The latter half of The Walking Dead’s most recent season followed its comic Alexandria arc nearly to the letter, but will Season 6 start diverging, or continue along Robert Kirkman’s work? A new interview with showrunner Scott Gimple previews that not only will Season 6 bring some heavily comic-adapted material, but also fill in backstory the books never addressed.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gimple explained that while the second half of Season 6 would more directly implement storylines and events in the comic, the first eight episodes of the fall would provide some “prequel” backstory that creator Robert Kirkman’s comic books never had time to depict:

There are other people that we’re going to see throughout the season from the comics, and I’m excited for people to see it, but I don’t want to tell them now. I think a few minor remixes, but some direct stuff from the comic as well, as far as these characters go.

I think there’s a really cool aspect to the first half of the season that serves almost as a prequel to some direct comic stuff in the second half of the season. I think there’s a way that Robert did some of the story that we’re reaching that had a real past to it, where people are referring to some things in the past in the comic. And we’re able to portray some of that backstory in some ways that you didn’t get to see in the comic.

So, what might that entail? Well, you’re warned of comic spoilers and potential Season 6 spoilers from here on out, but the Alexandria arc provides us with a number of options as to what Gimple might be referring to. The safest answer seems to be an explanation of the mysterious “Wolves,” who themselves have no direct comic counterparts, but seem likely to be an adaptation or combination of both the “Saviors” and a small scavenger group that attacked the Alexandria gates. Backstory there could well set us up for a more pointed conflict in the second half of the season, presumably also introducing the AMC incarnation of Savior big bad Negan.

Another option might be “Davidson” and those that Deanna mentioned exiling from Alexandria, something comic equivalent Douglas also referred to having done (with great distress), though the books never actually introduced the character. Perhaps a third option might refer to exploration of Morgan’s transformation from grieving father to zen master, though the books made reasonably explicit the character’s backstory from first meeting Rick, to much later joining his group of survivors.

Thus far of The Walking Dead Season 6, we know that Straight Outta Compton star Corey Hawkins has joined the series in the comic role of Alexandria runner Heath, while additional castings will likely emerge on the road to Comic-Con 2015. Apart from the face-off between Rick and Morgan, Season 6 has also released a few photos previewing return characters and their adjustment to life in Alexandria.

Well, what comic backstory might end up fleshed out this fall? Check out the latest teasers below, and stay tuned for more on The Walking Dead Season 6 in weeks to come!

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