June 7, 2010

Vertigo Reviews: iZombie #1 & #2

Publisher: Vertigo
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Michael Allred
Cover: Michael Allred

**Minor Spoilers**

“Dead to the World”: So we’ve got a zombie who isn’t your conventional moaning, foot shuffling, decaying member of the undead. That’s because Gwen needs to eat a brain a month to keep that from happening, so it’s pretty convenient she has a job as a grave digger. Unfortunately she also has to suffer the side effects of having the memories of her latest meals flood into her mind, kind of forcing her to try to complete whatever unfinished business that person may have had.

The first issue is a nice little intro piece into Gwen and her lifestyle as we meet her friend Ellie, who happens to be a ghost, along with Scott, who has the unfortunate nickname of “Spot.” I guess it’s deserved since he’s also a were-terrier (yep you read that correctly), but he also happens to have an annoyingly huge crush on Gwen as well. Along the way we come across a pair of two guys that appear to be monster hunters who work for the mysterious “corporation,” and a paint ball resort that seems to be a front for a group of cute female vampires. But the real story starts towards the end of the book when Gwen is assaulted by the memories of her latest meal, revealing that Fred was murdered! So she agrees to help him catch his killer and bring about some justice.

“Working Stiffs” starts off with Gwen trying to sort through the memories, piecing them together by painting her visions on canvas. Ellie swings through to help and actually contributes a bit by giving Gwen a lead to work with, when she recognizes one of the scenes that has been painted….

The group of vampires are having a meeting to try to see how they can get their numbers so the meals come to them, and they don’t have to leave bodies in alley ways…which someone has been doing, and since that is against their code, it is made clear that if that person is caught they will be dealt with severely. Unfortunately one of those bodies just happens to have been found by the pair of monster hunters: Horatio and Diogenes, and they are determined to find their killers. A new player is also introduced at the end, and he’s about as strange as they come, but it seems as if he knows more about Fred than anyone.

There was a bit of excitement when I first heard about this series and the first issue was only $1.00, so there was no way I was going to pass it up. iZombie #1 sets up the series perfectly with its very diverse cast of characters and varying subplots. Though doing nothing more than that (as expected), you gotta give Roberson credit for still making this thing good enough to pique interest for the second issue. iZombie #2 digs a little deeper and Roberson gives us more character depth to work with, which made for a better read than the first issue. It especially gave us a better look at Gwen, who seems to be just going through the motions of her undead life, irritated by her state and the repetition of it all.

I will say that I was never too fond of Allred’s style in superhero titles, but it’s damn near perfect for iZombie. The book definitely has a look all its own, from the old school pulp feel to its more modern look at times. My only complaints would be that the vampire’s fangs are on the outside of their mouths, which has always seemed silly to me, and it’s a design element I’ve never liked. And why doesn’t ANYONE notice that Gwen’s skin is violet? That part just doesn’t make any sense.

It’s still very early in the series, but so far iZombie is another in the line of good Vertigo titles, and with the first issue only $1.00, it’s definitely worth a shot.

Infinite Speech



  1. I like “iZombie”, but I just keep thinking of “Chew” when reading it.

  2. Kristin

    This actually sounds pretty interesting. I like the idea that she has to solve the unfinished business of the people whose brains she consumes.

  3. I haven’t read Chew yet so I didn’t know there were any similarities between the two

  4. Aron

    I also think this series is pretty cool. It’s not blowing the brain out of my skull yet, but it’s pretty cool. Not everyone can pull off vellum art in comics, but I think Allred is one of them. I was really digging Madman Atomic Comics.

    I think that Gwen looks like the love child of X-Statix U-Go Girl and Orphan.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aron White, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Vertigo Reviews: iZombie #1 + #2! #comics #zombies @vertigo_comics […]

  6. DecapitatedDan

    I won’t get to deep on my thoughts here, but I have to disagree. I think the book is nothing short of blah. The look is not appealing to me and the idea is nothing short of things found in other books, like Chew. The nail in the coffin for me was the Were-Terrier, the Archie style dialogue, and the use of the exact same image 3 times on the very first page of the series. Just not for me.

  7. I was going to ask you about this Dan because as I’ve talked to more people after Andy’s comment I’ve heard that it’s a little too close to Chew and though I’ve heard of it I haven’t read any of the issues so I didn’t think it would be fair for me to comment on it since I’ve never picked up an issue of Chew.

    The were terrier actually made me laugh and I wasn’t too bothered by it and the image on the first page reminded me of a camera zooming in real slow while the you listened to the dialogue. You start off with a wide shot of the entire funeral party while Gwen and her crew are in the background then the second panel begins to zoom in fading out the funeral party and we get a better look at the grave diggers. Then the final panel has an established shot of Gwen and her crew as the focus of that panel.

    One scene but three different shots, its nothing that hasn’t been done over and over again in comics, tv, and movies to establish a scene.

  8. Aron

    It makes me want to eat brains. I love the taste of somebody else’s vomit and motor oil!

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