Oh, "The Walking Dead." You never fail to tear our hearts out, or our heads off.
The latest issue of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's ongoing zombie comic once again one-upped itself in terms of blood-soaked, soul-crushing horror. In what's pretty easily the goriest and most emotional display of brutality since "The Walking Dead" #100, the latest chapter in the story has marked the end for two beloved characters — one of whom is a mainstay on the AMC show right now.
Major spoilers for the "Walking Dead" comics, and potentially the show, are ahead..
The current events of "The Walking Dead" comic book are pretty far removed from the current events of the television show — about two years removed, to be exact. The comics experienced a time-jump in "Walking Dead" #127, bringing readers a couple of years into the future, where Rick Grimes and his companions have realized the dream of creating a functioning civilization in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.
But civilization can only exist for so long in this utterly bleak world. Cracks began to form in various arenas, from rebellion within the communities, to the continued existence of swear-spewing Negan, albeit as Rick's prisoner. The biggest threat of all comes in the form of Alpha and the Whisperers, a group of outsiders who blend in with walkers by wearing skin suits and adopting barbaric customs.
Rick and Alpha finally crossed paths last issue, and as of today's "Walking Dead" #144, Alpha has officially crossed the line by creating a border between Whisperer territory and Rick's land...
... a border consisting of the severed heads of several of Rick's people. Many of the heads belong to throwaway characters, though there are some beloved figures here, including...
Rosita, Abraham's girlfriend on the "Walking Dead" TV series and Eugene's girlfriend in the comics, as well as…
Ezekiel, a love interest for Michonne who has not yet appeared on the show.
(Alexandria staple Olivia, not pictured here, is also a goner. It's a big bummer.)
Two major players, beheaded in one unglamorous fell swoop. It's especially brutal in the case of Rosita, who we only just recently learned was pregnant with Eugene's child. The zombie apocalypse is not kind toward mothers or mothers-to-be.
Rosita's death also conjures up memories of "Walking Dead" #100, the issue where fan-favorite former pizza delivery boy Glenn lost his life. The milestone issue was published on July 11, 2012, almost three full years ago, on the very first day of San Diego Comic-Con. And guess what? Today is the first day of SDCC 2015, and once again, Comic-Con is ruined, because we have a long-lasting "Walking Dead" warrior to mourn. Brutal. If you see Christian Serratos, please make sure she's doing okay.
As for Ezekiel… well, Michonne is not going to be cool with this. Whatever emotional progress she's made in recent history, it's about to come to a screeching halt, and the Whisperers are bound to feel the brunt of it.
If there's a silver lining, at least Ezekiel and Shiva the tiger are finally reunited… but when it comes to "The Walking Dead," and to riff on wise words from The Grateful Dead, every silver lining has a touch of red.