Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman Shares The Zombie Apocalypse Origin

The comic creator Robert Kirkman has provided a brief explanation of where the zombies came from in The Walking Dead, and the reason might surprise you.


It's been a decade since AMC's The Walking Dead first started and nearly a year since the comic book's surprise conclusion with issue #193. Despite the relentless passage of time, we still love our zombie stories--and they don't seem to be going away any time soon. With that in mind, writer and co-creator Robert Kirkman has revealed what started the zombie apocalypse in his fictional series. Turns out it was aliens all along--well, sort of. What remains to be seen is whether the often-sarcastic Kirkman was joking, as he shared the potential revelation in a two-word tweet that doubles down on something originally shared many years ago.

In responding to a fan on Twitter who asked how the series' zombies came to be, Kirkman said space had something to do with it. Apparently, a "space spore" is what created the walkers in TWD's universe.

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As GameSpot sister site Comic Book notes, Kirkman and original series artist Tony Moore pitched a continuation to George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, a 1968 horror film in which scientists thought reanimated corpses were caused by a returning space probe's explosive radiation. Kirkman's "space spore" answer is likely an homage to Romero's cult horror classic.

Kirkman's answer seemingly corroborates previous statements he has given, such as one in 2018 where he said the zombie infection and resulting calamity was because of "a crazy sci-fi thing that would make the story all that much weirder."

In that same 2018 interview, Kirkman essentially said the zombie apocalypse's cause matters very little because he doesn't believe the series' characters would buy any explanation. "Honestly if a scientist from Washington came to the character and told them what happened the characters would just shrug and say 'Oh… okay,'" Kirkman said at the time. "It wouldn’t change their lives at all."

In an interview from 2017, Kirkman said AMC's The Walking Dead is unlikely to explore a cure for the infectious virus, citing that it "would be a boring show" if everything wrapped up neatly with a cure. So while the comic book has ended, we'll have to wait and see how the television show continues to handle the walkers.

COVID-19 may have temporarily halted the series, but there is plenty on the way. As part of Comic-Con, we've learned when The Walking Dead Season 10 returns, as well as when Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premieres. However, Season 11 of The Walking Dead has been delayed, although we do now know when to expect the new spin-off series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

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