viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2015

Issue #4 - October 21, 2015


Last time we had the perfect example of what this series can do: we went to space, had a great evil plan, one of Zim's best disguises to date, a generous amount of GIR's insanity levels and lots of other stuff. Issue #3 was definitely one of the best ones and a hard act to top. But honestly, I'm confident about this one, since I read somewhere that it's going to involve The Almighty Tallest on the starring role... and that's more than enough to pick interest.

Plot discussion:

We start by seeing both The Massive and Recap Kid somewhere in the newly christened "Tallest-Purple-Is-Cool" nebula. Here, our frenetic friend tells us that the Almighty Tallest flipped a coin to decide who gets to name the new territory... and that the Armada conquered that place (by blowing everything up, of course) just a few hours ago. He then either gets sucked by the Irken Flagship`or vomits thru a vent... I actually don't know what's supposed to be happening there. Anyway, this is actually the second time that his dialogue gets cut off by an Irken Ship... which I think would be pretty annoying for those who weren't able to buy the previous issue. Oh well.

We then cut to the bridge of The Massive (which also doubles as the location of the Tallest's Elite Snack Reserves), where an Irken engineer named Skrang tells them about his new invention: A portal that can connect to any invader base on the universe and that would allow them to send stuff to their troops on the front. The bored-looking Tallest ask if they can get stuff back from the portal and Skrang quickly tells them that that feature isn't safe to utilize and that could cause half of the universe (their half) to explode if used. The Tallest listen to him, but get promptly distracted by the fact that they don't want the last snack and that the garbage can is "all the way over there", so they ask Skrang to activate the device so they can toss the cheese into one of their bases (Skrang tries to argue that, given the power required to open a wormhole, it wouldn't be prudent to do so, but they just discard the ideas... like always).

Back on Earth -and no, there's no point in asking how or when Zim and the entire planet bounced back from their hellish doom on the Sun-, a proud-looking Zim shows his new invention to GIR: He has invented a "nano-naise" and then claims that the humans will never expect it and that he's a genius. Mere seconds later, the invention breaks and GIR gets the blame (even though he hasn't touch it) but he doesn't mind it as he's entirely distracted by the gigantic wormhole that's been opened in thin air, and then by the enormous cheese snack that lands on Zim's head.

Zim then tracks the origin of the wormhole back to The Massive itself and mistakes the garbage for a gift given to him by The Almighty Tallest. That's definitely the kind of thing that he would do and the fact that they play along, taking advantage of his wrong assumption to physically abuse him is EXACTLY the payoff I was expecting for such a situation.

The Tallest trick him into believe that the dumped snack ("The Munchitronic DeathSkrang") is their most advanced and secret weapon and that he's given the responsibility to guard it with his life. When he asks how to use it and what does it do, they simply tell him that it doesn't do anything because it hasn't been charged... which leads to a simple, yet hilarious scene with Zim naively offering to send the "weapon" back to them so they can charge it. Their desperation about such a proposal is delightful and the fact that they just have to keep inventing stuff just to prevent Zim from trying to send it back is definitely worth a few laughs.

They finally tell him that HE is the one who must charge it and, when they ask him if he's up to the task, he says that he's going to do anything it takes to accomplish the goal, which causes the Tallest to smile and plan all sorts of malicious stuff to inflict on him. I like how Zim has inadvertently given the Tallest a blank check to torture him as much as they want without suspecting a thing. The situation itself is not foreign to him in the slightest, but one has to wonder when is the blindfold going to fall... if ever.

We then cut to a holochamber located inside Zim's base, where GIR is happily playing in a sunny environment with a donut and a mushroom. Zim opens the door and tells him that they have a mission to do, so GIR bids farewell to his "friends", while telling them that he's going to turn them off forever -they scream upon receiving the news... disturbingly-.

Meanwhile, the Tallest have come up with his first "assignment": in order to activate the "weapon", they need him to scan the biosignatures of the humans... which can only be accomplished by smacking them really hard on the face. It is really funny to see that they "break down" mid-sentence and start laughing hysterically at the idea, barely adding that they are only doing it because "this is so serious". Blindfold.

Zim then carries the snack around in a baby stroller, disguised as a baby and starts smacking people on the face with it, claiming after every hit that it hasn't been enough to charge the device. What follows is -most predictably- an angry mob chasing Zim around with pitchforks and torches. When he reports back to the Tallest, they congratulate him for the job and immediately give him another task to do: jumping off the roof of a Mall while riding the snack and wearing a cowboy hat. Zim somehow sustains far more damage from the fall than he did at the hands of the angry mob -even though he was probably able to outrun them at some point-. The insanity and total lack of care for common logic is spot-on in here.

His next job consist on him asking Mrs Bitters -hey, she's back!- to pull a hair from her nose... which results on him taking EVEN MORE damage than with the mob and the fall COMBINED... although, can you really doubt it? That's Mrs Bitters we are talking about. Gives me the shivers.

After that, the Tallest have a little conference and say that it was fun for a while but that Zim could really get hurt if they keep going, so they mutually agree... to never stop. They DO warm him that the next steps are dangerous, though, but Zim doesn't care and heeds their every order (and he might, survive (8)). Future assignments would include to have him get rammed by a plane ("for the glory of the empire!" he shouts, while getting mauled by one of the wings), to get himself immersed in a vat of boiling tuna sauce and to god-knows-what else. While all of this is happening, the Tallest play poker atop of a service drone and discuss what kind of terrible task they have to put him thru this time... Purple asks if they had him swim in radioactive garbage while on fire -which they had- and while Red suggests that they could try to have him swim in radioactive fire while in garbage, Zim calls.

They decide to put up an act, acting all nervous and shouting that "they" are coming for the weapon and that that might be the last he hears from them, ordering him to not call them anymore. Feeling really satisfied at what they had done, they then go shooting lasers at something. Man, if only they knew earlier that it was THAT easy to get rid of Zim -and having a lot of fun while doing so too-...   

Back on Earth, a very paranoid Zim records a log for the "future generations who wish to learn from his genius" and then flat out asks GIR if he can trust him or if his circuits have been infiltrated by the enemy, to which he replies by showing a chipmunk on his head -which Zim ejects into space-. Growing madder by the minute, Zim orders the patrol gnomes on his front yard to activate motion-tracking and to shoot everything that moves... not a very lucky combination of orders if you ask me, which gives the obvious result: the gnomes blow themselves up in a massive friendly fire. Then, an even more paranoid Zim orders the computer to lock down the house in the "maximum maximumess" level. He then hears -and obliterates- a bird living in one of the hatches and tells GIR to close every open passage on the entire base.

After all that, he retreats to the "safeness room" on the base, which he deems "not safe enough" and moves onto the "safeness box", which shares the same fate as his previous shelter. Losing all his mind for the sake of protecting the "weapon", Zim digs himself a deep hole in the ground -which he calls "safeness hole"- and writes the words "safe" on a rock that he wears on his head for some reason. He then continues to record the log, but this new attempt at recording for future generations is, once again, abruptly interrupted; this time by the doorbell. Standing on the other side of the door, there's a Girly Ranger -hey, they are back too!- wanting to sell cookies to rise money for her troop. Thinking that it is a ploy to steal the Munchitronic DeathSkrang, Zim grabs the snacks and feeds them to GIR, who then turns into a some-sort of bazooka and blasts them into the distance (landing on a couple who were having picnic). When the Girly Ranger starts pounding the door, wanting to get paid for the cookies that got destroyed, Zim sends GIR outside to get rid of her... but ends up joining her pounding instead -and calling her "grandma"-.

Being driven to the very verge of insanity due to the stress of protecting the Munchitronic and by all the incessant pounding, Zim decides that the only thing left to do to prevent the "device" from falling into enemy hands, is to transport it back to the Tallest's last known coordinates. When he calls them to inform them of this plan, they decide to send the message to voice-mail (really? They had THAT possibility all this time and only NOW have decided to use it? Seriously, dudes!). When the Tallest hear the message, they panic and try to get in contact with Zim, but the portal opens before they could do that (plus, Zim has set his base to "compression defense mode" until the situation is safe).

Right outside the now-compressed base, the Girly Ranger and GIR observe what he has done in shock, while Zim mutters to himself that he's done very well.

We then cut to the Membrane Residence, where a shocked Dib and an uninterested Gaz watch the news about a cookie theft that has compressed his house into a metal cube and they also hear that half of the universe has exploded ("just not our half, whew").

Screenshots:  


I know that I should be looking at the Vortian brains in the tube, but the sheer size of those snacks is pretty hard to ignore.


Zim's latest invention... it IS kind hard to believe that this was the same guy who was able to summon the Star Donkey and to find the Gargantis Array.


I know that it looks wrong AND awful, but that's actually a very efficient way of getting biosignatures... specially if they catch him.


I would like to insist... if it was that easy to get rid of him, but they hadn't done it until now, they truly deserve all the headaches they got.


Extreme lock-down, but can you blame him? Zim's paranoia is very well justified given the circumstances... or at least what he THINKS is happening.

Conclusion:

There's actually a lot to like about this issue, but I think that the extended presence of The Almighty Tallest is what sells it. They are literally everywhere, appearing almost in every page and with quite a bit of dialogue -which is a very rare event if you think about it, almost unheard of-. They are not only heavily featured in the comic, but they also put their time "on screen" to a good use, being responsible for pretty much every joke that works on the story (and inadvertently kicking off some of the others).

The way they treat Zim is not even new, but some of the things that they put him thru certainly are. I mean, you could clearly see that they sent him to Earth to prevent him from messing things up during Operation Impeding Doom II, but they never actually TRIED to blow his cover nor to get him killed -aside from the supposedly endless journey to Earth and whatever was supposed to happen with the Megadoomer- until this very issue. Here, they are actively trying to harm him and that's... cool, actually. The script of the unfinished episode, "The Trial" shows just how much he deserved such treatment and it is interesting to see that it's been delivered at last.

Still, Zim's own paranoia and sense of duty are what makes all these jokes work and I'm glad to see just how far could he take both of those things. If compressing his own base into a metal square doesn't show his commitment with his mission -fake or not-, then nothing would. 

So yeah... a lot of good laughs, more of the Almighty Tallest than you could have ever hoped for and tons of paranoia. Definitely check it out. 

Did you know...?

That the Tallest have flipped a coin to decide who gets to name the newly-acquired territory, despite the fact that neither of them have thumbs?

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