The Walking Dead always has a huge presence at comic cons around the country, and New York Comic Con (NYCC) was no exception. Fans of the AMC series went wild as some of the cast and crew took the stage at the TWD panel on Saturday to give a preview of season 10.

Norman Reedus (Daryl), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Cailey Fleming (Judith), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Ross Marquand (Aaron), and Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel) joined showrunner Angela Kang, creator Robert Kirkman, Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, and moderator Chris Hardwick to discuss the new season.

Comic Book Details

Kirkman revealed that some cool stuff from the comics will make its way into season 10, including fan-favorite character Juanita Sanchez/Princess, who will be played by Paolá Lazaro.

He also praised actress Samantha Morton on how well she portrays Alpha, the terrifying leader of the Whisperers, a savage new group from last season that skins Walkers and wears them to blend in among the dead. “Samantha has just embodied this character,” Kirkman says. “Super impressive, super scary.”

“It’s such a strange and interesting set of villains,” Kang says about the biggest threat of the season.

“The Whisperers are the perfect cross between humans and walkers,” Gimple adds.

Now that the TWD comics are finished, Kirkman says he can finally come clean on which character he loves the most. “I feel like it’s finally okay for me to admit that Negan’s my favorite character,” he sats, to which Morgan pumped his fists in the air.

Kirkman revealed that there were three different occasions when he was going to kill Negan in the comics but he couldn’t pull the trigger. “There was even one issue where I wrote Negan’s death, and I sent it to [artist] Charlie Adler and he wrote me back like, ‘Wow, we’re killing Negan,'” Kirkman recalls. “I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right, we shouldn’t do it,’ and I rewrote the script.”

Kirkman even said to Morgan, “I tear up when I see you on screen.”

Old Favorites

Morgan and Reedus both reflected on their evolving characters.

“The first couple of years we met Negan, we didn’t like him,” Morgan says. “Maybe he’s a little bit more human than we’re used to. People like to say redemption arc, but Negan is always going to be Negan. There’s always an edge to him and that’s not gonna’ go away.”

As for Daryl Dixon, “He’s a different guy now. He’s taking care of people more than just taking care of himself now,” Reedus says. “He used to be such a hot-headed guy and he just didn’t give a crap. He’s learned from the people before him. He kind of has the ghosts of these people he befriended that are no longer with us. He’ll be in a situation and ask, ‘What would Rick do here?’ or Hershel or Shane.”

The season-10 premiere hinted that Daryl may even be getting a love interest soon with Connie, a new character from last season played by Lauren Ridloff. “He values her, respects her, treats her as an equal. It’s a nice relationship forming,” Reedus says.

Goodbyes

There was a standing ovation for Gurira, who will exit the series to become the showrunner for HBO Max’s Americanah. Gurira revealed that she already finished filming her final scenes as Michonne. “She’s in me, she’s in my bone marrow. … Everyone from the show is in my bone marrow,” Gurira says. “I just love this family and this show and Michonne and all that she gets to go through. She’s stronger than me, she’s smarter than me, she’s probably a better lover than me. The beauty of her journey has taught me a lot.”

Surprises

Kang made the official announcement that there will be a season 11 of the show, and Gimple said that fans will finally get a look at other cities, both in TWD and in the Rick Grimes movies.

The biggest shocker of the panel was when Lauren Cohan (Maggie) crashed the fan Q&A disguised in a Negan outfit and a Jason Voorhees mask. Hardwick was strangely excited to pull the “fan” on stage to take a selfie with the cast. Cohan then tore off her scarf and mask to surprise her fellow castmates and to announce that Maggie is coming back this season.

The last time we saw Maggie was on Andrew Lincoln‘s final episode in season nine. She’s been referenced throughout season 10, but she hasn’t appeared in any episodes.

“It feels like just like home and it feels so emotional. It feels really, really good,” Cohan says. “I am honestly just really interested in what we’re going to be able to say because we have such huge passages of time and so much life adventure that’s come to pass for Maggie.”

The TWD universe is also expanding with a third untitled series about teens coming of age in the apocalypse, coming to AMC next year. You can read about the new show here.

Photo: the Pop Insider