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- "I was never out there. I was never in danger, hunted, terrorized by those things. I was in here before they came to life and started killing people... and I was in here after. So yeah--it's a new world, but god help me... I like this world better."
- —Axel to Tyreese
Axel is a main character first encountered in Issue 13 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is an old biker imprisoned for armed robbery, and one of the inmates who survived the outbreak while locked inside of the prison cafeteria, along with Dexter, Andrew, and Thomas.
Despite his grizzly and rough appearance, Axel is a gentle and casual man. He is one of the few characters who seems to be unfazed by trauma, and retains his passive and casual attitude at all times. He is very ambivalent and relatively lazy, occasionally ditching his responsibilities while at the prison. He remains cool headed at all times, and such is displayed in the battle of the prison where, compared to the other survivors, Axel is relatively calm and has accepted the probable defeat. An example of this attitude is his reaction towards The Governor's army, instead of panicking Axel simply exclaimed "We're fucked."
In the novels, Axel is described, through Lilly's perspective, as "an older man - shirtless, portly, bearded, with long, white hair."
Characteristics and Role
Axel was a trustworthy character, even for a prison inmate. He helped to clean out the zombies in the prison and when the prison got overrun or attacked and would help to burn the corpses. Axel was also slightly perverted, 'accidentally' walking in on Lori and Carol while they were showering and would make sexual comments about the female members of the group. He was also known for ending most of his sentences with "You follow me?". Axel died when helping the group defend the prison, during Woodbury's attempt to take it for themselves.
His former life is unknown, aside from the fact that he had been incarcerated for an undetermined period for armed robbery before the outbreak. Axel is welcoming of the survivors and fits into the group without much trouble, despite their knowledge of his criminal past. He also had a caring and understanding side, shown when he tried to help Andrew realize that Dexter didn't really love him, though this was subsequently rejected by Andrew. When Dexter tries to force the survivors out of the prison, Axel stands up for them.
Being the only one of the four convicts to remain with the survivors during their time at the prison and after some general mistrust he eventually earns their confidence, after working hard and being willing to help whenever anybody asked for it, including when helping Rick amputate Allen's leg.
Axel is seen helping the group in various instances, like clearing out zombies near the fence, and turning on the generator. Later he is seen talking to Tyreese while waiting for Rick, Glenn, and Michonne to get back.
Axel is seen helping Tyreese burn the bodies of zombies.
Axel is seen at Glenn and Maggie's wedding and later leaving the prison in the RV to get weapons with Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Michonne and Tyreese. Later, he goes out to "take a piss" and finds the sign with directions to Woodbury and the National Guard Station. After he gets back, he helps clear more zombies from around the fences of the prison. He also attends Carol's funeral.
During the initial Woodbury assault on the prison, Axel is shot in the arm. When Dale and several other survivors decide to leave, Axel is seen helping everyone, despite only having the use of one arm. He has a brief fling with Patricia. Alice walks in on the two of them having sex and he later admits to her that he "didn't want to regret anything, you follow me?". Upon Woodbury's second attack, Axel doesn't have much input and is almost immediately killed by an unknown Woodbury soldier.
After helping the survivors set up defenses, Axel was shot in the head by an unknown Woodbury soldier during the beginning of the second prison assault. Patricia is shown holding his corpse, crying in disbelief.
This list shows the victims Axel has killed:
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- Axel is one of the two characters in the whole The Walking Dead franchise to have a catchphrase, other being Norma Sutters.
- Axel is one of the few characters Robert Kirkman misses and regrets killing.
- Creator Robert Kirkman wrote:
- "I wanted Axel's death to be pretty abrupt and final... like things would be in real life. No speech, no moment of heroism or sacrifice ...just a sound and a fallen body. Probably didn't live up to what you wanted but most deaths wouldn't in real life. Not many people really get to go out in a grand style."
- Kirkman also mentioned in the Letter Hacks that he wanted Axel and Patricia to have a relationship so Axel's death would be more tragic.
- Creator Robert Kirkman wrote:
- Axel was the only prisoner who gained the groups trust after they got to know him. He also never did anything malicious to the other survivors, though he did have a desire of peeping on the women while they showered.
- Lori however never trusted him because of his criminal background and because of him peeping on her and Carol in the showers.