The Walking Dead season 2 ended with the appearance of a mysterious hooded figure. Now we get our first look at what’s under the hood: actress Danai Gurira looking every bit as badass as her comic book counterpart.

Series creator Robert Kirkman told EW, “We looked at a lot of talented people that were really fantastic, but we were waiting for that one spark, that moment where everyone was completely in agreement and completely excited, and we felt like we had found the essence of this fictional character that just randomly appeared in another person, and that person was Danai Gurira. She kind of came in and really just blew us all away. She’s got incredible presence, and she’s got a theater background, and is very physical, and was just perfect for the role.”

Michonne tweaks

“The essence of the character — her personality, her motives, everything that makes Michonne Michonne — remains intact from the comics,” says Kirkman. “But like a lot of things on the show, there will be little tweaks and differences here and there. We saw that her introduction is slightly different from how it was in the comic, and her interaction with Andrea is really going to be a really cool addition to the character that I think will get television viewers up to speed, and they’ll get to know her a lot faster than comic book readers did.”

Just how much “interaction” will Andrea and Michonne have? Could they become friends with benefits? In the comic book, Michonne hooked up with Tyreese, who isn’t in the TV series, and Andrea shacked up with Dale, who is already dead in the TV series. It appears that Kirkman is purposefully whittling down their romantic options. Andrea has shown that she’s attracted to powerful people and with Shane gone, that leaves Michonne.

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