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'The Walking Dead' comic may have already introduced its first female villain

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The Walking Dead TV show is not beholden to the comics and no one is expendable, it seems — according to the series' creator. But when it comes to the next big bad, readers may have already been exposed to her.

Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead comics and television show follow.

Speaking in a New York Comic Con panel, creator Robert Kirkman and Sean Mackiewicz, editorial director at publisher Skybound, nothing is off the table when it comes to adapting the comic's gore for the screen. They also dropped some hints about what readers can expect in the upcoming comic installments.

When asked about the possibility of female villains, Kirkman said there was a "very good chance" of that happening and encouraged fans to keep reading. Calling it a spoiler, he also said that there was a big chance that this potential female villain has already been introduced in the comic.

Kirkman talked about the recent changes to the comic, which include a new look for former sheriff and slowly-unhinging Rick Grimes and his son, Carl. While Rick now has a prosthetic hand, Carl — still a young teen — has lost an eye. When asked if that kind of maiming was possible for Carl in the TV show, Kirkman was coy, saying the show "isn't there yet."

"We don't adapt the comic book directly and we certainly wouldn't shy away from a thing like that," Kirman said. "There's no content restriction holding us back from things like that."

Kirkman also said that fans can expect to see Lucille again, a weapon comprised of a baseball bat covered in barbed wire wielded by the character Negan. Negan one of the series' biggest antagonists, was introduced in issue 100 of The Walking Dead comics and has yet to begin his arc in the television series.

"Everything will be revealed eventually," Kirkman said. "There's a lot of stuff people haven't been thinking about that have been pulled out of the book and will be put back in when the time is right. Lucille is run of them."

Fans can also expect see Morgan again, a survivor and widower introduced at the beginning of Rick's journey. And on the subject of Negan, Kirkman also noted that all things must come to an end and suggested Negan's fate is already planned out.

"I'll kill him eventually," Kirkman said.

Kirkman added that his favorite character to mess with and do horrible things to is "all of them," but especially Rick.

"I try not to pick on the fictional characters in the book and do anything to hurt them, but I'm just trying to tell an engaging story in which horrible things happen to these people from time to time."

"I don't play favorites," he added.