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SYFY WIRE The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Michael James Shaw cast as Commonwealth Army head, Mercer

By Vanessa Armstrong
Michael James Shaw

The last season of The Walking Dead will finally introduce an enormous character from the comics. Deadline is reporting that Michael James Shaw (Avengers: Infinity War, Constantine) has been cast in the role of Mercer for the 11th season of the hit AMC show.

The Walking Dead fans have been speculating whether Mercer would make it on the show for a while now, as the character plays a substantial role in several arcs of Robert Kirkman's source comics. He first appeared in Issue #177, and is part of the elite class in The Commonwealth, the closest the post-Walker world gets to safe living.

In The Commonwealth, however, things aren’t so great for everyone — it’s a stratified society, and Mercer, who used to be in the U.S. military, is the head of the Commonwealth Army. Mercer also has a distinctive look in the comics, sporting a mohawk and a badass suit of armor that helps him decapitate Walkers with ease. He also gets romantically involved with Juanita (Paola Lázaro), who was introduced in the 10th season of the show.

Walking Dead 177

Shaw is currently on the CBS heist show Blood & Treasure, but he's no stranger to playing genre characters — the actor had a recurring role on the short-lived Constantine and also played Thanos’ VFX-ified son, Corvus Glaive, in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.  

In the MCU, Corvus helped Thanos find the Infinity Stones and got into more than a few fights with the Avengers. It was Corvus who ruined Vision and Wanda’s date in Scotland by stabbing Vision in the back. Black Widow stabs Corvus with his own weapon at the end of that fight, but he shows up later in the movie at the Battle of Wakanda, where he is for-real killed by Okoyo. But even though he died in Infinity War, he got the chance to die again in Endgame because time travel is confusing.

Unlike Corvus, Mercer survives to the end of The Walking Dead comic book run. Whether his character makes it on the AMC show, however, remains an ever uncertain thing.

The epic 24-episode Season 11 of The Walking Dead is currently in production and will start airing on AMC this summer.