SDCC 2013: 'Walking Dead' Season Four Comic-Con Banner Declares Hammer Time

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by Josh Wigler

The zombie apocalypse demands sacrifice. Lives will be lost, souls will be compromised — and hair will go uncut.

That's one of many takeaways from the official "Walking Dead" season four banner that will be displayed at San Diego Comic-Con later this month. AMC released the banner today, and it depicts four of the heroes "Walking Dead" fans have come to love over the past season: tough-as-nails Rick Grimes, self-made samurai Michonne, hammer-wielding Tyreese, and a shaggier-than-usual Daryl Dixon.

What clues can we learn from the new "Walking Dead" banner? Well, let's talk about that...

1. Cool Hand Rick: The former lawman turned post-apocalypse hero is looking steadier than we've seen him in recent episodes. Rick was absolutely rocked in season three by the death of his wife Lori, left alone as a single parent of a newborn baby and an increasingly unstable teenage son. Rick's poise in the banner indicates that his mind's sharpening up again, and his days of seeing old ghosts are behind him. What we don't see is this: his left hand. Fans of the comics well know that (and here's your big SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER warning if you want to look away) Rick's hand goes the way of human civilization … which is to say, it gets lopped right off with one deft chop. The Governor is still alive and kicking in the "Walking Dead" TV universe, so the opportunity for good ol' Phil to come back and take Rick's hand as a prize is certainly out there as well — perhaps it's hidden from view in this poster for a reason.

2. Bye-Bye Blake: Speaking of the Governor, he's nowhere to be found on the new "Walking Dead" Comic-Con banner, despite the fact that he's very much still a threat to our self-imprisoned heroes. Does his absence here suggest a smaller role for the Governor this season? Or will he simply pop up when we least expect it? Smart money puts it on the latter: never count the psychotic Governor out of a fight.

3. Horsing Around: There's Michonne, looking like a complete badass on that horse of hers. What else is new? Michonne always looks like a complete badass, full-stop. But the horse suggests that the prison folk's way of life has grown a bit since we saw them last in the season three finale. If they have a horse at their disposal, what else have our merry band of survivors developed inside their prison walls?

4. Stop! Hammer Time: Three things to say about Tyreese here. One, he has the hammer. Two, he has the hammer. Three, it's fantastic seeing Chad Coleman front and center in the first big "Walking Dead" season four marketing push. Fans waited a long, long time to see the much beloved character leap onto the screen from the paneled page. Considering only four main characters are featured on this new banner, Tyreese's inclusion makes it clear that he's got a huge role to play in the next year of zombie-slaying. Also, did we mention he has the hammer!?

5. Daryl. Dude.: Cut your hair. Seriously.