Warning! Spoilers for The Walking Dead comic book seriesIn a new letter, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman admitted that he really missed a character who died in during the first third of the comic book series: Axel. In The Walking Dead Deluxe from Skybound Comics, Kirkman commented on the death of Axel, his shocking death in the series, and how he loved the character and still missed him.
In The Walking Dead comic book series, Axel is one of the characters that Rick Grimes and the group of survivors meet when they take refuge at the prison. Axel himself is a former prisoner who was jailed for armed robbery before the zombie outbreak occurred. Despite his checkered background, Axel quickly fell in favor with the survivors and became a valued member of their group - which all makes his tragic death during the shootout at the prison against the Governor and his forces that much more tragic. The character became a favorite of not just The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman but also actor Andrew Lincoln, who campaigned to keep Axel's actor Lew Temple from being killed off in the live-action show.
In the recently released The Walking Dead Deluxe #47 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Dave McCaig, and Rus Wooton from Skybound Comics, Kirkman wrote about Axel being killed in the shootout with the Governor. In the comic, Axel is among the casualties of Woodbury's attack on the prison, as he's shot in the head during a bloody, gun-filled battle. Kirkman admitted in a letter talking about the character's death, that he still missed Axel "to this day," while adding he "really loved the character."
Axel's Death Was Necessary For The Story, But Incredibly Sad
Robert Kirkman admitting he misses Axel makes sense, as the character had become a fan-favorite survivor from the group of prisoners Rick and his group encountered. However, like the deaths of so many The Walking Dead characters, like Glenn, Axel's death was important as it served the series. In a series about a zombie apocalypse, there will be casualties, especially ones that end up pulling on the reader's heartstrings.
In the end, Axel was a worthwhile character in his 30-plus issues in the series before his tragic death. There have been many characters who have lasted longer in the series that didn't end up making as much of an impact on readers. So, when Robert Kirkman, who has said his favorite character before, says that he really misses Axel, it's a sentiment that readers of The Walking Dead most likely share. But, of course, the comic book series consistently warned readers not to get attached to anyone - even the most important characters.