jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2015

Issue #2 - August 19, 2015


You know what I hate about ending in a cliffhanger? That the resolution isn't usually as sweet due to you having to wait a very (VERY) long time to see what happens -forgetting details along the way too-. But I honestly can't complain that much about that here, because this new installment feels like its own, separated thing... and even if it didn't, we still have our good, old friend Recap Kid freshening our memories.

That cover, though... I know that they were probably going for something scary, but having Zim almost devouring Dib in a donuts-covered... space? Isn't exactly what I want to see at the start of my Invader Zim. I won't be judging this book for its cover, though!

Plot discussion:

The first thing we notice is that this issue is FILLED with space and ships... two things that were strangely absent in Invader Zim during its cartoon times -not that they WEREN'T there, but we didn't see them as much as you might think-. Thankfully, this one starts off by showing us The Massive (the Irken flagship) itself... and we are going to see a lot of Tak's ship too. So far, everything's more than fine.

But of course The Massive isn't there just for show -I wouldn't mind it, though- but to give us yet another example of the time-passing on the series... seriously, how much time does it need to pass for the Almighty Tallest to forget who Zim is? I LOVE the detail, but it's so weird... Zim was the guy who single-handily ruined Operation Impeding Doom I. I know that Irkens tend to forget lots of important stuff, but come on.

So anyway, Zim makes the call assuming that the Tallest have been really worried about his lack of communication during recent times, yells a lot of stuff about his greatest plan and cuts the transmission before they can reply because GIR is making a smoothie (it is not clear if he approves of disapproves the idea, though... maybe he likes them now). What follows is a single shot of the Tallest remembering who he is and reacting in an incredibly disappointed way about the fact that he's not dead.

We then cut to Dib -aboard Tak's ship- getting lost in space and having an argument with the computer about how to track Zim's ship. The uncooperative computer -which has Tak's personality download into it- says that Zim's Voot Cruiser is easy to track because it's basically garbage, but is quick to add that, although it can track it along the vast void of space, it doesn't want to (because it doesn't like Dib at all). I'm... actually surprised at how fast Dib loses it here and starts arguing with the ship, but I'm even more shocked about the settlement of that same argument, with the ship actually agreeing to do what he ask (as long as he ASKS for it) but remarking that it doesn't have to like the order nor him (which Dib also tries to argue about, although he quickly realizes that is no use to get in a fight with the ship while in space). It then displays information about Zim's weapons and continues to talk about how unprepared he is to do the task and it even finds a spot to both ask Dib what he's going to do once he catches Zim ("stop it") and to say that he's using a stolen Irken Ship which he has no idea how to use. Its final "OK, tracking Zim's garbage signature for the Earthbaby with no plan" really sells the moment.

What follows after that is a series of stops in the space equivalent of roadside attractions, with Zim always beating Dib by mere seconds and departing all those planets before he could have a chance to land on them. There's also a particularly great scene about Dib thinking that he's being asked for a bribe in exchange for information about Zim, which I won't spoil in here, but that is hilarious. And you know what? While I was reading this, I was wondering why Tak's advanced, custom ship couldn't keep up with Zim's obsolete Voot Cruiser... the reason? The ship was TRACKING the VC, not trying to CATCH it, just to piss off Dib. That's the kind of thing that Tak would do and I find it pretty amazing just because of that.

They finally arrive at the Universe's Biggest Ball of Shmoop (it's kind of sentient!), where Zim has also been to but is long gone as well. Here, Dib finds the only alien in the universe with the knowledge of the Jump Codes necessary to get to the Gargantis Array and proceeds to talk to her, taking advantage of the fact that "she gets really talkative when she's on fire". We then cut to a flashback showing that she won't give the codes to Zim... unless he buys a lot of stuff (which Zim happily agrees to do). Shocked, Dib asks the two most obvious questions: how could she have given the codes to Zim and why would he set the planet on fire if she cooperated? The first question remains unanswered until she agrees to provide Dib with the codes as well in exchange for him buying a t-shirt (and remarking that she's very bad at protecting stuff), while the answer to the other question is that GIR is simply really bad at cooking stuff in the microwave. 

The next thing that happens is that Zim is tasting his victory and saying that it was "almost too easy" without Dib getting in the way... just to have him showing up a mere second later. NOW, this is something that I don't get... Zim has SEEN Dib using Tak's ship at least once and KNOWS that he has it... so, what does he act so surprised when he sees him? It is true that the ship was unable to fly due to the damage it sustained during the dogfight it had with Zim's VC in Tak: The Hideous New Girl but it was perfectly operational nonetheless and it just seems like an oddity to have Zim reacting that way at the sight of it.

There's once more a dogfight involving those two ships, but the result is quite different this time around, with Zim inadvertently telling Dib how to shot the lasers on his ship and taking him out, crash landing on the Gargantis Array itself, with Dib following behind. Then there's a somewhat heartbreaking scene involving a heavily damaged GIR -which Zim used as a Scape Pod- telling his master to go without him... which he does long before he starts talking, and asks GIR if he has said something.

I like that Dib is actually worried about the absence of a breathable atmosphere inside the Array, because -even though he's been to at least a hundred of places in space by now- this is a very distant part of the galaxy and the rules might have changed there. His excited "Sweet! I didn't die" is such a great line if we take that into account.

Literally two days later, Zim finally finds the control room to the Array, with Dib hot on his heels and proceeds to explain that it is not a weapon... unless you use the right ammo. Turns out that the Gargantis Array is a gigantic and powerful broadcasting structure used to transmit a single signal everywhere in the universe at once... which he loads with Dib's training montage -that contains lots of embarrassing scenes in it-. Stranded in the Array, but having humiliated his mortal enemy, Zim declares this his victory; while Dib gets home and is tortured by the thought of having all sentient life in the universe making fun of his former shape and cheese comeback song.

Screenshots:


It's great to see the Irken Armada traveling thru space again. I have always liked the design of The Massive in the series, but it's absolutely nice -and kinda relieving- to see it in such a good shape here as well.

The rarely-used two-eyed Irken logo is a great detail too... I have never been a fan of the standard military Irken insignia.


If that "Dark Matter" is anything like the one used in Futurama, I would stay the hell away from those donuts.


This is easily one of the best scenes in the comic. The dogfight between Zim and Dib is very well staged and the last shot of Zim "ejecting" from his doomed Voot Cruiser has a true sense of speed and urge to it.


The sheer amount of cruelty, madness and even nastiness present on this page is quite impressive -even by the series's standards-.


... But this one really gives it a good run for its money.

Conclusion:

While it is true that the First Issue had some minor mistakes that prevented it from being "perfect", this one more than makes up for it. It is hard to explain it if you haven't read it, but the color, the drawings, the story (which thankfully takes place entirely on space) and the inclusion of both the Irken Armada and Tak's ship all make for a very interesting to plot that just keeps you guessing what's going to happen and in which direction the story is going to go.

Zim's travel thru all those dirty space places is actually very neat, and -from Dib's point of view-, he could just be gathering materials to build his super-weapon.

The story does get a little weaker towards the end, once the Gargantis Array's true nature is revealed, but everything that surrounds the event is more than cool, so everything's fine. 

Did you know...?

That the dog that GIR blasted into space on the First Issue can be seen while Dib chases Zim?

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