By Nick Romano
July 06, 2018 at 09:17 AM EDT

AMC released the first look at The Walking Dead season 9 ahead of the show’s big Comic-Con panel in San Diego later this month, and it looks like the gang is heading to a new location.

Through the new Comic-Con poster for the zombie drama, we see Andrew Lincoln’s Rick looking more clean cut but with a lot more grey in his beard. He’s standing alongside Daryl (Norman Reedus), Maggie (Lauren Cohen), Michonne (Danai Gurira), and Carol (Melissa McBride) against the backdrop of a smoldering United States Capitol building.

So the gang, it would seem, is going to Washington, D.C. Fans will also note a mysterious helicopter flying about in the background of the poster. Was that the same one lurking about in season 8, the same one Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) was trying to wave down?


Spoiler warning for season 8… When last we left off, the people of “AHK” (Eugene’s acronym for Alexandria-Hilltop-Kingdom) were able to overcome Negan’s forces and rid themselves of The Saviors.

Morgan (Lennie James), however, found himself unable to cope with his past actions and went on a walkabout that brought the character into the realm of Fear the Walking Dead with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Nick (Frank Dillane), Madison (Kim Dickens), Victor (Colman Domingo), and Luciana (Danay Garcia). Not all of those names made it out of the first half of season 4 alive.

Season 9 is set to be Lincoln’s last run on The Walking Dead, and Jon Bernthal will return as his old frenemy Shane.

Could this new D.C. location — which has been mentioned multiple times throughout the show — possibly have something to do with a mysterious figure that popped in to help Hilltop? Maggie encountered a woman by the name of Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), whom some fans have begun predicting could be related to the Commonwealth in the comics. The jury, as they say, is still out on that one.

“I think her ultimate goal is, as I’m calling it, an inoculation of hope into a world that she sees has been destroyed and is barren of hope,” Atkinson had told EW. “And wanting to find a community — she says there’s very few of them — where she can see this hope and see a regeneration of where human beings were and can revisit that.”

We’ll hopefully learn much more about season 9 when the cast and crew head to San Diego for Comic-Con. AMC announced Thursday that The Walking Dead panel will bring Lincoln, Reedus, Cohan, Gurira, McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, showrunner Angela Kang, and executive producers Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, and Greg Nicotero to Hall H for a panel on Friday, July 20 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. PST.


Fear the Walking Dead also got a new Comic-Con poster and will be preceding The Walking Dead with its own panel on Friday. Domingo, Debnam-Carey, James, Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, Jenna Elfman, showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, and executive producers Gimple, Kirkman, Hurd, Nicotero, and Alpert will take the Hall H stage from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. PST.

Yvette Nicole Brown will moderate both events. Head here to see what other movie and television panels are coming to Comic-Con this year.