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Marvel's Unlikely Influence on The Walking Dead
Graeme Queen has spent 26 years as an information technology professional in the Portland, Oregon, area. When he is not working in areas of systems management and strategic direction, Graeme Queen enjoys watching popular television dramas, including The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead has been one of the most successful and popular dramas on television over the last decade. Debuting on AMC in 2010, the series will conclude in 2021 with its eleventh season. The show peaked in viewership with the fifth season in 2014, averaging 14.38 million viewers per episode, and has spawned spin-off shows like Fear the Walking Dead. It has also received numerous awards and nominations.

Despite the show’s widespread popularity and success, many viewers may be unaware that the development and longevity of the series can be partly attributed to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Walking Dead’s connection to Marvel extends all the way back to 1992, when a number of the most successful artists and writers of Marvel comics left the company to form their own studio, Image Comics. Image was established with the specific purpose of allowing creators to retain control over the characters and stories they create. Just over a decade after the studio's founding, industry newcomer Robert Kirkman revitalized the Image library with two landmark titles: Invincible, now an Amazon original, and The Walking Dead, a zombie survival epic that lasted nearly 200 issues.

Following the success of Iron Man in 2008 and the launch of the MCU, film and television studios began scouring comic books for viable adaptations. Because of Image’s creator-focused mission statement, Kirkman maintained full control of The Walking Dead and was able to create the series alongside AMC. He has continued as an executive producer and writer for the duration of the show’s successful run.
Marvel's Unlikely Influence on The Walking Dead
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Marvel's Unlikely Influence on The Walking Dead

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