Next to vampires, it seems like zombies are one of the biggest horror movie character fads going on right now. I don’t know if it’s anything big that caused this change, or just the fact that it’s been deconstructed, reconstructed, and parodied so many times in recent years that it’s stayed in the public consciousness. But in every case, it’s the same basic idea: a mysterious zombie outbreak happens, a bunch of people die, and things tend to end bittersweet at best. iZombie provides a refreshing change of pace.
Gwen is pretty much a normal post-college girl, working as a grave digger, hanging out with her best friend after work, etc. She’s also a zombie, and she has to eat a brain once a month if she doesn’t want to turn into the typical walking dead. Eating the brain also gives her the memories of the person. In this volume, she finds out that the man has been murdered, leading her to try to find the killer. Writer Chris Roberson has really filled out the book with great horror movie characters in unique roles. Her female friend is a ghost while her male friend is a were-terrier. A group of vampires run a paintball field, taking advantage of the groups of guys to feed. There’s the Corporation, monster hunters who still have a rather mysterious role. It makes the quirky town atmosphere that fantasy TV shows have, and does it by going away from clichés. We do learn a lot about why these people exist, but unfortunately, some of them just don’t have much depth or interaction on the main story. I assume that this is going to be expanded on in future volumes.
I’m also rather disappointed in the way the main plot turns out. It just kind of ends, and leaves a few too many threads hanging. When I think to some of the great first volumes of comic series, they at least wrap up the plot of the arc, albeit leaving enough hooks for the overall story (Fables was really good at doing this). Here, it does end, but just not in a way you expect or in a way that’s likely to leave you happy. It’s more the feeling of “Well, we don’t need to worry about that anymore.”Overall, I’m intrigued enough to keep reading, but not really satisfied. I really hope that, in future volumes, the world comes out more and the plots really take off. But if you’re looking for a unique take on horror characters, this is definitely worth checking out.