‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Paves ‘The Road To Woodbury’

Few characters in comic books are as thoroughly disgusting and horrible as Philip Blake, better known to survivors of the zombie apocalypse as the Governor. Easily the most iconic villain to pop off the pages of “The Walking Dead” comics, the Governor will expand his reign of terror to television sets nationwide when David Morrissey brings the villain to life on the third season of AMC’s “Walking Dead” adaptation.

But the Governor’s unforgivable acts of cruelty aren’t only happening in the comics and on TV. He’s got his very own novel series, too. “The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor,” a novel penned by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, was released last fall to add new details about Blake’s origin. And the story doesn’t end there: a second novel, “The Road to Woodbury,” is set to hit this fall.

“The second book focuses a lot more on Woodbury as a community, while we also focus on the Governor and how he becomes who we know him to be,” Kirkman told MTV News about the new novel.

There’s certainly much more ground to cover with the Governor based on Kirkman and Bonansinga’s first origin story. For one, it was revealed that the Governor isn’t really Philip Blake at all; in a last minute twist, the increasingly unhinged Philip is killed shortly after his daughter Penny is turned into a zombie. Philip’s weakling of a brother, Brian, assumes his late sibling’s identity and takes the zombified Penny along with him on the road towards Woodbury.

“The really cool thing about the novel is that we ended at a point where there’s still very much room left between the ending and where we pick up the Governor in the comic book series,” said Kirkman. “This novel is really going to focus on him taking control of Woodbury and evolving that society into what we saw in the comic book.”

But Brian — ahem, Philip — won’t be the only character Kirkman and Bonansinga focus on in “The Road to Woodbury.” There’s also Lilly, a character very important to the “Walking Dead” mythology for reasons that are far too spoilery to dive into here. Kirkman promised that there’s “a whole lot more” to learn about Lilly, who is also featured prominently in Telltale’s recently released “Walking Dead” video game.

For those of you “Walking Dead” fans who haven’t read “Rise of the Governor,” do so. It’s a really great read that enhances the “Walking Dead” universe in wonderfully unexpected ways. Listen to an excerpt from that novel in the player below.

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