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iZombie: Dead To The World (Review)

iZombie: Dead To The World

Writer: Chris Roberson

Artist: Michael Allred

Color Artist: Laura Allred

Letterer: Todd Klein

Publisher: Vertigo

Rating: 8/10 Braaaaaaains

The spooky season is reaching critical spookiness and to appease the ghosts and ghoulies of the night it’s time to review another Halloween themed book. This week I am revisiting Comic Lounger Gen’s pick from my previous vote, iZombie: Dead To The World, as it was a strongly recommended pick. What kind of monster would I be if I didn’t cover this book in general? I dared not defy this read any longer. Warning. Plenty of spoilers are about to be dug up.

Brain Food

What do you get when you have a ghost, a werewolf and a zombie knock on your door? Trick-or-treaters! In the case of being in the world of iZombie, located in Eugene, Oregon, they could also be the actual monsters and not wearing costumes. Within this book, we are introduced to Gwen, a zombie who needs to consume a human brain at least once a month or risk turning into an extra from The Walking Dead, shambling around. The bonus side effect of eating these brains is that she gains the memories of those they belonged to for a short time.

At this point you might be beginning to ask yourself, “Is this that CW show that got five pretty well-received seasons and had Rose McIver from that ver meta Power Rangers show, as well as Rahul Kohli, that very handsome gentleman?” Well, you probably just asking the first part. The rest might just be me, but to answer that question it both is and isn’t that CW show. The show definitely takes elements from the book, i.e. the whole zombie eating brains thing and using the knowledge of the consumed to avenge their death. The similarities seem to stop there and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s rather refreshing. Cast aside your knowledge of medical examiner Liv Moore for Gwen Dylan, the gravedigger.

Our undead protagonist lives a simple life in this story. She digs a hole. A body goes in it. She buries that body. She digs it up later at night. She eats their brain and then she buries them back up. Gwen sometimes will spend time with her ghost friend Eleanor and their good boy wereterrier, Scott. She also sometimes will avenge the murdered owners of the brains she eats if she feels truly compelled. After eating one man’s brains, Gwen stumbles onto a mystery tracking down his murderer. Along the way, we learn that there are more than just zombies, ghosts and wereterriers going bump in the night as vampires go off the reservation of their strict rules and attract the attention of some monster hunters. Things are shaping up to be real monster mash by the end of this book.

You’ve Got Allred On You

I’m honestly not much of a zombie fan. I think the only movie I’ve been able to make it through the hoards of the undead was Shawn of the Dead. But, like a zombie must consume brains, I must consume Allred art. The style is so pleasing that I could just flip through this series over and over again without reading it and still enjoy it. Laura Allred’s colors in this are fabulous, having such solid color choices that ranged all over the place.  Colors in this were vibrant for a book about monsters and didn’t rely on a set pallet. Outfits of blues, yellows and reds would pop on panels all at once. Even for a book that takes place at night, things are bright. After going through other works by Michael Allred I noticed that with this series, the eyes were the biggest draws in his work. Almost every expression really felt like it was being telegraphed from the eyes. From Scott’s puppy dog eyes to Eleanor’s gaze as she stares off thinking of another time.

A Monstrously Well Written Story

After reading iZombie, I asked myself what I took away from the writing by Chris Roberson. I really enjoyed that the world Gwen lives in now puts us in a setting that is monster meets slice of life (I’ve been really looking to find a time to use that term). Roberson not only has Gwen but Scott, vampires and even a mysterious mummy who are living day by day trying to get by and blending in. Despite the whole tension of Gwen facing the surge of memories she receives from the murder victim to help avenge him, everything feels pretty laid back. It definitely plays out like a light-hearted drama in the best ways. Sure there is conflict, but let’s enjoy the moment while we get there with spending time with our characters as they hang out. This is reflected in the ending of this book when we truly don’t get the resolution for the murder victim Gwen is trying to help, but instead, get to share a moment of her being reminded that she is not alone in this scary new life she has.

A Book To Die For

It took my wife, the Allred’s art and my fellow Comic Lounger, Gen, to finally pick this book up. All I can say after reading it was that I’m glad I did before I died because I probably wouldn’t have gotten a second chance after to read this by becoming the undead (unless I was a comic zombie). iZombie: Dead To The World is a fun read full of compelling characters, light drama and a really cool premise that if the CW show has taught me anything about this zombie, it is that I can look forward to even more interesting stories to be told from Roberson in this series. Don’t wait around to get infected for more of iZombie!


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