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- "We're at war. No time for rest. I'd work all day and night if I could."
- —Sutton to Maggie during All Out War.[src]
Earl Sutton is a character first encountered in Issue 95 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and is a resident living in the Hilltop Colony, who also created weapons for the colony's survivors. He is the blacksmith.
Nothing is known about Earl's life before or as the outbreak began, it is possible he was a blacksmith, as this is his profession at the Hilltop Colony.
At some point during the outbreak, he joined the Hilltop Colony where he began to create spears and other types of weapons for the guards, such as Kal and Eduardo, being the blacksmith of the Hilltop.
Paul Monroe introduces Maggie to Earl and the two get acquainted. He and Earl discuss Paul's nickname and the controversy behind it being "Jesus". After being asked by Paul, he agrees to make Maggie a small personal knife for protection.
After the battle at the Hilltop, Earl is seen talking with Maggie. Earl is working on creating more weapons and he and Maggie have a conversation while he is working. He says that if he could work 24 hours straight every day to help the war effort, he would. Maggie then remarks that he is a good man.
Sometime during the two-year timeskip, he and Carl Grimes talked about the possibility of the latter starting to apprentice with him. After Carl successfully convinces his father, he travels to The Hilltop so he can start working under Earl. When Carl comes to visit and approach about apprenticeship, he sees that Earl has taken on Rolland as an apprentice and leaves, dejected.
Later during communal lunch, Earl tells Carl to join him at his table. Carl explains his plans to move to the Hilltop and that that he's sad he cannot be Earl's apprentice, to which Earl responds, "Carl, who told you I could only have one apprentice?" He presents his offer to Carl to begin the very next day, and he enthusiastically accepts.
Earl is supervising Carl on his first day of smithing and compliments him on his arrowhead. Later, when Paul rides into the Hilltop Colony with an injured Darius, yelling for Doctor Carson, Earl comes running, along with Oscar, helps Darius off the horse and takes him to Doctor Carson. Earl is later seen working with Carl, dismissing him and telling him to ignore the bully's father, who is creepily staring at him.
This list shows the victims Earl has killed:
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies.
Paul and Earl seem to be on the same grounds with each other and overall friends, though the usage of Paul's nickname seems to offend him. They both work with each other and are ready for the war with The Saviors.
Gregory is shown to be least liked by Earl; questioning his leadership, his role, and his motives. Though he has some respect for the man for running the Hilltop, he is still displeased with his actions. Earl had no objections with Gregory being overthrow by newcomer Maggie Greene.
Earl seemed friendly towards Maggie and was happily willing to make her a custom knife, he was also very charming towards her, kissing her hand. Later in Issue 125, Maggie is seen walking throughout the Hilltop and she pauses to talk to Earl. Earl says that he would work 24 hours every day, ending up with her remarking he is a good man.
Carl and Earl have a positive relationship. Carl admires Earl for his handiwork, and at some point in time Earl recognized his potential as a craftsman and has taken him on as an apprentice.
Roland is Earl's apprentice, and they are shown to be on good terms.
- Earl is the only known blacksmith in The Walking Dead.