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- "I take it you know what that red dot means then? We're good people, we are, but we're desperate, and we'll do what it takes to make you let us in. Move, and my guy pulls the trigger, same as if I give the signal. It's so simple I shouldn't even have to say it. Let us in, or you die."
- —Derek to Rick Grimes[src]
Derek is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 75 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. A rather inelegant and mildly charismatic but brutal man, Derek is the leader of a group called The Scavengers, who roam about in the Washington, D.C. area before coming across the Alexandria Safe-Zone. He served as the primary antagonist of Volume 13: Too Far Gone.
Characteristics and Role
Derek is the snide leader of the D.C. Scavenger group. He is shown to have complete authority over the other members of the group. He shows high disregard for the people of Alexandria's lives and will do whatever it takes to get inside, saying he and his group are desperate, most likely from the living in the downtown D.C. area. He is also extremely cocky, thinking he could get the jump on Rick's group by just walking up to the front gate. His cockiness and arrogance prove to be his and his groups downfall, as they severely underestimate Alexandria's defenses.
Nothing is known about Derek's life before or when the outbreak started. Due to his nature as a scavenger of the D.C. ruins, it is highly likely that he lived in or near Washington, D.C. before the outbreak occurred.
Derek is first seen in the downtown D.C. area. Glenn and Heath watch him fighting zombies off with his scavenger group. Derek suddenly pushes one of his own group members into the large zombie group, saying that they have been trapped a week and that is the only way out. He then escapes with the rest of his group, only to appear again later, after hearing Glenn and Heath's motorcycles leaving the D.C. ruins.
Derek is seen later, leading his scavenger group towards Alexandria. After hearing a gunshot originating from the Safe-Zone, Derek informs his group that he knows exactly where they are and that he plans to get there tonight, despite the increase in zombie activity. One of the scavengers asks why he wants to get there tonight, despite the danger. Derek tells him that he wants to surprise the Safe-Zone and have a clear plan of attack by the morning.
Derek and his group arrive at the Safe-Zone the next morning. Derek fires his gun to get the Alexandrians' attention and he is soon greeted by Rick Grimes. Rick asks him what he wants and Derek responds by saying that he wants to come inside the Safe-Zone. Rick tells him that is not how it works and he would prefer to get to know Derek first, asking him how many people he has. Derek says that he has no possible way of knowing how many people he has with him and that he should let him in otherwise his sniper will kill him. Rick tells him that he should walk away, or he will face a horrible death. Derek laughs off this statement and tells Rick he is dead, but, his plan backfires when Andrea kills his sniper before he can kill anyone. Rick gives Derek one last chance to walk away and he still refuses, trying to kill Rick in one last ditch effort. This, however, proves fatal for Derek and his men.
After Derek's entire plan to enter the Alexandria Safe-Zone backfires, he desperately tries to kill Rick, hoping he can get inside somehow. This however, enables Andrea to shoot him straight through the head, killing him instantly. The rest of his men are quickly killed after his demise.
This list shows the victims Derek has killed:
- Derek is the only named Scavenger out of his group.
- Derek and Negan have both used the same idioms upon reaching the gates of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, saying "Little pig, little pig", exhibiting their power over the safe-zone residents.
- Derek's death played a vital part in causing the massive zombie herd to move towards Alexandria, because the gunshots Andrea and the others fired to kill Derek and his men alerted the stationary herd in downtown D.C., and caused them to attack Alexandria soon after, almost destroying Alexandria. The zombie attack also made Rick realize that they can handle the undead easily with certain strategies. He also starts to reinforce Alexandria after this, which continues all the way to Volume 22: A New Beginning.