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| Brian Blake|
(Philip Blake/The Governor)
|Occupation||Failed Music Store Entrepreneur|
|Family||Philip Blake - Brother (Deceased)|
Penny Blake - Niece (Deceased)
Sarah Blake - Sister-In-Law (Deceased)
Rose Blake - Mother
Ed Blake - Father
Jocelyn - Wife
|First Appearance||Issue 27|
|Last Appearance||Issue 48 (Alive)|
Issue 72 (Flashback)
Issue 75 (Bonus Ending)
|Cause of Death||Shot in the head by Lilly.|
|Series lifespan||#27 to #48 (Alive)|
#75 (Bonus Ending)
|Lilly Caul shoots and kills The Governor.|
|The Governor Gallery|
David Morrissey Gallery
Brian Blake, better known as Philip Blake or The Governor, is a character first encountered in Issue 27 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and is a primary antagonist in the Comic Series and one of the primary protagonists in the novel, Rise of the Governor. He is the brother of Philip Blake, and uncle of Penny Blake. While the Comic refers to The Governor as Philip, the novel The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor reveals that Brian Blake is, in fact, The Governor. Brian takes his brother's name after Philip dies.
Although Brian is three years older than Philip, he has always relied on Philip for protection. The novel describes Brian as sickly, frail, and "the runt" of the two brothers. He studied at the University of Georgia and got his degree in comparative literature. He is intelligent, but unable to harness his wits toward anything productive. At the time of the outbreak, he had failed at several business ventures that were funded with his parents money. He has a vast knowledge of music and wears band t-shirts throughout the novel (REM and Weezer among them). Just before the outbreak, Brian moves back in with his parents after a brief marriage to a Jamaican woman named Jocelyn.
Before The GovernorEdit
When the dead began to rise, Brian hides out in the crawlspace of his parents' empty town house. Philip Blake, his two friends Nick Parsons and Bobby Marsh, and his daughter Penny Blake, leave Waynesboro and take a detour to check on Philip's parents. Philip had forgotten that Brian was living there and isn't exactly happy about having to look after his older brother. The group finds shelter at Wiltshire Estates: an upper class gated golfing community. Rick and his group also pass through Wiltshire Estates a few months after Philip and his crew leave. After Bobby dies of blood loss due to a zombie bite, Philip, Nick, Penny, and Brian leave with weapons and supplies loaded up into Philip's Chevy Suburban. On their way out, Brian leaves a sign at the entrance of Wiltshire Estates that reads: "ALL DEAD DO NOT ENTER." Ironically, the sign that the future Governor creates alerts Rick to the dangers of Wiltshire Estates.
Brian and his group, led by Philip, make their way to Atlanta through wrecks and walkers. During this time Brian usually shies away from combat situations. He typically hunkers down with Penny while Philip and Nick shoot and slay walkers. They find a temporary safe haven with the Chalmers family in an apartment in Atlanta. David, Tara, and April Chalmers are traveling musicians who are eking out a living in the first floor of an apartment building. Philip and his group help them expand into the upper levels of the apartment and get food and supplies from nearby stores. Brian becomes slightly more confident in his time at the apartments. He volunteers to clean out the upper floors of the apartment with Philip and Nick. The living arrangement is perfect until Philip takes his blossoming romance with April too far. As they begin to have sex, April tells Philip to stop and that it's too soon. Philip, in the heat of the moment, refuses to stop. He realizes what he's done immediately after but thinks he might still be able to salvage the relationship. The next morning, all of his group's weapons are gone. Tara tells them, at gunpoint, to get out now. They leave and make their way via motorcycle to an abandoned old plantation house. The house is secure and free of walkers, for the most part. They have food to last them through the winter and the house itself is on an orchard. Brian suspects that they were followed to the house and are now being staked out. His suspicions are confirmed when a drug-addled and heavily armed gang come to take the house away from them. Philip makes a deal with the group's leader to let them walk away but Philip realizes that the gang plans to kill them as soon as they're out of the house. They sprint down to the orchard where Philip tells Brian to hide with Penny and keep her safe at all costs. Philip and Nick stealthily take out several of the gang members. However, one slips past them and shoots Penny. Just as the shooter is about to execute Brian, Philip arrives and kills the gang member.
Enraged at his daughter's death, Philip begins mercilessly kicking Brian and severely injuring him. Philip cannot bring himself to put Penny down so he keeps her tied to a tree. They leave the plantation house and come across Woodbury: a beat up old town with a fairly large group of survivors. Philip and his crew take residence in an apartment there. Philip sneaks Penny into the apartment and begins feeding her appendages from bodies that he claims he didn't kill. One night, Nick spots Philip dragging a girl out to the woods against her will. He sets out to stop Philip with a shotgun while Brian tries to convince him that whatever it is going on with Philip can be fixed. Nick kills Philip and accidentally kills the girl Philip abducted. Brian kills Nick on the spot. Philip dies in Brian's arms.
The next day there is a town meeting about the rising number of deaths. A group of National Guard soldiers are terrorizing the citizens of Woodbury into obeying their every command. When one old man tries to leave, their leader, Gene Gavin, shoots him in the back of the head. Brian, who always relied on Philip for protection since childhood, begins wondering what Philip would do in this situation. While Gavin's followers are outside, Brian has an out of body experience in which he carries out his vision of what his brother would do. Brian walks toward Gavin and unloads his magazine into him. Brian encourages the people of Woodbury to help him take out the remaining National Guard soldiers. Martinez asks Brian his name. Brian tells Martinez that his name is Philip Blake.
A short time after the initial change of power from Major Gavin to Brian, Lilly Caul and her group consisting of boyfriend Josh Lee Hamilton, Megan Lafferty and her boyfriend Scott Moon, and Bob Stookey arrived in Woodbury after being convinced to come by Martinez. During this time Gabe and Bruce Cooper have clearly become Brian’s right hand men following him almost everywhere, including his first meeting with Lilly’s group. During this meeting Josh Lee Hamilton asks if he was some type of elected official, to which Scott Moon adds on saying with Gabe and Bruce following him everywhere like secret service, he looks like a president. Brian responds saying he never saw himself as the chief executive type, and finished saying “I’d be Governor at best.” Shortly after this conversation, Brian started going by the nickname “The Governor.”
After the murder of Josh Lee Hamilton by the hands of another resident of Woodbury nicknamed “Sam the Butcher,” Martinez had to physically beat Sam down in order to get him to subdue. During this fight Philip realized that the people of Woodbury seemed to love watching the violent acts, and the fight seemed to act as a form of catharsis for the crowd. Later Brian decided to force Sam to fight to the death in a makeshift arena for the whole town to watch with a surviving national guardsman Stinson, as a form of entertainment for others, and as punishment for his crime, neither man survived. Brian then decided the best way to deter crime in Woodbury would be the threat of being forced to fight to the death.
During this time Philip also tricks Scott Moon into helping him put many fish tanks from Wal-Mart into his apartment, and immediately afterwards kills Scott and places his head in the first fish tank. This starts a trend with Philip, where he starts to build up a collection of heads in his apartment. It was revealed that Brian collects the heads to stare at until he is no longer scared, and instead "amused" by them. Also during this time, Brian soon befriends Bob Stookey after taking pity on him for reminding him of his own father. He starts letting Bob into his inner circle, and even shows Bob his adopted undead daughter Penny. While hanging out with Bob, Bob confesses he has a crush on the much younger woman Megan Lafferty (who stopped dating Scott Moon a while before his death), to which the Governor takes note of.
After this event, Megan Lafferty (who has taken up prostitution to help her survive) comes to Philip’s house in order to barter sex for possibly marijuana. While having sex, Megan sees Scott Moon’s decapitated head in Philip’s fish tank and has a mental breakdown leading to her eventual suicide. This along with many other events, including the death of Josh Lee Hamilton, leads Lilly Caul to plan a coup on the Governor. Lilly gets the two resident doctors Stevens and Alice, plus one of The Governor’s own right hand men Martinez to help her form a plan. During another of The Governor’s fights, the coup begins.
Walking out of sight dressed in all black and a duster, Philip realizes all too late that an attempt is being made on his life. Martinez and a few of his most loyal men use a taser provided by Dr. Stevens and his assistant Alice, to beat down, tie up, duct tape the mouth of, and subdue The Governor while throwing him into the back of a van, and driving off. Inside the back of the van Lilly, Martinez, and another man known as “the Swede” hold hostage Bruce, Gabe, and Brian who are all tied up and gagged. Unfortunately for the insurrectionists, a massive herd of zombies intervenes leading to the death of everyone outside the back of the van. During the chaos, Bruce and Gabe manage to untie themselves and a short firefight takes place between Martinez and the Swede, and Bruce and Gabe which results in the death of the Swede. A Mexican standoff then forms in the back of the van, which is then defused by a then free and participating Philip. The five remaining people agree to work together to get rid of the herd by firing a mortar shell that Martinez had in the back of the van. The resulting noise and flames brings the herd into itself and mostly all die in the fire. The coup having failed, The Governor rounds up the remaining conspirators Lilly, Martinez, Stevens, and Alice, and tell them that if any of them try anything again that they will be killed. Brian, then realizing what the bartering system has led to, quickly tells everyone that the supplies from then on will be distributed equally and everyone must now look after their fellow man to survive.
When Rick, Glenn, and Michonne reach Woodbury, Martinez hands them over to The Governor. The Governor appears friendly at first, but soon reveals that he intends to feed them to his group of captive zombies if they don't tell him where they've been hiding out.
As Rick, Glenn, and Michonne attempt to escape, The Governor cuts off Rick's hand. Michonne retaliates by biting off a portion of The Governor's ear. The Governor has Michonne and Glenn locked away and sends an unconscious Rick to the infirmary. The Governor feeds Rick's hand to his zombie niece Penny. The Governor repeatedly rapes and tortures Michonne while Glenn is forced to listen from an adjoining room. Eventually, the Governor enlists Martinez to help Rick's group escape from Woodbury in order to find out where Rick's prison is. Brian was encountered by Michonne after she was released from captivity. There she proceeded to fist-fight with, and eventually knock out Brian. From there she proceeded to graphically torture Philip until near-death: gouging out his left eye and cutting off his right arm. Michonne was forced to flee Philip's apartment by his bodyguards.
Philip was saved by Bob Stookey, the town drunk, who conveniently happened to be an ex field-medic. He spent the next few days recovering from his injuries inflicted by Michonne. He awaited the return of Martinez, who never returned. Brian sent a search party out to look for Martinez, who had been killed by Rick. Although Martinez had died, Philip still eventually found the prison after sending search parties to scan the surrounding area.
The Prison AssaultEdit
The Governor attacks the prison with a fleet of trucks led by a tank that is mostly for show. Rick and his crew put up a valiant fight from behind the prison gates and Andrea's sharpshooting forces the Governor to retreat. While The Governor outlines a new strategy, Michonne and Tyreese follow the Woodbury militia to ambush them. Tyreese is captured and The Governor says he will kill Tyreese if he isn't granted access to the prison. Rick and his group do not comply and Tyreese is executed using Michonne's katana.
Eventually The Governor realizes his only chance of taking over the prison is to drive his tank over the fences. Rick and his group attempt to flee, but only a handful survive the attack. Axel, Patricia, Hershel, Billy, Alice, Lori and Judith are all killed while trying to escape from the prison. After realizing that the Governor has forced her to kill Lori and Judith, a Woodbury citizen named Lilly shoots him and kicks his corpse into the herd of walkers and flees into the prison with the other survivors.
Lilly is horrified after realizing that she's killed Lori and her baby, Judith. She kills The Governor and uses his corpse to distract the zombies while she leads the surviving Woodbury citizens out of danger into the prison.
This list shows the victims Brian has killed:
- Nick Parsons
- Gene Gavin
- Trey Barker
- Sam the Butcher (Caused)
- Stinson (Caused)
- Scott Moon
- Manning (Caused or Direct)
- Tommy Zorn (Caused or Direct)
- Christina Haben
- Bruce Allan Cooper (Before Reanimation)
- Axel (Caused)
- Patricia (Caused)
- Billy Greene (Caused)
- Lori Grimes (Caused)
- Judith Grimes (Caused)
- Hershel Greene
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and Direct)
The daughter of his brother Philip Blake. Although his niece has turned into a zombie, The Governor seems to ignore it. He loved her and tried to keep her undead form safe, and feeds her with dead or alive survivors (he kills the alive survivors for her, if possible). Still, if she tries to attack him, he slaps her in the face, or just tells not to attack. It is revealed that he has kept her in his house for months. He still cares about her and is able to tell when she is upset. He notably fed her Rick's right hand and later on (after being tortured by Michonne) he removed all of her teeth and kissed her.
The Governor seems to respect Bruce more than Gabe, his other right-hand man. He praises Bruce often, usually of his strength. When he died, The Governor seemed surprisingly more upset, than usual.
He was The Governor's other right hand man and took over after Bruce had died. The Governor, despite not treating Gabe very well, has stated that he values his loyalty. He is upset when he dies (shot by Andrea), which shocks The Governor and drives him into a rage.
Philip is Brian's older brother. Philip was always more capable of being a leader than Brian while growing up, with Philip always being the one to be grounded to reality while Brian was seemingly in his own world. When the apocalypse started, Philip accidentally ran into Brian and brought him along with his own two friends Bobby and Nick. Brian always looked up to Philip despite being older than him and tried to be as strong as his brother often. After Philip passed away, it seemingly pushed Brian the extra mile into becoming The Governor.
Even though Nick was initially a best friend of Philip and Bobby Marsh, the ensuing traumas of the apocalypse strengthened Brian's relationship with Nick. Nick viewed Philip as the last "sane one" within their group and as a result stuck by him more often. As Philip's actions lead to their "eviction" from the Chalmers' apartment, Nick began slowly losing his edge and tried convincing Brian that his brother was going insane. After the death and reanimation of Penny, Philip brutally beats Brian for losing sight of her. Nick is the one to help the latter heal and rehabilitate, informing him of his brothers deranged activities with Penny's surviving attackers. Brian shares Nick's concerns when Philip brings along the reanimated Penny until they arrive at Woodbury when things come to a serious head. Nick and Brian discover Philip killing survivors to feed to a zombified Penny, going as far as to come across his latest victim. Nick tries to stop him but winds up killing the victim and mortally injuring Philip before losing his mind himself, prompting the tired and hardened Brian to shoot Nick in the head.
She seemed to be another one of The Governor's brainwashed citizens, until she killed Lori and Judith died from the fall. She then killed The Governor because she saw him as evil and blamed him for Judith's death.
- In 2009, The Governor was ranked as IGN's 86th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
- In a Comic Book Resources interview, Robert Kirkman jokingly said: "A lot of different characters have aspects of my personality, I think, but for the most part, I'm just making people up. Not one character is exclusively based on one person. Except for The Governor, who is exactly like Joe Quesada [editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics]. They are literally exactly the same."[[|]]
- Regarding the torture and medical care of The Governor, Robert Kirkman wrote: "It wasn't that Bob was such a good medic that suddenly came out of nowhere that saved Governor's life-although he certainly did save his life. The idea is that Michonne was keeping The Governor alive, so she could torture him more. His wounds were bad, but not impossible to heal from."[[|]]
- The Governor has suffered the most pain and injuries in the Comic Series. For example, gunshots (chest, shoulder, cheek), amputations (ear, eye, fingernails, arm, some parts of his cheek, and penis), blood loss, been exposed to fire (Michonne stopped his arm nub's bleeding with blowtorch), hits, bites, and kicks (numerous counts, most from Michonne), and numerous falls (fall from Jared's tank, explosions). He has also vomited badly several times (both puke and blood), had both his shoulders dislocated, and even been drilled in one of his shoulders.
- The Governor is one of the two people in the Comic Series to lose an eye, Carl being the second.
- The Governor lost his left eye which is opposite of Carl who lost his right.
- The Governor is one of the two people in the Comic Series to lose an eye, Carl being the second.
- The Governor's kiss with Penny shows one of several incidents, proving the survivors cannot be turned into zombies by exchanging body fluids.
- Brian had mentioned to zombified Penny that he had attempted the act of cannibalism.
- Brian is one of the many amputees in The Walking Dead. For other victims, see Amputated Victims.
- Brian managed to have his arm, ear, eye and penis amputated by Michonne.
- Brian, along with Rick Grimes, Andrea, Michonne, Abraham Ford, and have killed the most named characters, either as a zombie or as a living person.
- Brian has killed the most characters, either as a zombie or as a living person out of everyone in the Comic Series combined.
- Brian is one of the few characters with a continuing nickname.
- In the Comic Series, he loses his left eye to Michonne, whereas in the TV Series episode, "Made to Suffer", he loses his right.
- In "The Governor Special", the origin of Brian's fish tank of human heads is revealed.
- Brian is one of two characters in The Walking Dead Universe to be introduced as a protagonist and become an antagonist in a different form of media, the other being Shane Walsh.
- Brian was right-handed, confirmed in Issue 43.
- Brian frequently uses the phrase "This is going to be fun."
- Brian has a near-imperceptible nervous tic; he blinks a lot. (mentioned in the novels)
- Brian is the first major antagonist in the Comic Series, the second being Negan.
- Brian is one of the five named characters of the Comic Series to be bitten by a human, the other four being Negan, Dwight, Rick Grimes, and Carl Grimes.