Fear The Walking Dead’s Newest Villains: The Vultures


“You haven’t been tested yet. But you’re about to be.” — And just like that, we have Fear The Walking Dead’s newest villains: The Vultures.

Fear The Walking Dead’s second episode“Another Day in the Diamond” caught viewers up to what the Clark family has been up to (they survived the dam explosion at the end of season 3 and have been living inside a baseball stadium-turned settlement for a year).

It also revealed who’s been hanging up the mysterious white flags with black numbers spray-painted in the middle. 

“You’re with them,” Luciana accuses Althea, John, and Morgan after finding a numbered flag in their gear.

“With who?” asks a bewildered Althea. 

“The Vultures,” answers Strand.

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The Vultures — seems like an appropriate name. After all, they aren’t going right for the jugular, choosing instead to just wait until the Diamond settlers are dead.  A few threats are issued. No bullets are fired. No one is hurt, not yet.

The Diamond’s food supply has been compromised and they’re outnumbered. The Vultures announce that they will wait them out before moving in to pick at the bones. 

Who are the Vultures? 

We don’t know much. Not yet, at least. What we do know, is that they seem to collect walkers (as displayed in the parking lot outside the Diamond and the oil silos), and then paint on large white flags to show how many they’ve captured.

Why? That we don’t know yet. Is it strange? Yes. 

The Vultures have a good grip on the area. Their flags have been seen multiple times already and it ranges for miles and miles of territory. They also have plenty of vehicles, enough of an arsenal to feel good about threatening the Diamond, and a love for classical music. 

Madison sees this new threat but refuses to surrender her settlement. It’s not the Vultures first rodeo. 

“People always say that. You see, we’re not taking anything from anyone,” replies the Vultures leader with an oozing confidence and swagger, “Anyone who’s alive, anyway. You see, look– I’ve had this conversation a hundred times.” 

It always ends with the Vultures winning.

Speaking of their leader… 


Played by Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead, Fifty Dead Men Walking), Mel is at the head of the Vultures and appears (at least for now), to be our big bad of season 4.

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Kevin Zegers as Mel – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 2 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Zegers is no stranger to combatting cannibalistic foes, having faced off against different variations of them in both Dawn of the Dead and The Colony. In those films, however, Zegers was someone you were supposed to root for. His role in Fear The Walking Dead as Mel takes on a much different character. One who isn’t quite as friendly. 

Despite his unthreatening name, Mel managed to find himself at the head of such a group. He comes off as confident and calm in his demeanor, almost laid back as he throws out a lawn chair and a cooler to await his first encounter with the settlers inside the Diamond. He even offers Madison a beer and the opportunity to join them (although I’m not sure how genuine this offer was).

It’s clear that Mel knows what he’s doing. He even planted a little girl named Charlie into the Diamond to earn the Clark group’s trust, only to provide Mel and the Vultures with the intel they needed to make their move.

There is much more to learn about the leader of the Vultures, but for now, Mel has the upper hand against the Clarks and those inside the Diamond.

Comparing the Vultures to past adversaries

Aside from the walkers, biters, rotters (whatever one may refer to them as), the Clarks have also faced off with plenty of hostile groups. There were the feuds with Troy Otto’s militia as well as the battle against Qaletaqa Walker and his people over the Broke Jaw Ranch, followed by the most recent and quickly resolved conflict with Proctor John. This feels different.

Daniel Sharman as Troy Otto – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

The Vultures might remind some more of the foes encountered in The Walking Dead. These groups were more organized, led by a charismatic, often times cruel leader, and are used to winning.

They also have a name, a common theme from these groups: The Saviors, The Wolves, The Scavengers, The Termites, Woodbury. They want something — in this case, it’s everything the Diamond settlers possess, maybe even their base.

Unlike the Governor, Mel’s group isn’t going to attempt to come in and slaughter anyone. Unlike Negan, they aren’t going to kill someone to prove they mean business. The Vultures are simply just going to wait.

While there are similarities between the Vultures and the groups that came before them, this is a new, fresh group of antagonists who are going to be a serious threat to the Diamond and anyone else who comes across them. We know Mel. There will be other Vultures we’ll meet in the coming episodes.

But there’s something else lingering that feels unsettling. What’s up with storing the walkers? I’m sure this will be revealed, maybe as soon as episode 3. One thing’s for certain — it won’t be good for Madison and company.

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Will the Vultures be sticking around for the long run or will we lose them in a matter of episodes? Is Mel way overconfident? How did Nick, Alicia, Strand, and Luciana manage to sneak past them to meet Morgan, John, and Althea? Answers are coming. I’d bet they’ll be here sooner than later.

Until then, fear the Vultures.