At the long drawn out close to Season 6 of The Walking Dead we meet the new big bad Negan, who despite being played the very capable Jeffrey Dean Morgan, (The Comedian in Watchmen), was lackluster. Negan was soft-spoken, jovial, and despite adding a beard to the character’s design, didn’t come off as rugged or imposing enough to really pose a threat to someone like Rick. The entire threat against Negan was what the Saviors could pull off, and not anything Negan could do himself
With the last episode of Fear The Walking Dead, we met Celia Flores, Strand’s weird pseudo mother-in-law, who seems to be our new series villain for at least the end of part one of this season. Like Negan, she was heard from before she appeared. First from her son and then with her poison massacre. In other words, she also got a running start in our minds, but then we meet her, and things diverge.
Celia is not at all physically imposing; she’s smaller than Madison, and really she doesn’t need to be, her power isn’t in beating people up. Celia’s danger is in her fanatical religion and its power. The town priest seemed to call her a witch, and her strange devotion to Santa Muerte, a Mexican death ‘goddess’ and patron saint of things such as smugglers and protection against violence, has a Voodoo or cult vibe to it. And it has power, partially because she has power. Celia not only believes the Infected are still alive she will prosecute those who kill them. She will kill to defend them.
The moment she speaks she sounds powerful and authoritative. She has the power to go against even Strand in that respect and is more than a match for Madison at this time. Celia is filled with the intrinsic and natural power and ability to inspire fear that Morgan’s Negan just was unable to achieve.