The Walking Dead’s comic run may have ended, but the AMC series continues. To try and make up for the loss of characters like Rick and Maggie, season nine saw the debut of several new folks from the comic series. The trend looks to continue with a new arrival in season 10, but his storyline is going to have to see some changes. His “raison d’être” doesn’t exist anymore.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Angela Kang revealed that Dante will be making his debut in season 10 of The Walking Dead. In the comics, Dante is a crude but loyal guy, who served as a right-hand man to Maggie at the Hilltop. He was also instrumental in the fight against the Whisperers, who played a major role last season.
“We’ll be meeting the character Dante from the comics,” Kang told EW. “He is this roguish, fast-talking, sometimes charming, sometimes annoying guy who can sometimes put his foot in his mouth, but is an interesting presence in the comics.”
His presence may be interesting in the comics, but in the show it’s kind of obsolete. Dante wasn’t just Maggie’s right-hand man, he was her love interest. Following the death of Glenn (who’s also dead on the show), Maggie had closed herself off to the idea of a new relationship, only to find herself relentlessly pursued by Dante. Eventually, the two of them developed a relationship, but it’s unclear how serious it was or how long it lasted (Dante wasn’t mentioned after the time jump in the comic’s final issue).
But here’s the problem. Maggie isn’t on the show anymore. Lauren Cohan, who played Maggie on The Walking Dead, left last season. Her character is now off helping Georgie establish new settlements, and Cohan has suggested a possible spinoff could happen in the future. Either way, it’s clear she’s not coming back, at least not anytime soon. That means Dante’s entire storyline is going to have to change, something Kang said is definitely going to happen:
He’s actually a love interest of Maggie [in the comics]. But in our world, the context is a little different, and he will play an important role in the story in Alexandria. So we’re excited about that.
This could mean that Dante ends up in a relationship with someone else on the series, or that the whole “love story” element of his character no longer exists. I mean, I’d be happy with a sarcastic but well-meaning guy defending the community against zombies. It’d be a lot more fun than pouting! Kang said we can expect other comics characters to arrive “down the line,” but wouldn’t get into any more details.