One of the things I’ve grown to love about “iZombie” is its soap opera storytelling style. In other words, while it may claim to have different multi-part storylines with a beginning, middle, and end, the reality is that it’s just one massive ongoing serial. (The notable exceptions are the interlude issues that focus on one character, like last month’s installment.)
So while this is nominally the first chapter of “Six Feet Under and Rising,” it’s picking right up where everything was left at the end of #11. Galatea is continuing her experiment that could quite possibly destroy the world. The vampire nest is claiming new victims. Horatio is still fighting the supernatural at the bequest of the Corporation. Amon is pulling strings. And Gwen? She just wants to live a normal life.
What’s great is that Chris Roberson makes you care about these characters. When we learn that Gwen has lost enough memories that she didn’t know it was her own birthday, it’s a sad and poignant moment. Roberson doesn’t overly dwell on it, but that twinge of emotion rings loud and clear. And so as all of the plots quietly spin forward, it’s fun to check in with all of these characters thanks to the interest he’s built.
At the same time, Roberson’s also good with more plot-oriented storytelling. Gwen’s mystery memory flash is a little surprise, for instance (the origin of which I almost didn’t catch until my second read-through), and Spot’s certainly in a bad place at the end of this issue. And if that’s not enough, we’ve now got a “Dead Presidents” back-up feature with a group of supernatural agents who all have code names based on presidential surnames, and who are also connected to Galatea’s schemes. There’s a lot of stuff going on in any single issue of “iZombie” and this one is no exception.
Michael Allred’s art continues to look great. Not only do all of the regular characters turn out expressive and beautifully drawn, but Allred whips up some new character designs this month that are different from anyone we’ve seen to date but still fit in perfectly. I love Madison’s werecat form, which looks sleek, dangerous, and a perfect synthesis of human and feline predator. And as for Komandir Koschei, not only do I love that Roberson named a Frankenstein monster “deathless” but Allred’s illustrations of him in a Soviet uniform look top notch. “iZombie” reminds me month in and month out how great of an artist Allred is, and getting a regular dose of his art (coupled, of course, with Laura Allred’s beautiful colors) is a real treat.
“iZombie” continues to serve up the fun, month in and month out. And be it a “Scooby Doo” parody or a group of secret agency monsters, it delivers just what I’m looking for in a comic. Another great outing from both creators.