viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2015

Issue #3 - September 16, 2015


I don't know why, but I was expecting the comic to be one big, ongoing adventure (a la The Walking Dead). So, seeing the "the end" message at the last page of the previous issue was kind of disconcerting -even though, there was a nice image suggesting what was going to happen in the next number-. Whatever was hiding under that AWESOME cover was going to be a mystery to us all... and I like the idea a lot.

Most -if not all- episodes on the long-dead Invader Zim TV Series followed this formula and the idea kept the plots rather fresh and enjoyable, so I'm actually glad to see that the old "trick" was re-used in here as well.

Plot discussion:

The story begins with two shadowy figures walking thru the surface of Planet Horkus 6, a space desert with literally no one around and with a mood that reads "destroyed". The two figures take a deep look at an ancient structure that emerges open-mouthed from the dunes.

Inside the same structure, the two figures try to decipher a series of hieroglyphics depicting a god-like figure that resembles their surroundings. After a few failed attempts at comprehending whatever is written on the walls, the tallest figure revels itself to be none other than Zim and orders his companion -predictably, GIR- to translate the wording for him. GIR does a surprisingly awesome job at first, but then can't help to add his own insanity to the mixture, enraging Zim. After being yelled at, GIR tells what the prophecy says: "And thru the portal came the four-legged kicker of life. The space cleansing nightmare mule, the space horror they called... THE STAR DONKEY!"  After such a dramatic display -including an image in the sky resembling the Donkey-, they both departed Horkus, with Zim wondering what could have happened to the Horkans... whose planet seems to have to gigantic craters on the other side that are suspiciously shaped like the hooves of a donkey.

It was clear from the start that two figures were going to be Zim and GIR, but it is amazing how there's STILL a sense of mystery that surrounds their figures until they reveal themselves. How did they hitch-hiked their way home from the Gargantis Array or how's GIR fully repaired now is up to interpretation, but so is the same question at the end of Walk of Doom. Somehow, this is far more amusing than it is annoying.

Weeks later, Dib is using his free time to spy on Bigfeet, another of his paranormal obsessions. He does that by looking at the "monster"'s big collection of selfies, trying to make out the location of the pictures by taking a look at the backgrounds and stuff. That's... not a bad plan, actually, but we don't get to see it in action, because Gaz comes into the room telling that Bigfeet is a nice guy and that Dib shouldn't bother him (she's in one of the selfies, posing and stuff, which leaves Dib jaw-dropped). She also mentions that Zim is on the news.

Zim is at the "Museum of Natural History Museum", disguised as an artist called "Shminvader Shmim" and telling that he's bothered to be there (not "honored", as the person who's interviewing him is fast to correct). He's presenting his new "work of art": an structure identical to the one seen at the surface of planet Horkus that he calls "Hey Star Donkey, Destroy All The Humans #2". He says that this is the sixth of his "Star Donkey" series and then makes up some words; while at home, Dib wonders what is he up to -as if the title of the statue wasn't a good enough clue-.

Zim's plan -as well as disguise- are, once more, shockingly good if we compare them to pretty much anything he has done to get rid of the humans in the past. Him going thru all the necessary troubles to put a plan into action isn't anything new, but the sheer size and danger of this new scheme represents one of the only cases when he's been a real threat to the humans. The commitment and research he seems to have done in order to "fit" his artsy character are also worth a clapping: Humans in his universe have been really easy to fool in the past, but the control he seems to have over them with this new, adopted personality is total and he's cover isn't blown like it has in the past... maybe all these years of inactivity were put to good use after all.

So yeah, in order to summon the Star Donkey, Zim has had to build different structures all over the city, going as far as to have knocked down the wing of a hospital in the process ("my art is all about smashing boundaries and hospitals" he says). Dib's comment on this is simply that "there's no way he's into art" and that he must be hiding something... maybe the atmosphere on the Gargantis Array was somewhat poisonous after all :P

Deciding that he's seen enough, Dib finally runs off to try and stopping Zim. Meanwhile, the Irken's been directing all his "followers" to make the portal functional, which they happily do. He even goes as far as to flat out admit his true intentions to his followers... who regard him as a genius. And, while this is all happening, a barely-disguised Dib shows up to try to sabotage the portal, but Zim quickly catches him and throws him into the "Art haters closet".

Here, he is locked up and put under GIR's guard (who has an arsenal of harmless objects to use in case he tries to scape, which Zim quickly replaces with two actual laser guns). Believing that he won't be a problem anymore, Zim also reveals the plan to Dib... who thinks that it doesn't make any sense, but still warns Zim about the dangers of summoning the creature and adds that there's no way that he can control such a great power. Discarding the possibility, Zim rides Minimoose to his "honorary banquet", while Dib remains trapped in the Art Haters Closet with GIR.

Zim really does enjoy himself at the banquet, going as far as to propose a toast for the destruction of the human race (which is, once more, eagerly followed by displays of encouragement and admiration from his fans). But one thing that I absolutely adore about this whole scene is that someone actually has the nerve to point out that that's a NATURAL history museum and that an "artist" like Zim is just a little out of place there (but of course, he promptly shuts him up). Meanwhile, back at the Art Haters Closet, GIR has Dib frightened and under total control -he even shoots the wall once! To show that he's not kidding, I suppose-, but suddenly lets him go after the latter offers him to guard a pen instead of him.

Unfortunately for him, Dib's escape abruptly ends right outside the museum, where he's chased by two of Zim's "Deadly Robot Snobs", which shoot him endlessly with lasers and follow him back inside, flying-past the banquet itself, where a rather bored Zim answers questions about his future art projects ("something with dogs or something"). He then starts talking about a nice fork in the table, while the robots keep chasing Dib. I don't know if Zim does this on purpose to deviate attention from the mayhem that's happening around him or if he actually IS going as far as to describe the fork for his followers... but if he's for real in here, this is his best attempt at blending in to date.

Dib runs-past a security office, where two guards observe him and then decide... to join the efforts to take him down, because they don't like Art Haters like him. And would you believe that Zim's STILL going on about art at the table? This time he talks about how much he likes pictures where clowns look scary. Dib, on the other hand, has finally reached a point in the museum where he finds a crystal barely mentioned by Zim earlier and tries to destroy it, but Zim gets there first and explains his plan once more, while Dib simply tells that his supposed "work" is a total rip-off of some comics he saw five years ago ("I'm completely original!" Is all Zim has to say about that).

Back outside, Zim actually summons the Star Donkey... who immediately kicks Earth into the Sun... with him still inside the doomed planet. Victory?

Screenshots:


Recap Kid is shot down mid-sentence! You know that it's going to be a good issue when something like that happens. Also, take a look at Zim and GIR's shockingly appealing desert clothing.


Seeing this whole display of barely paranormal stuff makes me realize that we haven't seen anything about Mysterious Mysteries yet. Well, they just missed the chance to witness the only two paranormal stuff they were going to see firsthand on this series, so they might as well remain hidden.


Haha, classic Gaz. Also, Zim doesn't have any problem admitting that he's riding a tiny moose (as if it was the most natural thing in the world).


Classic GIR as well. It is truly amazing how much in-character everyone seems to be in this issue.


You know what? Just read the image... nothing I could say could ever top what's in it.

Conclusion:

In early entries, you saw me complaining about how the stories seemed to be running out of fuel towards the end, delivering rather weak conclusions to awesome settings... well, Issue #3 doesn't have that problem. Like, at all.

It's so weird to be saying this -specially if you look at who's been working on the comic- but it seems like they just found the right use for these characters. EVERYONE from Zim to Gaz is in his or her element here and they NAIL every line they say. There's also something truly amazing about seeing Zim's plan totally work for once... even if utterly fails due to the Earth no longer being there and him crashing into the sun; he's been plotting to end all life on the planet since his very first contact with it, and now that he's done it, it feels like the end of a cycle... or it would, if it wasn't for the fact that that's no way to end such a great series. As a "snack", though, it is fantastic.

So, I guess that you wouldn't be all that shocked to hear that this has been my favorite Issue so far. It truly embraces everything I like about the series and just plays with it, making it all feel like an adventure. And, like I said, having Zim's plan actually working was a neat and unexpected detail that added to the -already huge- comic's enjoyability.

Did you know...?

One of the cover variants for this issue is a reference to the movie They live?

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