Review: iZombie: Dead to the World Written By: Chris Roberson, Illustrated by: Michael Allred
iZombie: Dead to the World is a graphic novel that contains the first five issues of the new DC series, iZombie. In this tale we get a world full of not just zombies but all manner of undead and paranormal creatures. Off the bat in the first few issues we meet a were-terrier, a ghost, and a nest of vampires who are using a paintball game setup as their own little feeding ground.
The zombies we are shown in iZombie are not your typical shuffling unintelligent undead. They are not also your not-so-typical-new-intelligent zombies. Apparently they are from a world similar to the one seen in Return of the Living Dead as they eat brains and need to eat them. There is even a reason given though, as it is quickly explained that if they don’t eat the brains of the living (or recently deceased) they DO become the Romero form of zombies that we know and love. There is another catch though for our intelligent zombies, when they eat a brain they also get all of the memories that were still in the brain and can “hear” that person almost as a whisper in the back of their mind, at least until it’s flushed out of their system.
Interestingly enough all of the ‘creatures’ shown so far are created by the soul not going ‘wherever it is meant to go’ on the death of a person or creature. Vampires, poltergeist, ghosts, zombies, revenant, were-creatures, etc are all related in that they are different form of part of the soul not carrying on.
Now that you have an idea of how the ‘world’ is that we’re reading on we are introduced to Gwen Dylan – part time gravedigger at the local morgue and full time zombie. Mix in Spot, I mean Scott, her were-terrier geeky self concious buddy that appears to be in love with her, and Elle, the ghost who we barely are able to find much about aside that she appears to be from the 1960’s and you have what looks to be the initial main characters that we will be rooting for. They seem to mainly spend time hanging out and ‘apparently’ follow up on the ‘memories’ of anyone whose brain Gwen ends up eating if they died in a way that catches her attention.
The first major story line begins with Gwen eating the brain of a family man that was recently deceased figuring that it would be no big deal. That is where she ends up wrong as the man was mixed up with ‘something’ and while it’s not instantly known what that is we quickly find out that it has to do with the group of vampires which I mentioned above and another ‘revenant’ zombie like herself. At least it at first appears that way but there is a huge hole in the logic that he is what he claims to be. (He didn’t eat the man’s brain.) On top of this we have a group of people hunting the vampires (who appear to hunt any kind of paranormal being) and in many scenes a mysterious person all in shadow in the background. There is a lot going on, none of which is resolved at the end of the first graphic novel.
While I always find it difficult to support the role of an intelligent zombie the writing is very solid and the characters are interesting enough to keep me wanting to come back for more of them. On top of solid writing the art itself is very well put together. Michael Allred really is able to keep the look of the comic visually appealing, similiar in all scenes, and add a bit of death, morbidity, and the paranormal just as it is needed without having it overshadow the storyline.
Available at Amazon.
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