|This article is about the Comic Series character. You may be looking for his TV Series counterpart. You may also be looking for the other Comic Series character with the same name.|
|Age||Early to mid 40's|
|Family||Former Wife (Deceased)|
|First Appearance||Issue 13|
|Last Appearance||Issue 18 (Alive)|
Issue 20 (Corpse)
|Series lifespan||#13 to #18 (Alive)|
|Thomas is shot multiple times by Maggie.|
|Thomas Richards Gallery|
- "Come back here you slut! It's time to get your medicine, you fucking whore!"
- —Thomas Richards while attempting to kill Andrea.[src]
Thomas Richards is a character and an antagonist first encountered in Issue 13 of Image Comics' The Walking Dead. He is a convict who survived the initial stages of the undead apocalypse trapped inside The Prison cafeteria, along with Axel, Dexter, and Andrew. He served as the primary antagonist of Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars.
Characteristics and Role
Even though he died quite soon after his introduction, Thomas' role was partly significant. As a minor antagonist to the survivors, he exposed the biggest threat to stability in a zombie apocalypse: fellow survivors. The survivors had not encountered many violent or extremely dangerous humans before their arrival at The Prison, and as such, were unprepared for the deceit the insane but crafty Thomas impressed upon the group. Although his personality was hidden due to his quiet nature, he was soon exposed as extremely insane and bloodthirsty, as shown from his horrific obsession with decapitating people, evident by his murders of the Greene twins and attempted murder of Andrea and Patricia. Before they realized he was a psychopath, he seemed to be a quiet person, who was described as "nerdy" as well as nice, as he helped the women with their laundry and such.
Before the outbreak, Thomas was caught red-handed for the murder of his wife, as he was found and apprehended by the police in the process of cutting her body to pieces to cover up the murder. After being sentenced, he was driven to West Central Prison by a local police officer. On the drive down, Thomas kicked and twisted in his seat "like a fussy baby", and repeatedly insisted upon his innocence, crying and yelling, "Mama, it's all a big mistake! It wasn't me!" This is narrated by the police officer to Lee Everett, as he recalled that Thomas was "one of the worst" he had ever transported. The officer said that Thomas had fooled himself into thinking that he didn't actually kill anyone.
He, along with Axel, Dexter, and Andrew were found by Rick Grimes and Tyreese in the cafeteria of The Prison, which was barricaded by a police baton and a few of the prison guards. The four convicts explained their isolated survival attributed to the wealth of food and supplies that was meant to feed the entire prison population for weeks. When each of the four introduced themselves, Thomas claimed he was put into jail for tax evasion. Along with his three fellow inmates, Thomas was less vocal and didn't share much else in his initial introduction. Compared to the revelation of Dexter's murderous past or Axel's armed robbery charges, Thomas seemed less of a threat than the other convicts.
Not much was seen of Thomas in the short time the convicts had total freedom alongside the survivors. However, he was actively featured interacting with the other survivors more than the distrustful Dexter and awkward Andrew. He helped Lori Grimes and the women move their belongings into the cells and other general tasks. He also spoke to Patricia with an abnormal level of etiquette. These positive exchanges gave Thomas a favorable impression initially. However, it soon became apparent he was actually a homicidal lunatic.
The grotesque decapitation of Susie and Rachel Greene caught the survivors off-guard. Lori and the others quickly accused Dexter of being the killer because of his murder conviction. While the survivors focused on the wrong person, Thomas continued his spree with his sights set on Andrea, who was alone in the laundry room. He attempted to cut her head off but instead only managed to slice Andrea's face and earlobe. Andrea managed to escape to the grounds of the penitentiary, and Thomas in his insane rage followed her outside with his knife proclaiming his desire to kill her.
Rick witnessed Andrea flee. In a fit of absolute fury, Rick disarmed Thomas and proceeded to brutally beat him with his fists. Although Lori tried to stop him, it was only after Tyreese physically intervened that Rick stopped. Thomas was beaten nearly to the point of death, with his body and face being severely broken and mangled.
While Rick confronted the shocked community on hanging Thomas and why it needed to be done, Thomas was isolated in a cell. Patricia, who had only a positive perception of the man as merely troubled, attempted to break him out. Unfortunately, she misjudged his insanity, and even in his severely weakened state, Thomas tried to kill her immediately. Hearing the commotion, the vengeful Maggie Greene saved Patricia's life when she unloaded her entire side-arm's magazine into Thomas.
At the request of Hershel, Thomas' corpse was thrown to the zombie hordes outside of the prison. It was stripped bare by the masses. In Issue 20, a zombie gets his intestine caught on Thomas' corpse and falls.
This list shows the victims Thomas has killed:
At first Rick and Thomas didn't seem to mind one another, Thomas was also was one of the more trusted prisoner as he lied about what he was really imprisoned for and helped the woman moving in on the first day. But after Susie and Rachel's bodies were found decapited Rick felt severly guilty as he had suggested to Hershel that he and his family should join them in the prison. Once Rick discovered that it was in fact Thomas that had murdered both Susie and Rachel and was trying to kill Andrea, Rick savagely beat his face to a pulp; this destroyed any relationship between the two and made them despise one another. Rick suggested that they should hang Thomas and even after he was instead shot by Maggie, Rick agreed to Hershel's request to feed his body to the zombies surrounding the prison fence instead of burying him. When the zombies are tearing the corpse apart Rick states, "This I don't need to see" and walks away, leaving Hershel and his son Billy watching the zombies tear into Thomas' corpse. Rick had wanted Thomas's death to be as painful as possible as he murdered two of Hershel's daughters. This was shown as Rick told Tyreese to get Thomas out of the freezer as he would suffocate and that would be too easy of a death for him.
Although Thomas and Dexter were locked in a cafeteria together along with Andrew and Axel they were not friends but were civil to one another. After Thomas murdered Susie and Rachel, Dexter was accused of the murder and locked in his cell at gun point. When Thomas was caught Dexter said that he never had trusted Thomas.
Although the two of them only knew each other for a short time, Patricia grew close to Thomas after just one short conversation. Patricia was incredibly devastated after Rick's mauling of Thomas. Patricia attempted to free Thomas from his prison cell and escape with him, believing that he simply needed help and was not evil. This was halted when Thomas lashed out and attempted to strangle Patricia to death. Patricia clawed his face and ran away, with Thomas running after her. Thomas was shot and killed by Maggie shortly after.
Hershel isn't seen interacting with Thomas until after Thomas murdered Rachel and Susie. Hershel approached Thomas when he was removed from the freezer and told him that despite everything, that he forgave him for murdering his daughters and mentioned that he will let the lord be Thomas' judge. When Rick mentioned that they were still going to hang him, Hershel said that he wanted to watch. After Thomas is finally killed by Maggie, Rick puts Thomas' corpse out to be devoured and Hershel watched Thomas be torn apart with tears in his eyes. Rick later mentioned to Lori that Hershel wanted to see Thomas torn apart by zombies to get a sense of closure.
- Issue 20 (Corpse)
- Thomas is the first of the prisoner survivors to die.
- Robert Kirkman revealed Thomas was originally planned to stab the pregnant Lori Grimes in the stomach, killing the baby.