I fondly remember the days of rushing home from school in fourth grade after a day of being the weird kid to watch Invader Zim at 4 pm on Nickelodeon. My first crush was on Jhonen Vasquez, and will admit I was a bit of a creeper. But who wouldn’t be, as Invader Zim is awesome and Jhonen’s other work is what really got me into comics. So when the Invader Zim comic came out, I shed one tiny tear of joy, and promptly convulsed in happiness on the floor.
Because this is Invader Zim #13, I’ve gotten past the fact that Jhonen would not be writing or illustrating the issues. Being such a big fan, I scrutinized the holy hell bunnies out of this series, almost waiting for something to be disappointing, this issue being no different. But luckily, this particular issue does have a cover by Jhonen and it shows. Eric Trueheart does an excellent job at writing in the original style of the cartoon, and it translates well to the comics. I will say he once again hit the nail on the noggin in #13, and there were several parts that made me laugh out loud. The kids are calling that “lol”, I believe.
This issue follows some aliens that have come to Earth and taken Dib hostage, thinking that Dib is actually Zim’s best friend. We all know that the two are mortal enemies, and these aliens are after Humongoserum, which Zim has in his possession. Humongoserum is exactly what it sounds like: it makes stuff super big. Given that Zim is a proud Irken Invader, he has no plans of giving this magic goo to any other alien life forms, especially those he promptly regards as stupid.
Warren Wucinich is the hand behind the illustrations, and all Jhonen fans can instantly recognize the difference between the two. However, the panels are still drawn beautifully, and Warren does a great job in keeping enough of the original cartoon’s style to make it an instantly recognizable piece of Zim. Fred C. Stressing lays down the colors, which are also a canon part of the show, and even though the illustrations are colored slightly brighter than the show, it still has the integral purples, greens, and blacks necessary to keep the flow of the story. The panels are silly, coming from all different angles and focal points to keep the attention fully on the story, and there is never once a boring moment. Your eyes do bounce all over the page, but that is the intent as Zim really has an underlying theme of happy craziness.
Invader Zim #13 is silly, lighthearted, and ridiculous, which is exactly how the series and this character’s story is supposed to be. It is entertaining and zany, and is a nice break from so many stories that are hellbent on being dark and serious. As someone who was dreading a series that was without its original creator behind it, I have been very happy and satisfied with what I’ve read. Jhonen does serve as “Control Brain”, which is probably the best title I’ve ever read in a credits page of a comic book. It definitely shows, and I’m glad the series is continuing to be so great, with issue #13 as proof.
Story: 5 stars
Artwork: 5 stars
Colors: 5 stars
Publisher: Oni Press