Negan has only been on two episodes of The Walking Dead so far, but he's already cemented himself as one of the most hated (if not the most hated) characters in TWD history. A sadist through and through, watching Negan pace in front of Rick and his group in the Season 7 premiere was almost unbearably tense – but that was nothing compared to watching him brutally murder Abe and Glenn, a fan-favorite original character. The episode aired just a week ago, but fans are already clamoring for retribution and wondering who kills Negan in The Walking Dead comics.
In spite of Jeffrey Dean Morgan's undeniably charismatic portrayal, many viewers are ready to see Rick take his vengeance on Negan. Lucille's owner mentally tortured Rick and the crew with mercy, making him watch and wait in suspense as he deliberated over who to kill. As if that wasn't enough, Negan made sure to completely break Rick mentally, asserting his dominance over his rival by turning him into a blubbering mess by nearly forcing him to cut off Carl's arm in exchange for another survivor's life. He even kidnapped Daryl, another beloved character. TWD fans lose ALL chill when it comes to anything threatening their beloved favorite.
It was rough to see Rick totally cowed like that. To say the least.
The only vague bright side to the Season 7 premiere was that, despite being forced into serving Negan, the episode appeared to set up Rick and his group's vengeance arc for the rest of the season. Undoubtedly, the group (and especially Maggie) would work to prepare themselves to defeat and kill Negan, taking their revenge for the deaths of Glenn and Abe and putting an end to the ruthlessly dangerous rival leader. But is that how it plays out in the comics on which the series is based? Not exactly.
If you don't want to see spoilers from the comics (which may or may not translate into show spoilers), don't keep reading.
Shockingly, in the comic book series, Negan is still alive. The comics are ongoing, so Negan could die at some point in the future, but as of what's been published so far, he hasn't. And it doesn't seem like he's set to die anytime soon.
In the comics, some time after Negan has killed Glenn, Carl sneaks into his truck and gets into the Sanctuary, where Negan grows strangely fond of the boy and lets him live. Eventually, Rick leads an army to the Sanctuary and declares "All Out War" (the name of the comics volumes) on Negan. Rick briefly tricks Negan into thinking he wants to work together against the undead, but in the end, he slits Negan's throat. Except Negan survives the attack.
Rick then imprisons Negan in a basement for two years, only for Negan to later escape captivity with the help of another character we've yet to meet on the show. As of where the comics have left off, Negan is alive and still at large.
Yep, Maggie, that's how we feel about that, too.
Obviously, this is a rather unsatisfying fate for a character whose actions literally changed the course of the series for the worse. On the other hand, the show won't necessarily follow the format of the comics. The TV adaptation has spared characters who were set to die in the comics before (like baby Judith) and has killed off characters on the show who are still alive in the comics (like Andrea). That's the beauty of the show – it's its own thing and can diverge from the world of the comics where it sees fit.
The show's producers have said before that they can see the show going on for many years in the future – they apparently have plans in place through Season 12. If that's the case, they could actually follow through with Negan's escape, which would only forestall a final, climactic confrontation between Rick and Negan until some time down the road, perhaps nearer the show's actual ending. But TV viewers might not have the patience for that. We'll just have to wait and see.