Beta (real name unknown) is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 154 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. A high ranking member of the Whisperers, initially acting as second in command to Alpha, he is currently the de-facto leader of the group. He serves as the secondary antagonist of Volume 26: Call to Arms and the primary antagonist of Volume 27: The Whisperer War and Volume 29.
Brutal and unmoving, Beta is aggressive to any and all outsiders. He is obedient to a fault and strictly adheres to the rules set by Alpha, even when she does not follow them. He is extremely protective of Alpha, partially as her bodyguard and second in command and also in part due to his feelings for her. Beta becomes even more dangerous after Alpha's untimely death, leading the largest herd ever seen through Alexandria in an attempt to kill the survivors in revenge.
One thing that Beta is fiercely protective over is his face and appearance. He wears his 'skin mask' on his face at all times, even outside of the presence of walkers. If anyone tries to remove it, Beta will kill them without a second thought, even if they are fellow Whisperers.
Nothing is known about Beta's life before the outbreak began.
Beta confronts Negan, with many other Whisperers, after Negan crosses the border marking the entrance to the Whisperers' territory. After Negan expresses his wish to join the Whisperers, Beta orders the other Whisperers to take Negan to Alpha. Later that day, Beta confronts Michonne and Aaron, in search of Negan under orders by Rick Grimes of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, in the same location. Michonne attempts to explain that she means no harm and is only after a fugitive who crossed the border. Beta ignores this and with his fellow Whisperers attack the pair. Michonne and Aaron try to deflate the situation and refuse to kill any of the Whisperers. Beta takes advantage of this and stabs Aaron in the gut.
Before Beta can deliver a final fatal strike to Aaron, Michonne intercepts his strike and saves Aaron by deflecting his blades. She then slashes Beta across his face with her katana causing him to scream. After Michonne kills another Whisperer, Beta knocks her to the ground remarking that she "will make a lovely mask". Once again, Beta is interrupted before he can kill Aaron or Michonne this time by the Alexandrian militia led by Dwight. The militia kills every member of Beta's Whisperer party with the exception of Beta himself, who escapes.
Beta returns to the Whisperer camp where upon seeing Alpha strike Negan he offers to kill him on the spot. She orders him not to do so. He then slams Negan against a tree for lying and claiming that he was unaware of the existence of the Whisperers. After commenting about Beta's impressive height and intimidating appearance, Negan says that despite his lies he has a lot to offer the Whisperers.
As Negan begins to settle into the Whisperer community, Beta starts to question his presence. Alpha asks whether he is challenging her and her commands, but Beta assures her he isn't and Alpha forgives him. Most of the Whisperers appear amazed on how skilled Negan is at killing walkers though Beta does not trust him in the least. During the night, Negan sees a Whisperer woman being raped, but ends it and tries to kill the two men trying to rape her. Beta intervenes, stops him, and informs Negan of the men's right to rape the girl and that he prevented her from being able to prove her strength. Beta informs Alpha that Negan's insult must not go unpunished, and Negan is forced to sleep by himself.
After Negan flees, Beta discovers the headless body of Alpha. He knows that Negan killed her and is devastated and furious at her death. Beta says that after Alpha's death, there will never be another alpha (even though he still becomes the de facto leader of the Whisperers). He declares war against Negan and the rest of the joint communities, saying that they will all die.
Panicking after witnessing the immense herd of Whisperers, Gabriel Stokes, of Alexandria, who was keeping watch in a water tower for the advancement of the Whisperers, abandons his position and begins descending the ladder, begging for help. He suddenly loses his hold on the ladder and falls, only for his right foot to become lodged on one of its railings leaving him stuck and in agonizing pain as his leg snaps. A voice addresses Gabriel's pleas which is revealed to belong to Beta, who "releases" Gabriel by slicing open his abdomen. Beta and the Whispers continue on their journey as Gabriel is devoured near to the bone by the horde.
Disguised in the herd, Beta attempts to attack Dwight, but fails when Negan gains the upper hand, first beating him with his rifle and then with Lucille; he hits Beta in the back so hard that Lucille is destroyed, infuriating Negan. However, the increasingly overwhelming herd prevents Negan from killing him, and two other Whisperers arrive and carry an unconscious Beta to safety.
One of Beta's rescuers remarks that no one has ever seen Beta's face, and goes to remove it; however, the barely conscious Beta fatally stabs him before he can, starting to say that no one may see his face, before passing out again. Once Beta comes to a few hours later, he and the three Whisperers around him vow to continue their plan. Despite being in tremendous pain (even falling over a few times), Beta and his small group successfully direct their massive herd towards Alexandria, with Beta remarking that the dead will finish what they started.
Weeks after Beta's final attempt to destroy Alexandria and the surrounding communities fails after the group successfully directs most of the horde into the ocean and finishes off the rest of the herd, Beta seperates himself into the surronding wilderness, his attempt to avenge Alpha and the other whisperers a failure. He finds Paul Monroe and Aaron sleeping in the forest en route to join up at the hilltop. Beta quietly sneaks behind Paul who's awake watching Aaron sleep, unaware of Beta's presence behind him, with two bowie knives drawn ready to vengefully strike him.
This list shows the victims Beta has killed:
- Gabriel Stokes
- Paula (Caused)
- Andrea Grimes (Caused)
- 7 unnamed members of the Militia (3 Direct, 4 Caused)
- 1 unnamed Whisperer
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
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- "You denied her the right to defend herself."
- —Beta to Negan[src]
- "No. You are my Alpha."
- —Beta to Alpha[src]
- Negan nicknames Beta "Frowny Mctwoknives" and "Beta Mctwoknives" due to the latter wielding two large knives
- Negan has also given him the nickname of "the Jolly Green Giant"
- Beta, like Alpha, is likely a reference to social hierarchy.
- Beta is the tallest character encountered in the comics so far, at least 8 feet in height, as he is a head taller than Negan who himself is a very tall man standing 6'8".
- Even though Beta says that nobody will become the Alpha after Alpha's death, he still becomes the de facto leader of the group.
- Besides wearing a walker mask as in the Whisperer tradition, Beta also uses it to mask his face, which he doesn't want anyone to see. He made this point by killing a fellow Whisperer who tried to take off his mask.
- In the Letter Hacks of Issue 161, Kirkman stated that the readers will soon find out why he hides his face.
- Beta is the second recurring character (after Stephanie), as well as the only major antagonist, whose face has not been seen.