"The Walking Dead" creator/writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman has taken the rare step of printing an apology letter after killing off an original character.

"Walking Dead" comic book Issue 167 just came out on May 3 and in it -- LAST CHANCE FOR A SPOILER ALERT -- we see the death of Andrea. She was bitten after saving Eugene from walkers. The people of Alexandria say their goodbyes to Andrea, and Rick Grimes -- her love interest in the comic -- gets emotional and struggles to put her down after she turns. He ultimately stabs her in the head, then takes comfort with son Carl and the rest of the community.

The Andrea of the comic has been around since Issue 2, and it's a shock to see her gone. The Andrea of the TV show died back in Season 3, but Michonne took on most of her comic book storyline, including as Rick's love interest. Some fans are worried that killing comic book Andrea bodes ill for TV show Michonne, but the TV show often "remixes" comic book deaths. There's no saying Michonne will meet the same fate, and we certainly hope she doesn't.

Kirkman has killed plenty of characters before -- including Glenn in a similar way to how Glenn was killed on the TV show (but as the first and only lineup victim, not the second) -- but he doesn't usually write apology letters. But here's what he wrote on an entire page at the end of the comic:

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry to my fans and to myself and to Andrea. I feel like I killed a close friend. The deaths in this series are never taken lightly, they're never done with a sense of glee.

They weigh on me the same way they weigh on you. These characters are very real to me, and their deaths are upsetting even to me.

I had plenty of time to change my mind. I had plenty of time to just not do it. I am in control of this story after all. But honestly, sometimes it feels like I'm not.

This was one of those times. I don't like this. I don't want this. I want Andrea to live. I want to write more stories with her. I want to see her and Rick grow old together, watching Carl grow up and have kids of his own.

I want that kind of happiness for these characters."

So why did you kill her?! Why did she have to die? RIP, Andrea. If you want to follow along to see what happens next, Issue 168 will be out June 7. "The Walking Dead" TV show is still way behind in terms of covering the comic book storyline, only on the cusp of Issue 115, the start of All out War. Season 8 premieres October on AMC.

[via Konbini]

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