"Invader Zim #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Oni Press
Written by Jhonen Vasquez
Illustrated by Aaron Alexovich
2015, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 8th, 2015
After far too long, Invader Zim has returned, albeit not in moving pictures on the small screen, but in a funny book. In case you forgot or were living under a rock in the early to mid-2000s, Invader Zim followed an inept alien who was banished to Earth because no one wanted to deal with him. Joined by his loyal but insane robot companion Gir, Zim blends in as a local child while trying to take over the planet. The only person that sees through this disguise is Dib, a strange boy obsessed with the unknown. Actually, Dib's sister Gaz also knows, but doesn't really care. In case you need more of a background, there's a two-page briefing at the beginning of the issue from Recap Kid.
The comic opens with Zim suddenly returning after “what feels like years.” It turns out he was waiting for the right moment while hiding in a toilet. That'll show his enemies that he's not to be trifled with. Dib kept a close eye on Zim's house, but perhaps it was too close of an eye, as he's barely moved in all that time. As a result, he's absolutely filthy and literally stuck to his chair. Zim's master plan is to track down a powerful weapon called the Gargantis Array. This quest will most likely take the character through the first story arc, not to mention through some faraway lands.
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The snappy dialogue and quirky jokes that made the TV show work so well are represented here in full force. This is a comic that you will read with an ear-to-ear grin. Every panel has at least one joke in it, as writer and Invader Zim creator Jhonen Vasquez fires on all cylinders.
It's refreshing to read a comic that doesn't take itself too seriously. Sure, Zim is out to take over the world, but even if he was successful, it's not like he'd turn into Hitler or something. He's still this lovable little screw up. It's easy to compare Invader Zim to Roman Dirge's Lenore. If you like one, you'll like the other, as the humor is similar in style and intelligence. Now that I think about it, I'd love to see a crossover between the two. That would be complete chaos.
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Artist Aaron Alexovich captures the manic fun of Invader Zim perfectly. The look of Dib in his current sloth state is a particular standout. You get these glimpses of him at the beginning of the book before Alexovich pulls back and shows you everything in all its greasy glory. After seeing Dib like this, you'll want to take a shower. Picture the ugliest, pimple-covered, oily teenager you've ever seen and then multiply that by a thousand and you're in the realm of what this looks like.
Invader Zim is back and the world is a better place as a result. This is such a damn fun comic and it's great for positively everyone. The humor is so deliciously weird and it never stops being funny. Just go read it already!