If you thought Carl had it bad on the TV show, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Over the course of the comic book he’s lost his mother AND baby sister, he got his eye shot out, and now he’s been captured by a sadistic warlord named Negan. Carl runs away and tries to take revenge for Negan killing Glenn but ends up his prisoner instead. As punishment Negan humiliates Carl by making him take off his bandages to reveal his eye socket. Then he forces Carl to sing the only song he knows “You are my Sunshine,” which was taught to him by his mother.
In The Walking Dead #106, Negan tells Carl he’s he’s not done with him. He considers killing Carl or putting an iron to his face, the standard punishment for betraying Negan, but he can’t decide what to do.
“The truth is, I look at you … and I have a really hard time thinking of any punishment that would me worse than what you’ve already endured …” Negan tells Carl. “But I’ll think of something.”
It doesn’t take long for him to come to a decision. The issue ends with a huge cliffhanger. Negan confronts Rick, who is frantically searching for his missing son. “I can’t fucking wait until you see what I’ve done to your little boy!” he boasts.
The Walking Dead #107 cover cryptically shows Rick looking down at Carl’s hat while Negan laughs. “Rick is, once again, pushed BEYOND his breaking point,” reads the description.
It seems unlikely that creator Robert Kirkman would kill off such a compelling character or reuse the iron as it wouldn’t have the same impact as the first time it was used by Negan. I originally thought Negan might adopt Carl as his punishment but clearly he’s “done” something to him.
Here’s three wild guesses:
- Negan has shown an unhealthy interest in Carl’s eye socket perhaps he’ll take his other eye, which he threatened to do while killing Glenn.
- Negan has a sick sense of humor. Maybe he’ll cut off Carl’s hand to match his father. “Like father, like son,” he’ll joke.
- Negan has noted that Carl has “man-sized balls” so what better way than to cut him down to size than castrate him.
Despite his sadistic streak, Negan has shown compassion for Carl on several occasions. He stops his men from killing the “defenseless child” and apologizes for making Carl cry by asking to touch his eye socket.
Based on his sympathy and respect for Carl, I think Negan really might adopt Carl. It would certainly push Rick “beyond his breaking point.” Perhaps what Negan’s “done” to Carl is a makeover. After all, we see his hat on the ground. It’s possible the next time we see Carl, he’ll be sporting a biker jacket to signify his initiation into the gang.
Find out what happens to Carl on February 13, 2013.