Mild spoilers for The Walking Dead's latest season and comic bookss are below.

When The Walking Dead came to a close for its latest midseason finale, Rick & Co. were once again showing signs of life, indicating the remainder of this seventh season will see our core survivors reverse their defensive situation. But it isn't just Negan and his Saviors that the protagonists need to look out for. There's an undetected stranger skulking around Alexandria, for one, and if the trailer for the back half of Season 7 is to be believed, it looks like even the walkers will be equipped to bring the pain.

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Following Sunday night's "Hearts Still Beating," The Walking Dead put out a new trailer teasing fans with the action on the way in the new year. That action will see Rick and Ezekiel finally meeting up and forming plans, but it was the very last moment in the trailer that has our imaginations still stoked. Rick is standing in front of one of the most insane walkers this show has given us yet, but the zombie isn't insane because of the gore or the effects. That distinction comes from the spikes sticking out from all over its body, and what seems to be a protective helmet on its head. Check it out.

walking dead spiked zombie season 7

It's hard to look away, isn't it? We haven't quite seen anything like this on The Walking Dead before, as the walkers have always been enough of a threat on their own without sharp accessories entering into it. Negan has made a point of using walkers-on-stakes as a form of protection on the outer perimeter of his Sanctuary, but that's not at all the same as a mobile stab-factory. Whoever is responsible for giving this walker his new look, it's clear a distinct plan was in mind.

After all, it would be one thing to spend all that time outfitting the walker with all that pointiness and leaving it at that. But this crafty weapon aficionado also applied the spike-covered helmet to the walker's head, meaning it would be that much harder for a human survivor to put the undead threat down for good. You could probably just chop it's feet off and keep it stationary, but then you'd have to worry about accidentally falling on top of it. This truly is the perfect weapon. (Not really.)

Comic fans know that there is a point when Negan and his crew do utilize walkers for weaponry goals in their war against Rick's group, but it's done in a much different manner on the page. Those villains obviously aren't ruled out as the ones responsible here, since Spike (and maybe others) could be an additional maneuver on their part, to go on top of how they did things in the source material. Or maybe it's that mystery person that was following Rick and the others around; perhaps this is a test of some kind. Additionally, maybe this walker is the product of Michonne or another good guy, meant to throw the Saviors off. Keep the conjecture going in the comments, guys!

With some characters [still in trouble][1] - ones missing from the trailer, for instance - The Walking Dead will return to audiences with spike-bodied walkers when Season 7 resumes on AMC on Sunday, February 12, 2017. To see what's coming to the small screen before and after that, check out our midseason premiere schedule.

[1]: http://www.cinemablend.com/television/1599232/why-one-walking-dead-season-7-death-could-mean-disaster-for-the-group http://www.cinemablend.com/television/1598930/negan-took-another-major-character-hostage-on-the-walking-dead-midseason-finale

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