Warning: This video contains spoilers for The Walking Dead TV show and the comic books.
Over the last six years, we’ve seen some truly insane things happen on AMC’s The Walking Dead:
- A tank crashing through the gates of a prison while assault rifle-toting madmen swarm the grounds.
- A gang of cannibals kidnapping a character, eating his leg, and the newly-minted amputee cackling about how they all just ate tainted meat because he’d been bitten by a walker.
- A small child eating a diabetes-inducing amount of roof pudding with little-to-no adult supervision.
And this is to say nothing of seeing beloved characters having their heads bashed in with a barbed-wire-wrapped baseball bat or undead abominations stalking the Earth. But all of that feels a bit like Babytown Frolics next to the fact that The Walking Dead just introduced us to a dreadlocked monarch who rules over a sprawling settlement of people, guarded by his very own personal tiger. While many fans of the TV series may have had to pick their jaws up off the floor, comic book readers have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the man known as King Ezekiel, his trusty tiger Shiva, and the Kingdom over which he rules. And Khary Payton did not disappoint in his small screen debut, chewing the scenery as the most bombastic emperor this side of the post-apocalypse.Since his first appearance in The Walking Dead #108, Ezekiel has been a fan favorite thanks to his eccentric, outsized personality and the fact that he rolls around with a 500-pound apex predator. But who is he? Why should you care? How will he fit into the larger story that Scott Gimple and company are putting together? Well, today on The Dan Cave, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about King Ezekiel, Shiva, and The Kingdom.
What did you think of Ezekiel and Shiva’s auspicious debut? What character from the comics are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below.
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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter and ask him about all things anime ( @Osteoferocious).