Spoilers ahead for the Walking Dead comic series through issue #192.
The Walking Dead on AMC may be on hiatus for now, but the comic series is still going courtesy of Robert Kirkman. In the latest issue, Kirkman delivered a game-changing twist that few fans probably believed was actually going to happen, despite the events of the previous installment. Issue #192 killed off Rick Grimes. While that's obviously a bummer for comics fans who were invested in Rick's story after all this time, Walking Dead show veteran Chandler Riggs is pumped about what it means for Carl. Take a look:
"Holy shit" just about sums up a lot of reactions to issue #192 killing off the protagonist who has been driving the comic action since 2003, but Chandler Riggs' tweet points out a silver lining to the big death. The death of Rick means Carl can rise as the new lead character, and seeing Carl's story without even the possibility of Rick turning up is something readers haven't gotten before.
It's also something that The Walking Dead show fans will never get to see thanks to the Season 8 shocker that saw Carl killed off after a zombie bite to his midsection. It was a twist that went unspoiled despite a history of leaks from the Walking Dead set (thanks to Chandler Riggs' efforts to preserve the secret), and it went totally against the comics. Carl was one character fans had every reason to think would be safe until the very end; his death was arguably the most impactful of the entire series to date.
Of course, Rick is no longer in the mix on The Walking Dead either. Andrew Lincoln's decision to depart the show as leading man broke last summer, before Season 9 even premiered. The concept of a Walking Dead without Rick seemed to guarantee that he would be killed off. After all, it's not like Rick would willingly leave his family behind, and where would he even go?
Interestingly, the franchise is branching out just as the ratings have been dipping lower and lower, so it should be interesting to see what happens next, especially since Chandler Riggs can't exactly come back to encourage Carl fans to tune back in. Even flashback odds aren't too high, since Riggs is outgrowing teenage Carl as he was last seen.
If you're in the mood for some zombie apocalypse action without waiting for new issues of the comic series or the Season 10 premiere, you can catch new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.