'Walking Dead' Season Three: The Road To Woodbury

The Governor, Michonne and gladiator-zombies are just a few of the elements 'Walking Dead' fans have to look forward to in season three.

You think the Ricktator is bad? You clearly haven't heard of "the Governor before.

Easily the most iconic villain to ever appear in the pages of the "Walking Dead" comic books, the nefarious Governor is about to make his small-screen debut on the third season of the AMC horror drama, premiering this Sunday (October 14) at 9 p.m. ET. Though it'll take some time before Woodbury fully comes into focus, fans will want to brace themselves early — right around now, in fact — as Woodbury represents one of the darkest, most dangerous places in the entire "Walking Dead" universe.

Read on for a preview of what to expect from the upcoming Woodbury storyline based on what we know of the comic books!

What is Woodbury?

The prison is easy enough to explain. But capturing Woodbury in one word? Not as much. It's not just a community. It's not just a place where survivors have gathered to seek shelter from the apocalypse. On the face of it, it's a safe haven that keeps the zombies at bay. But a closer look reveals something darker. For instance, in the "Walking Dead" comics, citizens of Woodbury release tension by watching lawbreakers duke it out gladiator-style in a ring filled with chained-up walkers. What do the folks of Woodbury feed these monsters, you ask? The nefarious Governor's answer in "Walking Dead" #27 says it all: "Well, stranger. We feed them strangers." Give the man a hand for on-the-nose delivery.

Hail to the Chief

Speaking of the Governor, a little bit of insight into who this guy is. Real name Philip Blake (or is it?), the Governor is one mean son of a gun, an unhinged man dedicated to protecting his community at all costs. His methods are far from conventional. Indeed, they make a guy like Rick — who killed his own best friend in cold blood, mind you — look like an angel. Even before the season three premiere, it's clear that "Walking Dead" is approaching the Governor somewhat differently; he's much more cleaned up physically than he is in the comics, and it appears as though it'll take longer for his nastiness to show itself. But considering that David Morrissey's character has been described by his cast mates as "unbelievably evil," it likely won't be too long before Rick and his fellow survivors know exactly what kind of monster they're dealing with.

The Governor's People

The Governor isn't the only memorable resident of Woodbury, at least as far as the comics are concerned. Readers of the Robert Kirkman source material are already well aware of names like Martinez, Stevens, Alice and Lilly Caul. It's unknown if any of those characters will make it onto the "Walking Dead" television series. But we do know that a man named Milton will be helping Governor figure out what makes the walkers tick. And we also know that the Governor will receive precisely one helping hand from an old friend of the show with an unhealthy hatred for all things T-Dog, Rick and, quite possibly, Daryl Dixon.

Along Came a Samurai

Another very important addition to the Woodbury community is "Michonne, the sword-wielding survivor first glimpsed in the season two finale. Based on where characters are currently located on the show versus the comics, Michonne's small-screen introduction to Woodbury will likely differ from her illustrated counterpart; on the page, she stumbles upon Woodbury almost on accident with Rick and Glenn, while on the show, she's currently traveling with Andrea. Regardless of the method of introduction, Michonne is destined to have an enormous impact upon the people of Woodbury, specifically the Governor himself. If you thought Mr. Blake was nasty — well, two can play at that game, as Michonne will be more than happy to demonstrate.

Extracurricular Reading

If you find yourself falling in love with Woodbury after watching the show and reading the comics, then check yourself into the nearest mental institution: you have problems. If therapy can't get rid of your appetite for all things Governor-related, there's extra reading to be done. Kirkman and horror master Jay Bonansinga have teamed up on two "Walking Dead" prose novels, "The Rise of the Governor" and "The Road to Woodbury," with a third one on the way. These books bring added depth to one of the most dangerous locations featured in the "Walking Dead" mythos, so much so that Morrissey himself has referenced the novel series as inspiring his take on the Governor. Now, all you need to do is read up in time for Sunday's season premiere!

Are you looking forward to visiting Woodbury? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, "Walking Dead" heads!