explains his slow and tentative plan to deal with the Whisperers, but Morton is hotly unsatisfied with Rick's plan to defeat the Whisperers; the meeting quickly unravels after that. When Maggie instructs everyone to leave, Morton retorts, saying that they won't leave until they've created a "proper" plan. Jesus tries to escort him out of the building but Morton punches him in the face, igniting a brawl. The following night, Morton with his son visits the home of Vincent and Julia, the parents of Josh, who also was killed at the hands of Alpha.
Morton has convinced Vincent to attack Rick and scare him into taking greater action against the Whisperers. The same night, they ambush Rick, on the streets of Alexandria as he is returning home, and Morton proceeds to beat him up with his own cane. While he beats him up, however, his hood falls down and reveals his face. Eventually, Vincent tries getting Morton to quit attacking Rick, as murdering Rick wasn't what he agreed to do. Morton, however, refuses to stop, saying that Rick wasn't supposed to see them attacking him and now they have to kill him.
When Vincent tackles Morton off of Rick, Morton tries to persuade Vincent, saying that Rick will jeopardize the lives of both Julia and his son. Vincent tells him that murdering Rick wasn't what he agreed to do. Morton angrily states that he doesn't care. Vincent punches Morton, but Morton shoves Vincent away and drops down to retrieve Rick's cane and finish the deed. At that moment, Rick sinks his teeth into Morton's neck from underneath him, bleeding him out and ending his life.
- Killed By
- Vincent (Indirectly Caused)
- Himself (Caused)
After Vincent decides not to help Morton murder Rick, Morton shoves him away and gets down to retrieve Rick's cane to murder him with it.
Rick takes advantage of this and bites Morton on the side of his neck, ripping it out and tearing out his jugular, making him bleed to death.
This list shows the victims Morton has killed:
- Himself (Caused)
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies
- This is the second time Rick Grimes has bitten someone's neck and killed them, the first being the marauder Andy in Issue 57.