Walking Dead Negan
Negan in the comics and the character believed to have been himImage Comics / AMC

Following last night's US debut of The Walking Dead's fifth season, fan speculation online was rampant that one of the original comic book series' biggest antagonists had made his long-awaited debut.

Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead season five, episode one follow...

Online speculation began following a flashback scene at the very end of the episode which showed Andrew J West's Gareth and his group of survivors locked up in a train car when a group of men enter and forcibly take one of the women.

One of those men bears more than a passing resemblance to Negan, with his slicked back black hair and large square head. When Gareth tells his mother everything is okay, the man replies: "No, it's not."

The conjecture was soon quashed however by Robert Kirkman, the franchise's creator, who took to Twitter to categorically deny that the character was Negan.

Negan is a character who was introduced in the comics in the 100th issue and remains alive. He is the leader of a large group of survivors called the Saviors. To say any more would be too spoiler-heavy, but it's safe to say his arrival on the hit show is both highly anticipated and highly likely to happen sooner rather than later.

So this wasn't Negan, but how long will it be until he finally arrives?