- Written by: Chris Roberson
- Art by: Michael Allred
- Colourist: Laura Allred
- Letterer: Todd Klein
- Cover by: Michael Allred
- Collects issues: 1-5 + The House of Mystery Halloween Annual #1
In March 2015, the CW Network premiered the first episode of it’s new show ‘iZombie’, a series loosely adapted from the comic book series of the same name which is published by DC Comics under the Vertigo imprint label.
I watched the show when it first aired and bought a special edition first issue of the comic book series that was printed with a promotional banner for the upcoming series. After reading the first issue, I realised how different the comic was to the show, and I wanted to know more about the world within the comics as it seemed more diverse and fleshed out, instead of focusing primarily on zombies. Luckily, a friend of mine had volume one of the series and gave it to me as a gift.
If you have watched the television series, my first piece of advice would be this; forget what you think you know about the iZombie universe. The comic is almost entirely different from the series, with only a few similarities which are as follow:
- The protagonist is indeed a zombie
- The protagonist is female
- She eats brains and gets visions from them
- She also takes on some of their personality
- She feels the need to avenge their deaths
That is where the similarities end it seems. Whilst the series is about Olivia “Liv” Moore, a former medical resident turned coroner’s assistant at the morgue, the protagonist of the comic series is called Gwendolyn “Gwen” Dylan, a grave digger who cannot remember her past (at least not in this volume).
Gwen works at the local cemetery digging graves and filling them back up by day, and repeating the process at night with a short interval in which she takes the brains of the deceased to eat, otherwise she becomes a full on ‘Night of the Living Dead’ mindless zombie, with nothing left of her humanity. Her best friends include a Ghost of a young woman named Eleanor “Ellie” Roosevelt, who died in the 1960’s, and a young man named Scott, though Gwen calls him Spot. Scott seems like your average human compared to the Gwen and Ellie, but you soon learn that he is in fact a ‘Were-Terrier’. That’s right, terrier, not wolf, but a terrier, which is less threatening than a werewolf but somewhat more confusing.
When Gwen eats a brain, she gets visions of sorts, a flash of all their memories, and with it, some of their personality, but she also maintains the majority of her own personality (unlike Liv Moore in the series). Luckily for Gwen, she only has to eat one brain a month in order to prevent her more unpleasant side from taking over.
Gwen discovers the truth about what makes her special and about the world around her. She already knows about ghosts and were-terriers but she is shown that there are also Vampires, as well as a secret organisation of monster-hunters that have been around for centuries. All of this is revealed to her by a man named John Amon, someone like Gwen but much older, dating back to Ancient Egypt. Amon explains to Gwen the complex nature of the world and it’s many forms of creatures, which is fascinating to me and I would love to read more into this universe.
I was delighted that the comic is very different from the show. I loved the series and have watched it multiple times, but this comic is certainly something I would love to read more of, set aside from watching the show. It’s got a great cast of characters and the mystery of Gwen is only just beginning to unfold. This is certainly going to be one of my favourite comic series to read and collect.