The Walking Dead panel was the climax of New York Comic Con's Saturday panel line up, closing out a long day at Madison Square Garden. The hour included things like a video retrospective of the past seven seasons, and a clip from the forthcoming eight installment, which will kick off with the 100th episode. But nothing electrified the crowd as the news that The Walking Dead will crossover with Fear The Walking Dead.
Up until this year, Robert Kirkman had insisted that the pre-zombie world spin off of Fear The Walking Dead and the post apocalyptic one of The Walking Dead were totally separate entities and never the twain shall meet. Part of this was due to the anemic reviews and ratings of Fear The Walking Dead when it first started. The last thing the production team wanted was for the spin off to only be supported via lifeblood of the main show.
But as Kirkman noted tonight, though it took a while, Fear The Walking Dead has since stabilized. It now has it's own following, it's own fandom and it's own stand alone panels here at NYCC. Now that it is an established show that has proven it can stand on two feet without that sort of support, the production feels they can do this and not worry it will undermine one or the other.
So how will the shows cross over? Let's quote Kirkman's exact teaser:
I get that question all the time. I think that we've finally gotten to a place with Fear the Walking Dead where it has its own identify...there are two Walking Dead shows, I'm not going to name them, but there are two...There is one character that is going to go from one show that will go from one show and appear in the other show, that I will not name.
So what *is* happening exactly? There is a character who will somehow crossover. But how big a crossover is not clear. Could this be an entire episode dedicated to the backstory and history of one of the main characters on Fear The Walking Dead... who we then discover at the end of the episode is somehow related to one of those who will survive down the line?
Or will it be something as small an easter egg as a major character on one show, who happens to be related to one on the other show, makes a phone call and leaves a message?
Or could it be as large as an actor actually leaving one show to go star on the other? Most assume that since Fear The Walking Dead is the earlier show, any crossover would feature one of the major Walking Dead characters (or perhaps a late character) in an earlier guise, like Season 1's Morales, who left and never returned so early on.
But that's not guaranteed. Kirkman refused to say which show would cross to the other. Since Fear The Walking Dead now does stand on it's own, we could have someone like Nick Clark or Luciana who are surviving in these early zombie days suddenly turn up, having survived all these years, and now we get to see a older, harder versions.
Espeicallly when we're getting teasers for Season 8 that look like this:
Not that we're expecting the crossover to happen right away. Kirkman was vague, but it sounded like whatever this crossover is, it's something that's still in process, espeically since we were told that more details would come in the next weeks and months ahead.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 9 p.m. ET.