Zombie, undead, walker, biter, the hungry ones, any name you call them, the undead are simply that. They are generally flesh-hungry beings who, in most cases, can turn their victims in one of them with a simple bite. Often, they are depicted as slow-moving, but it isn’t unheard of to see fast movers in movies like I Am Legend, World War Z, Train to Busan, and more. Now, The Walking Dead universe has introduced a variant walker in the Daryl Dixon spinoff, finally putting a truly fearsome undead member of the undead into its storyline.
Robert Kirkman created The Walking Dead comic in which the members of the undead are slow, non-evolving beings who can be very dangerous in large numbers or tight spaces. Instead of becoming something more powerful, walkers deteriorate until nothing but bones remain.
The talk of variant walkers in The Walking Dead is nothing new, but variants became a hot topic when a post-credit scene aired in The Walking Dead: World Beyond spinoff. The clip showed the quick reanimation of a woman in France who was shot. She then RAN directly to the door, of which her assailant exited (perhaps some memory retention?) and began pounding on a metal door that buckled under the weight of her blows.
Variants have been seen in the flagship series—walkers who pick up things, scale fences, turn door knobs, etc. In the series’ final episodes, Negan exclaimed, “What the F***?” when he viewed a walker climbing over things to get to the survivors.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – variant walker
In the fifth episode of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, a new variant was introduced, and this is how you do a variant walker!
We were all impressed with burners, walkers that somehow contain acid inside that spews out, burning anything it comes into contact with. But something else has been created in the lab.
The first walker scaled a ship’s staircase in record time, stumbled about, and immediately threw his victim before pouncing on him and tearing him to shreds. It was a shocking but satisfying moment for the fandom who have waited for a walker like this to appear.
The second one is presented in Genet’s arena, where she wants Daryl to face one of her variants. This time, the subject is bound with its face covered as it is injected with something. Whatever is used makes the walker’s face contort, veins bulge, and eyes turn black as night and appear to gain super strength and speed. It then proceeds to lunge for Daryl, and the episode ends.
These are test walkers the French obtained from the United States. Eventually, they are injected with this mystery super serum, transforming them into a super walker. In a previous test, the subject would bang its head into something while blood and goo squirt out and only last about 18 seconds. Since then, some improvements have been made, and viewers will have to wait until the next episode to discover the walker and Daryl’s fate.
One question many have is where are the test walkers coming from. This answer is fairly clear, as the only other organization seen experimenting on test subjects has been the CRM (Civic Military Republic). How and why would the French partner with the CRM?
Hopefully, this is answered in the season 1 finale of the Daryl Dixon series that will air on AMC and AMC+ on October 15.