We won't lay out the specifics here, but the final issue drops Wednesday.
The comic series that spawned AMC's "The Walking Dead" universe has come to a sudden, unexpected end. Tomorrow's issue, the series' 193rd, will also be its last.
Though the details of how it'll all conclude won't be revealed until Wednesday, publications have already released quotes from creator Robert Kirkman's goodbye message to longtime fans. The series debuted in October 2003, seven years before it was adapted into an incredibly popular TV series.
While the show has used the source material as a broad blueprint for its storyline, many big details have been tweaked with over the years. For one, Rick began a relationship with Andrea, not Michonne, who lived well past her expiration date on the TV series. In its most recent issue -- #192 SPOILER ALERT -- the books also killed off Rick, who was last seen very much alive in the TV universe.
The final issue is reportedly 84 pages, up from its usual 32.
In a note to his audience, Kirkman said (via Entertainment Weekly), "That's it ... it's over ... we're done," acknowledging readers will "feel as emotional about all this as we do" or, perhaps, even angry.
As for why they didn't make any announcement the series was coming to an end, he continued, "I hate knowing what's coming. As a fan, I hate it when I realize I’m in the third act of a movie and the story is winding down. I hate that I can count commercial breaks and know I'm nearing the end of a TV show. I hate that you can FEEL when you’re getting to the end of a book, or a graphic novel."
"It just felt wrong and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths," Kirkman added.
"The harder I tried to come up with new places to go, the clearer it was to me that this is what this story needed... it needed to end," he concluded.
We'll break down where everything ended for all the characters when the series' last book drops tomorrow. Season 10 of "The Walking Dead" will likely return in October.