“Don’t look back,” the new key art for The Walking Dead Season 4.5 urges in red lettering, set above the profiles of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs). The two can be seen walking along a train track, an indication that they’re, once again, on the move. That’s hardly a spoiler, given how the first half of Season 4 wrapped up. (Spoilers if you aren’t caught up!)
Season 4 left off in the immediate aftermath of the Governor and his new army’s assault on the prison, destroying the fence, killing Hershel and eventually leaving the prison looking pretty wrecked. A tank will do that. Rick’s people fought back and eventually boarded a bus to head off to parts unknown. Rick and Carl were separated from the group. They discovered Judy’s baby carrier empty and covered in blood, a pretty good indication that the youngest Grimes met a gory and tragic death, as so many people tend to do in a zombie-infested reality.
What’s especially interesting about the new poster isn’t the train tracks or the “Don’t Look Back,” it’s that Carl is front and center in this image, with Rick somewhat in the background. In past posters, Rick has been the primary subject of the image…
Here’s Season 4’s poster, for reference:
Its inclusion of a second character isn’t exactly a new concept, however, as Season 3’s midseason poster teased the Governor, who was set behind Rick:
It’s more the fact that Carl is featured ahead of Rick that has me curious about the direction of the show as it resumes its fourth season. We’ve seen Rick making efforts to regain trust in his son, and in turn, Carl does seem to be a bit more reliable — or less likely to shoot someone in the face, hopefully? — so it should be interesting to see how the duo proceed, now that it’s just the two of them. At the very least, we might assume they're looking to push forward toward whatever the future holds, and not look back.
The Walking Dead returns with all-new episodes Sunday, February 9 at 9pm on AMC. The mid-season premiere will be followed by a brand new episode of Talking Dead at 10pm and the mid-season premiere of Comic Book Men Season 3 at midnight.
Here's a look at some of the older posters for The Walking Dead...