“Walking Dead” fans have an exciting week ahead of them – the first trailer for season four is set to debut on Friday at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con. But while the anticipation builds, the AMC zombie series decided to treat patient fans by releasing a photo of one of the season four walkers … and it’s a bit haunting.

The black and white photo of a decaying zombie doesn’t reveal anything plot-wise, but fortunately the masterminds behind the series have been chat-happy with Comic-Con on the horizon. Executive producer and comic book creator Robert Kirkman and new “Walking Dead” showrunner Scott Gimple sat down with TVGuide.com to dish on a couple of season four spoilers – like new characters, new threats and the rumors surrounding an injury to Rick.

The Walking Dead
A new official photo of a walker from season four of "The Walking Dead." AMC

As fans of the TV version know, the show doesn’t exactly follow the comic book series; however, Kirkman and Gimple tease that season four will have “some of the closest adaptations of the comic.”

“There are some very cool things that are told in the comics that … are adapted almost directly,” Kirkman told TVGuide. But that doesn’t mean the graphic novel readers won’t be surprised. Kirkman continued that he doesn’t believe that comic book fans “know what to expect,” which he insists is the “best possible place to be in.”

When the “Walking Dead” picks back up in October, the new season will show some of the effects on the group from season three. Despite a time jump in between seasons, some will still be mourning the deaths of Andrea and Merle. Rick will be trying to reconnect with his son, who shot a surrendering person in the face in season three, and new characters will be trying to make their place within the prison walls.

And while the season premiere title -- “30 Days Without An Accident” -- teases that things have been going well for Rick’s prison crew, the group still has trouble ahead of them. The Governor is an unknown threat lurking outside the prison walls, but this season Kirkman reveals that the show is definitely focusing on zombies being the clear threat rather than the humans in season three.

“They will be a very present, huge danger that everyone will have to deal with,” the comic creator explained of the zombies. “But at the same time, we liked bringing in humans as a big threat in season three.”

In addition to the humans and zombies, the survivors will also find themselves facing a new threat this season – nature.

“I don’t really want to get into specifics too much, but I will say that there is a third uncontrollable, almost undefeatable threat that is going to come in when the characters of the show are at their most vulnerable,” he said of what’s in store.

As for the rumors surrounding a gruesome injury for Rick? Kirkman and Gimple responded to the leaked set photos of Rick with a bandage wrapped around his hand.

“I will say Scott Gimple is a huge comic fan and may possibly be trying to steer me into letting the show be closer to what the comic books are,” Kirkman said about the speculation that Rick may lose his hand this season. “Also people could be misinterpreting those photos. Who knows?”

“I may have convinced him,” Gimple added. “Possibly. We may not know that.”

“The Walking Dead” returns to AMC in October for its fourth season. What do you think about the new photo and spoilers? Let us know in the comments section.