Book Reviews / Books / Books 2016 / graphic novels

Graphic Novel Review: “Invader Zim: Vol. 1” by Jhonen Vasquez


Invader Zim: Volume 1 by Jhonen Vasquez
Review by Celadon James



Invader Zim has a comic!!! Fans everywhere, rejoice!



Invader Zim originally aired in 2001-2002 as an attempt to get more “older kid” sort of audience for Nickelodeon. It didn’t have the ratings Nickelodeon was looking for and was canceled in its first season, and even though episodes of the second season were created, they weren’t aired until years later.

 Another series gone before it's time.

Another series gone before it’s time.

However, Invader Zim has had something of a cult following since it’s airing, has been released multiple times on DVD, and you can even watch it for free on Hulu now. Gir (the green dog) is probably the most recognizable character, as Hot Topic still carries merchandise featuring him on a fairly regular basis.

If you haven’t watched Invader Zim, you should go watch it. Right now. We’ll wait for you.


The Basic Premise:

Now that you have successfully watched Invader Zim, I’m sure you don’t need a rehash of the plot, but I’ll give one anyways. Invader Zim is an Irken, a race of aliens that goes around invading and destroying other races. However, Zim is…really not good at his job. Which is lucky for us, since he gets sent to planet Earth, and if he was good at his job, we’d be in huge trouble. As it stands, he is sent by The Tallest (the Grand Poobahs of the Irken Empire) to invade Earth with his single ship and a dysfunctional robot, GIR. Once at Earth, he disguises himself as a human (poorly) and attempts to blend in with the natives so he can better destroy our civilization. Unfortunately for him, a classmate named Dib sees through his disguise and becomes his arch-nemesis, though he’s about as bad at stopping Zim as Zim is enacting his plans. It’s truly great.

 The fate of the world is in their hands. Egads.

The fate of the world is in their hands. Egads.
From the Zim Wikia


The Plot:

The graphic novel actually takes place at an indeterminate time after the series ends, though it seems that only months have passed, as they are still in school and no one seems to have aged. If you haven’t watched the series, it’s okay, “Recap Kid” will explain things to you before the book begins.

His name is literally recap kid.

His name is literally recap kid.

There are five chapters, and each one has its own story arc that pretty much acts as an episode of Invader Zim. It’s like Invader Zim: Season 3. These stories include things like the universe’s largest donut, Dib creating his own theme song, Zim becoming a famous artist, and Dib being teleported into various video games that look suspiciously like ones in our own world.


The Assessment:

Is this a book that, after reading, is going to make you feel like a better person? No. Will you glean deep truths about human behavior? Probably not. But if you enjoy Invader Zim, or at least enjoy over-the-top cartoons with a satirical take on alien invasions, this will be amazing for you.  



For fans of the show, most of the characters from the series make at least a small appearance in the comic, from Professor Membrane to Mini Moose

Also, since it’s a graphic novel, we should talk about the art. It’s very reminiscent of the television show. Overly large eyes with square-ish pupils, weird teeth, extreme facial expressions…and everything is always so…incredibly….dirty.

 Everything must be disinfected!  From  Zim Wikia

Everything must be disinfected!
From Zim Wikia

The Verdict:

5 stars. Because it’s everything you could possibly want from an Invader Zim graphic novel.




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