There's a rewrite of the TWD comic I've had in mind that, upon my death, will likely remain unfinished. Seeing as there are still several moving parts I haven't sorted out, I've narrowed this blog down to recent plot points that I feel to be most in need of changes, additions, or outright retconning. These are just broad strokes that I believe to be slightly more polished than what we have in canon right now, while still admittedly leaving much to be desired.
The Savior Alliance:
As Rick begins to wage war against Negan, he comes to find that some of the communities are actually loyal to him by choice.Saviors who earned enough points received medical training under Milton Mammet. In exchange for the training, Negan offered them exclusive use of The Vatos for added security, which they agreed to so long as their sick and elderly were cared for. This not only creates a decent parallel between Rick and Negan, but the loss or degradation of this system would be more than enough motive for anyone wanting to rebel against Rick later on.
While strategizing, Ezekiel suggests recruiting Jadis and The Scavengers, but Jesus is strongly opposed to it, correctly deducing that she can’t be trusted. Desperate, Rick goes along with it anyway. Though Jadis seems reasonable at first, she deduces that Rick killed a few of her people months before (Derek and The D.C. Scavengers), motivating her to alert Negan for a reward. Details are irrelevant, but Jadis doesn’t survive All Out War.
Introduced in what would add up to a 3-issue mini-arc, Team Magna (with the addition of Sasha and Theodore “T-Dog” Douglas) inadvertently discovers the first Whisperer. Before they can react or investigate, they accidentally encounter Michonne in the middle of a diplomatic mission to recruit Norma and the Monroe colonists into the fold. The situation is complicated by Norma’s feud with The Fairbanks family, but with quick thinking from Magna, Michonne is able to suggest relocating The Fairbanks’s to Oceanside, thus removing them as a problem for Norma, and leaving Monroe as a possible plot point later on.
The group is still on the wrong end of Eugene’s herding experiment, and Bernie (who we get to see more of beforehand) still dies. Rick takes a far more active role in interviewing the group, during which time we learn more about their backgrounds and jobs within the community.
Magna: The daughter of a homicide detective and ER nurse who spent time in the girl scouts before earning a scholarship to law school. Assigned to Herd-Duty.
Yumiko: An art student turned activist who came from a wealthy family, and thus had numerous extra-curricular activities growing up, including (you guessed it) archery and horse back riding. Assigned to Herd-Duty.
Luke: Struggled as a comedy writer while working in a convenience store. Assigned to Construction detail.
Kelly: Operated a food truck for his family’s restaurant while saving up to buy space for a second location. Assigned as cook/ food prep.
Connie: A social worker for at risk youth. At Magna’s suggestion, is assigned as the Safe Zone’s first therapist.
Theodore: Fell short of playing professional football after college, and drifted between jobs while actively volunteering at his church (basically same as canon). Assigned to Construction detail.
Sasha: Was placed on psychiatric leave for PTSD following the death of a friend and fellow firefighter. Assigned on guard detail.
At worst I tend to delay rather than retcon deaths in this series, but considering the fallout from this particular death, something needs to change. In this scenario, Tara Chambler is a member of Abraham’s group following the prison, and after Rosita briefly hooked up then broke up with Eugene, the two began dating. During the time skip they decided to get married and have a baby, with Eugene giving his blessing by donating sperm. Later, a pregnant Tara, and not Rosita, is one of Alpha’s victims, motivating her to join the militia.
Alpha and The Whisperers:
First off, “The Whisperers” never actually use that term (it’s a nickname coined by the main characters). During Negan’s time among them, we learn of Alpha’s origin. She initially rose to power after killing the original Alpha for attempting to rape Lydia. In an attempt to mitigate the problem of sexual abuse among the saviors, she assumed the persona of a cult leader and forced The Whisperers into arranged marriages. This rule was impossible to completely enforce due to the group’s size, causing her to become jaded and willing to turn a blind eye. Negan still kills her, but her actions are placed in a more understandable if still unforgivable light. As a small, but vital change, Beta's background is never revealed as he has roughly the same amount of dialogue as Silent Bob.
Sherry and The Saviors:
Darius (remember him?) is sent to seek aid from The Saviors, but is instead held prisoner while Sherry forms her plan. His fate is left unseen.
Events are shifted around to make it clear that Lydia hasn’t been accepted at The Hilltop, with Carl coming to blows once or twice defending her. During the battle for the Hilltop, Lydia kills the Whisperer who told her of Alpha’s death, but not without forming a plan. After Carl saves Young Hershel, Lydia literally stabs him in the back and leads Hershel out of the Hilltop. She intends to assume Alpha’s role as leader in order to change The Whisperers from within, and plans to use Hershel as a bargaining chip in case they’re followed. In her mind, stabbing Carl was her way of ensuring he'd let her go.
The Fates of Rick and Negan:
While Rick and Negan are trapped together, Negan shares a detailed origin story that he quickly implies was made up to make Rick feel like a better person by comparison. The panel cuts away as they both prepare to fight their way out against the herd. The reader doesn’t see what leads up to it, but Negan is next seen frantically racing to The Safe Zone shouting that Rick’s been bitten. While Rick is tended to, The Saviors and Dawn’s forces (who survived All Out War) arrive in time to thin out the herd. Sherry blames their late arrival on never having received a message asking for help (“a walker must’ve gotten your messenger before he could reach us”), but that Dawn briefed her just in time. The Hilltop arrives to The Safe Zone, but Sophia’s already set out with a team to track down Lydia and save Hershel (herself, Jesus, Aaron, Dante, and a few red shirts). Maggie was dead set against it, but couldn’t talk her out of it.
With The Whisperers and the herd no longer an immediate threat, Andrea immediately runs to Rick’s side just as The Hilltop arrives. Rick’s bite is untreatable, and he’s too delirious to explain what happened, only that he doesn’t have much time and wants her to look after Carl. Before everyone can say goodbye, he passes peacefully in his sleep. Without waiting long, Andrea attempts to place Negan into custody under suspicion of killing Rick. Dawn pulls a gun on her demanding to take him with their group, but before things can escalate, Negan slits her throat and compromises by demanding a trial. He’s placed back in his old cell while Andrea and Maggie organize the proceedings. Carl, having survived both his wound and the trip to Alexandria, awakens to news of Rick’s death. Between that and Lydia’s betrayal, he’s at his lowest point. Still injured but able to move, he sneaks into Negan’s cell to kill him, but Maggie arrives in time to stop him. Though she had the same idea, she decided against it for fear of complicating things for both her and Andrea as leaders. The trial commences with Michonne as prosecutor and Magna volunteering for the defense. Without going into detail, Negan beats the death penalty due to lack of evidence, and is banished instead.
What Comes Next?:
Shortly after Rick’s funeral, Dwight insists on an audience with Maggie and Andrea. He cites the vacuum left by Rick, their decision about Negan, as well as their troubles shortly before and after The Whisperers as just cause to form a counsel of representatives from each community. It’s not a terrible idea, but seeing this as a power play, they both shoot him down. Sherry later scolds him, having known he wouldn’t convince them. Considering their grief, he tries to pass it off as poor timing on his part, but Sherry asserts that there will never be a better time than now, while The Saviors are perfectly positioned to take over The Safe Zone from within. Laura walks in on them as they start having sex, but rather than make a scene, she leaves silently in disgust. Eugene and Michonne still set out to find Stephanie’s group, (Magna, Yumiko, Siddiq, and now with Rosita, and Laura). Along the way, Eugene learns that Rosita and Siddiq have gotten together, and begins to bond with Laura over their respective relationship issues. Elsewhere from a distance, Negan’s left with a choice. Follow Sophia’s group and buy his way back in by helping to save Hershel, or follow Eugene and try starting over with a new group. “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe…”