|This article is about the preacher. You may be looking for the Woodbury soldier.|
|First Appearance||Issue 61|
|Series lifespan||#61 to present|
|Gabriel Stokes Gallery|
- "When it all started, I was here alone. It was late at night when I first heard of everything. I got scared--I locked up--just to be safe. The next morning, they started coming. Neighbors, friends... members of my congregation... Not many at first, then more as the days went on. They wanted a safe place to stay--a sanctuary. I turned them all away. I only had so much food--I needed to be sure I could survive long enough to be rescued. I couldn't have those people in--I'd starve. I chose my life over theirs. Most of them stayed outside the church--yelling--screaming for me to let them in. They never left--they didn't stop--until the dead came in. Woman...children...entire families. I heard their screams of agony as they were torn apart...some of them calling out my name--damning me to hell. I know what I did. I know what I deserve. Kill me! Please, I've suffered enough--I want you to do it! I forgive you, kill me and I forgive you! You are only carrying out God's will! They died--they all died because of me! You have to make this right! Please... Just do it."
- —Gabriel revealing his regrets the group and asking Rick to kill him.[src]
Gabriel Stokes is a character first encountered in Issue 61 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead and is a preacher who came across Rick and his group after leaving his church, where he had been hiding from the undead.
Gabriel Stokes was the reverend of a regional community church. Not much of his personality or life before the outbreak has been revealed. The only detail given by the reverend was when he admitted to Rick and the rest of the group that during the initial zombie outbreak, he locked the doors to his church and allowed whole families of survivors to be killed by roamers.
Gabriel claimed he had been living in the church's safety since the beginning of the epidemic, but the validity of his story, especially considering that it had been a full year since the outbreak began when the group encountered him, is questionable.
The Road to Washington, D.C.Edit
Forced from the church due to dwindling supplies, Gabriel set out into the surrounding countryside and eventually ran into Rick and his group while they were on the road.
The group encountered Gabriel on the road at a chaotic time, in the aftermath of losing The Prison to The Governor and during the heartbreaking dilemma involving the twins. Thus, the survivors were initially very suspicious of his presence and story, and did not trust him due to their weariness of other human survivors and conflict among the group. Gabriel tried to comfort them with his obvious appearance as a religious man, but most of them visibly expressed open distrust or disbelief of his presence and mannerisms.
The moral dilemma involving Ben and Billy, and Dale's eventual fatal bite allowed Gabriel to blend into the group without too much difficulty as Rick and the other leaders were focused on the more pressing matters at hand. When it was discovered that Ben had killed Billy, Gabriel conducted prayers for the burial of both of the children.
Eventually, Gabriel led the survivors to his church for shelter while searching for the missing Dale, who had disappeared the night before. Rick eventually confronted Gabriel in the church, accusing him of being somehow involved in the disappearance of Dale and threatened him with violence. Gabriel then revealed his true story before meeting the group in tears. He expressed extreme remorse and guilt when he explained that he only survived several months alone in the church by turning away his followers and any other local civilians when the zombie attacks started. His main focus, he tried to emphasize to Rick, was to try and keep some spiritual faith for himself and the survivors, a sentiment which unfortunately was largely not shared.
It did not take long for the group to soon discover a group of human Hunters were stalking them. The conflict escalated when Glenn was shot in the leg from afar when he and the others tried to rescue Dale, who was discovered partially mutilated in the front of the church entrance.
Gabriel was soon forced by Rick, Andrea, Michonne, and Abraham to accompany them in finding the whereabouts of the Hunters, as he was the only member of their group who was familiar with the local area. When the group found the Hunters, Gabriel watched in horror as the group, led by Rick, brutally mutilated and murdered them in violent retaliation for their stalking and near fatal attacks on Dale and Glenn. Gabriel vocally expressed shock and outrage at their murder but Rick told him he was no better than them for turning people away from the church, silencing the reverend into submission.
With no other choice, Gabriel followed Rick and the group on their journey to Washington, D.C., despite admitting extreme disagreement with the group's violent actions against the Hunters.
He traveled successfully to the Alexandria Safe-Zone and was soon identified by Douglas Monroe during the introduction interview as the man to run the local Church, which had survived intact. When the walls expanded and the church became accessible, he began to run daily masses. He seemed to be doing well in adjusting to living within the Community, aside from the packed living conditions of living with the group in Rick's house for the first few nights.
Gabriel became convinced that God led him to the Community so he could eventually preach at the new church. He eventually believed and tried to get the rest of the survivors exiled from the Safe-Zone because of what they did to the Hunters, but Douglas Monroe did not agree with Gabriel's belief that the groups actions were evil and decided to ignore his request.
Alexandria Safe-Zone ChaosEdit
In Issue 84, after watching Rick and Michonne fighting endlessly against the zombie horde, it may have inspired the men. Eugene and Nicholas get over their fears and go out to help Rick and Michonne. They also eventually convince Gabriel to stop hiding and help. While he's shown clearly afraid, he still joins the group and aids them during the fight. He, along with the others, survive and win the zombie attack. Although he's left stunned, most likely by his actions or that he survived the fight.
This list shows the victims Gabriel has killed:
- Many unnamed people. (Indirectly Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- "Don't make me have to ask you to go."
- —Douglas Monroe to Gabriel Stokes.[src]
At first Gabriel and Douglas seemed to have a good, friendly relationship as Gabriel took the role as the priest of the church. But Gabriel felt disgusted by Rick and the others actions, brutally killing Chris and the other hunters and told Douglas that he felt as though Rick and the others don't fit in with the rest of the community and he suggests should be kicked out of the safe-zone. Douglas is shown to be shocked and slightly angered by what Gabriel says and tells him that the people in the community have done the same to build and protect the place, himself included and asks Gabriel not to make him ask Gabriel leave his home, this seemed to strain the relationship between the two although this could be explored further as they weren't seen interacting again.
- "I believe your beliefs are absurd."
- —Eugene Porter to Gabriel Stokes.[src]
Gabriel and Eugene seemed to have a stable friendship, while looking for Dale the two debated with one another about the existence of God. Once the Alexandria Safe-Zone was overrun, Eugene and Nicholas begged Gabriel to let them inside the church to hide. Hesitating at first, but not wanting to cause more deaths by locking people outside like Gabriel had before before the group met him, he let both Eugene and Nicholas inside.
- "They simply don't belong here."
- —Gabriel to Douglas about Rick and the others.[src]
Rick and Gabriel have a strained relationship, at first Rick didn't trust Gabriel and was on guard while travelling to Gabriel's church. Rick became very suspicious after Dale was kidnapped and like Andrea believed it was related to Gabriel. Rick pinned Gabriel against the wall at his church and Gabriel burst into tears revealing how he had survived by locking his church doors and ignoring the people begging for help. Rick believed his story and after Dale was returned by the hunters and he revealed that their camp was in a house Father Gabriel helped the group find the hunters base. But Gabriel watched in horror as Rick and the others slaughtered the hunters for eating Dale's leg, shooting Glenn and eating many Unnamed people including their own children. Once arriving at Alexandria Safe-Zone Gabriel feels like Rick and the others do not fit in and are dangerous and tries to persuade Douglas to throw them out, Douglas angrily refuses to do so, but, it is assumed that Rick is unaware that Gabriel had asked.
- Currently, Gabriel is the only confirmed priest who is encountered within The Walking Dead Comic Series.
- Robert Kirkman hinted in Issue 116's Letter Hacks that more of Gabriel will be shown in the future issues.