Fans of Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comic books got a bit of a surprise during the new season’s first trailer at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. A sign shown on a fence confirmed that the comic book character Paul “Jesus” Monroe would be brought to life on the show, and now it seems the first image of the live-action character has leaked online.
In photos obtained exclusively by Entertainment Tonight an unknown actor can be seen standing with principal “The Walking Dead” cast members Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus and Michael Cudlitz on set. His company, plus the outfit he has on, bare a striking resemblance to that of Monroe’s comic book counterpart, leading the outlet to speculate that this is our first image of the character.
— Leanne Aguilera (@leanneaguilera) September 16, 2015
For those unfamiliar with the comic books, Paul Monroe is a survivor that meets up with the group during their stay in Alexandria. He’s a scout for a similar community who Rick, played in the show by Andrew Lincoln, doesn’t trust at first. He’s a master of hand-to-hand combat, even taking on Abraham and Michonne at one point with relative ease, according to his “Walking Dead” character bio. Thanks to his trademark long hair and beard, he bares a striking resemblance to most American’s mental image of Jesus Christ, which quickly became the character’s nickname.
— La Prensa (@laprensaperu) September 4, 2015
Although he has the same last name as Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), Kirkman revealed in the comic books that he is not related to the first family of Alexandria and that the last name is just a coincidence. However, it’s unclear if the show will follow that same logic.
Kirkman revealed another interesting facet about Monroe’s character during a Reddit AMA in 2014, telling fans that the character is gay.
“In my opinion there should be more awesome gay people in fiction because there are plenty of awesome gay people in real life,” he wrote. “I want Jesus to be a character where his sexuality is as unimportant as Rick or other heterosexual characters. So we won't focus on it constantly and it won't be the focus of any big storylines for him... but he'll make it with a dude every now and then... before going out and drop kicking zombies. He's one of my current favorite characters.”
It’s unclear if the TV version of Monroe will also be a homosexual as the show previously tread a similar storyline in Season 5 with the introduction of Alexandria’s recruitment scout Aaron (Ross Marquand). Then again, having it be a fact of the character’s existence without acknowledging it directly is pretty much exactly what Kirkman said he was hoping for. Fans will just have to wait until “The Walking Dead” returns for Season 6 on Oct. 11 to find out for sure.