Back in the day there was a cartoon on Nickelodeon called Invader Zim. It focused on a small alien attempting to take over the world, failing miserably due in part to his human nemesis Dib. The show was hilarious, crazy and absolutely wonderful, so of course it got cancelled. I was devastated. Luckily, Oni Press has
lost their minds decided to publish an Invader Zim comic. Is it as brilliant as the show? Your Major Spoilers review has the answers.
INVADER ZIM #1
Writer: Jhonen Vasquez
Art: Aaron Alexovich
Inker: Megan Lawton
Colorist: Simon “Hutt” Troussellier
Letterer: Warren Wucinich
Editor: Robin Herrera, James Lucas Jones
Publisher: Oni Press
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Invader Zim: Zim is an Irken who, with the help of his robot assistant Gir, tries to take over the world. He’s not very good at it. He blends in with a rather horrible human disguise but one boy is on to him: Dib. The two have had a rivalry for years, but Zim has disappeared…
AS IF THE SHOW NEVER LEFT
Invader Zim was a show that was ahead of its time. I think Nickelodeon was the wrong network for it and it may have been too mature of a cartoon for the network. I’m sure it didn’t help that it came from the mind of Jhonen Vasquez, the man also responsible for Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (if you haven’t read that, you should. It’s brilliant.) Invader Zim #1 reads as if the show never left and Jhonen Vasquez fills the book with his trademark absurdity while also adding a bit of self commentary about the show and its fans.
Zim has been gone for years and Dib has been obsessively watching his house, waiting for his return. He’s obsessed so much that he has become a greasy, long-haired, zit filled, grotesque mess stuck to a chair. Vasquez seems to be commenting, and taking a jab, at Invader Zim fans obsessed with the show’s return. As Dib’s sister Gaz says, “Zim has been gone a long time. Let it go. Move on. Take a bath.” This is awfully hilarious (or awful and hilarious?) and it’s a brilliant start for the book. Of course, Zim returns, telling Dib that he was hiding in the toilet all these years so that Dib would become obsessed, sitting and waiting while his body became useless. From there the crazy ramps up, full of Vasquez’s trademark brand of humor, and it’s as if the show never went off the air. He even brings in old plot points from the cartoon, like Dib storing Taz’s spaceship in his garage and it’s fun to spot the references to old episodes. I could hear the voices in my head as I read the dialogue and nothing felt out-of-place. It’s all here: Gir’s stupidity, irreverent humor…a space moose. I could go on all day but don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone else. Fans of the show will be extremely happy when they read this.
SPOT ON PERFECT
The art team’s work on this book is damn fantastic. Aaron Alexovich draws everything EXACTLY like it looked on the show, so much so it’s unreal. Not only does his artwork look like the cartoon, it also resembles Vazquez’s own artwork and at times it felt like I was looking at Vasquez pages. Sure, some of that is due to the fact that the show mirrored Vasquez’s design aesthetic, but it’s a commendable feat nonetheless. Megan Lawton’s inks and Simon Troussellier’s colors (with consulting by J.R. Goldberg) can’t go unmentioned either. They only help add to the superb imagery throughout the issue. Every page is packed, full of energy and laid out so well, it’s pure bliss. I couldn’t ask for more in an Invader Zim comic and I can’t wait to see what the art team has in store.
BOTTOM LINE: ZIM HAS RETURNED! ALL HAIL ZIM!
Invader Zim #1 is an extraordinary return for the character and is the next best thing to getting a continuation of the show. Vasquez writes like Zim never went away and the whole art team does an excellent job making the issue look just like the cartoon. The issue is hilarious and fans of the show won’t be disappointed, plus newcomers to Zim’s world will find something to enjoy as well. There was an empty spot in my life with Zim gone and now that spot has been filled with Zim’s crazy head juices. Ewww. Now get my spacepants!