In the television series The Walking Dead, almost all of the main characters in the comic book series on which the show is based have appeared. However, there is one character, Daryl Dixon, who never appeared in the comics. But why did the fan favorite character never appear in the comics?
Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon became the main character of the television series, having originally been introduced as Merle’s brother. After being a small part of the main survivors, Daryl’s biker hero would evolve over time into one of the roughest and kindest people in the bunch.
After Andrew Lincoln left the show in the ninth season, Reedus became the main character of the show, which is kind of crazy to think of considering him as one of the few characters who are completely original to the popular zombie show.
So why didn’t Daryl do the crossover in The Walking Dead comic series? In the recently completed 193 issue issue of the comic, Daryl is not even mentioned. But that seemed quite intentional on the part of series co-creator Robert Kirkman. While Kirkman has joked that Daryl doesn’t exist in the comic due to “Norman Reedus image rights,” he also said that the lack of the character in the comics makes things more appealing.
A couple of years after The Walking Dead first appeared on television, Kirkman said that he had considered adding the character to the comics and that the actor himself “is always teasing him about it.” The creator himself took the opportunity to clarify that he agrees with the separation of some characters between the television program and the comics, as a mutual benefit between the two stories.
Ultimately, once The Walking Dead came to a surprise conclusion in the comics this year, Daryl never appeared in the comics. As Kirkman mentioned, that’s probably for the best. Norman Reedus has made Daryl completely his own and seeing his fate in an ongoing series would have been a bit strange, even if it would have been a grand finale for the fans. Part of what makes the TV series great is how it has adapted the stories and characters in new and interesting ways, including Daryl.