The Walking Dead's Whisperers: The Comics VS The Show
The Walking Dead introduced the Whisperers as the newest villains in Season 9. The show has picked up in terms of quality after the badly received Saviors storyline ended with Season 8, and the Whisperers arc has been lauded as the reason behind this upturn in quality.
However, there have been many changes made by Angle Kang – the showrunner of the series – between the Whisperers from the comic books and the ones on TV. These changes have generally been for the better as it has enabled The Walking Dead to remain thrilling seeing as the comic book story is slower in pace. Here are the differences between the comic book Whisperers and the TV version.
10 Alpha And Lydia
The TV version Lydia’s psyche hasn’t been damaged nearly as much as the comic version, in which she’s rather twisted and manipulates Carl’s emotions many times by luring him in with her charms, only to later play around with him some more by saying she doesn’t love him. The TV version is a lot nicer and doesn’t seem to be as cunning; being a closer representation of a normal teenager.
The TV Alpha derives pleasure from her position of power and doesn’t let her personal feelings affect her performance. The comic book version is deeply scared internally and is shown to be afraid of being usurped in authority. You could say the comic book Alpha is forced by circumstance while the TV one wants to be in control.
9 Origins Unknown
In the comics, the Whisperers have come and gone, but we never got to find out anything about their origins. The only one whose past was touched upon was Beta, who was revealed to have once been a famous basketball player.
Even Beta’s name was never revealed, while Alpha’s origins were a mystery. In the TV series, though, we’ve seen quite a lot about Alpha’s past as she was shown to have had a husband whom she had a position of power over. We also saw Alpha before she took that name upon herself, as well as her former appearance. The comics Whisperers never told us any of this.
8 Alpha's Accent
In the TV series, Alpha has a very thick accent that makes it easy to place where she was born and brought up. She seems to have originated from the south of USA, which also contributes toward the fact that the Whisperers are supposed to be nomadic.
In the comics, however, we have no clue where the Whisperers originated from since we never heard Alpha’s accent. They could quite literally have been from anywhere in the USA considering they were nomadic in the comics also. But the fact that we don’t know where they originated from makes them seem more dangerous in the comics compared to the TV series version as it makes them hard to predict.
7 Challengers for Leadership
The TV series has shown several Whisperers doubt Alpha’s position as their leader and shown them voicing their disdain over her methods. It culminated in two Whisperers attempting to kill Alpha and take her spot as the leader; they were swiftly killed by Alpha for this.
In the comics, the Whisperers have unending loyalty toward Alpha and no one dared challenge her. While it was stated a challenger option was there, no one went through with it. Alpha had absolute and unquestioned power and never had to make a show to make this point clear to her followers.
6 Alpha's Victims
The manner with which Alpha caught the pike victims was changed in the two versions. In the comic book version, how Alpha got around to killing these people was ambiguous and it was implied she killed them all personally.
In the TV version, we saw Alpha needed assistance from her Whisperers to round up these victims and they were also about to be killed by the Whisperers rather than Alpha herself, although she may have done so personally when the victims fought back. The pike victims were also changed so much that only Tammy Rose was the same victim as in the comic books.
5 The Walker Skins
In the TV series, while the Whisperers have been shown to extract the skins of the zombies to wear as their own, they haven’t been shown to completely craft the skin to be worn. We’ve only seen the masks the Whisperers wear after they’ve sliced them away from the walkers, but not the process.
In the comics, the Whisperers were shown to be preparing these walker skins for themselves. The creator of the comics also explained the process by stating the Whisperers clean the insides of the Walkers thoroughly to remove the infection and make the masks in a way that is breathable. This attention to detail has so far been restricted to the comics, while the TV series version has simply jumped to the part where the skins have already been cleaned.
4 Fighting Skills
By far, the TV series Whisperers have been shown to be much better at fighting than the comic book ones. The comic book Whisperers generally rely on their pack mentality to isolate their victims and use Walkers mainly for the attacks, while the TV series Whisperers have skills like ninjas.
We saw a random Whisperer evade an attack by the Coalition’s most seasoned fighter, Jesus, and then impale him to death. We then also saw Beta and co. strategize and employ fighting skills against Daryl’s gang in their ambush. The TV Whisperers are a lot more dangerous when it comes to straight up fighting as compared to the comic book version.
3 Leadership Changes
The TV series is intending to make Alpha a long-lasting villain and it appears she’ll be surviving all through Season 10. In the comics, Alpha doesn’t have nearly as long a reign as the villain.
It is Beta who takes the main villain role soon after he’s introduced. Alpha only appears at the start of the Whisperers’ introduction, following which she is swiftly killed by Negan. In the TV series, though, Negan doesn’t seem to be on track to meeting Alpha anytime soon, so it looks like Alpha will be remaining the baddie for quite a while. The comics had her death mean Beta became the leader of the Whisperers.
2 Lack of Humanity
The comic book Whisperers may have been shrouded in mystery, but they weren’t shown to outright be so devoid of humanity. We never got to learn much about the individual Whisperers in any case, which means the Whisperer with the baby in the TV series was a new addition.
The TV series Whisperers are so inhumane that a mother Whisperer was easily willing to let her newborn baby be eaten by zombies. This total lack of humanity wasn’t shown in the comics, and it would appear that the TV series Whisperers are more far gone than the comic book ones in this regard.
The TV series version of the Whisperers’ agenda is still rather unclear. They somehow reached Virginia and marked a border as their own, and then attacked the heroes. It seems they don’t really have much of an agenda other than being fiercely protective of their territory.
The comic version of the Whisperers were more clear as their agenda was to bring down the heroes since they believed that society was a backward notion. The TV series must have eliminated this aspect since they already have introduced the Wolves, who had a similar mentality. The comic book Whisperers despised the Alexandria survivors restarting society and took it upon themselves to finish the communities off. So far, the TV series Whisperers mainly only care about preserving their territory.