Just as AMC’s The Walking Dead unveils a key element to the Whisperers storyline, the network hits us with the devastating news that Black Panther actress Danai Gurira is leaving the series. While we wish her the best, what does the departure mean for Michonne? Will our sword-slinging sensation walk off into the sunset or face a gruesome death? What about her children? Who will lead in her absence? While it’s far too early to answer any of these questions, we can certainly look to the comics for some possible scenarios.
At the end of the “All Out War” story arc in Image Comics’ Issue 126, Michonne is part of the team sent by Rick to surround the Saviors in the final attack. She survives the battle and appears in the crowd during Rick’s unification speech. All of this aligns well with the end of AMC’s eighth season. But in the series’ next issue, Michonne disappears.
Relax. Breathe. She’s still alive and kicking.
While she doesn’t make a reappearance until Issue 139, her adventures play out in The Walking Dead: Michonne, an episodic miniseries released by Telltale Games — that’s right, a videogame based on Image Comics’ beloved series! Players initially discover a despondent Michonne grappling with the guilt of leaving her children behind. She eventually joins a group of survivors on the high seas, bringing back a ship full of supplies to Rick and the gang. By the time Michonne returns to the comics, two years have passed, which is just about where the television series currently stands.
While the timeline would be a bit flip-flopped, AMC could certainly spare Michonne’s life upon Gurira’s departure by having her leave Alexandria to do some soul-searching. Perhaps as season nine concludes, Michonne could discover Rick survived the bridge blast and head into the wild to rescue him, tasking Daryl and Carol — the only characters still alive from the first season — with looking after the Grimes children.
Under her departure deal, Gurira is set to return for a few episodes during the tenth season and then may transition to the three movies AMC has planned for Andrew Lincoln. The network’s programming president, David Madden, told The Hollywood Reporter the first movie will be told from Rick’s point of view. If the other movies in The Walking Dead‘s franchise continue to operate with a spotlight on a singular character’s journey, Michonne’s seafaring storyline would make for a fantastic premise.
In the meantime, Michonne fans of all types may be interested to know our heroine currently has a significant storyline on the printed page. She eventually joins a suspiciously modern community known as the Commonwealth, where she is reunited with one of her daughters, Elodie, who she assumed died long ago. The Commonwealth has advanced equipment, nearly 50,000 survivors, and a dedicated army. Therefore, Michonne gives up her sword as a gesture of her readiness to embark upon a new way of life and returns to her old job as a lawyer.