With all of the attention being paid as of late to Chris Roberson’s announced departure from DC Comics, it’s worth noting that he and Michael Allred’s series “iZombie” isn’t actually ending until August 2012. Based on “iZombie” #25, the first of the four-part story “The End,” it’s going out with a bang.
While “iZombie” started out simply enough (Gwen the zombie who retains her intelligence if she eats the brains of dead people, but also gains their memories for a brief time period), these days it’s a bit of a supernatural soap opera. We’ve got all sorts of fantastical creatures (from zombies, vampires, and werewolves to ghosts, revenants and a Frankenstein’s monster) running around the city of Eugene, Oregon and it’s a ridiculous amount of fun.
Roberson might be wrapping things up here, but we still get a lot of new information about oversouls and undersouls (two of the lynchpins of the “iZombie” world), and Allred draws those moments of exposition in a graceful, slick way as Amon and Gwen’s spirits zoom around the area. The two creators are finally focusing directly on the dread power of Xitalu and its mammoth unearthly form has just the right level of menace about it. Even as havoc is wreaked across the city, Allred makes it almost look like fun thanks to his clean art style and the energy that exudes from his drawings. I also have to give Roberson credit that even though he’s wrapping the series up, he provides possibilities for sequels down the line within the story, and gives Gwen a horrible decision to make on the way to save the world.
The bad news, though, is that “iZombie” #25 would probably be a little confusing to jump into if you haven’t read the first 24 issues. This has been a fun series, but hopping in this late would probably be a little overwhelming in spots. Still, there’s enough good moments that you can enjoy regardless (my favorite is the comic creator who ruefully reflects that allowing to be regularly possessed by the spirit of a pulp avenger character wasn’t worth it for rising up in the comics industry) that I’m not going to warn people away. Just know that if you like this issue, there are 24 earlier issues (helpfully all being collected) that you’ll want to read, too. “iZombie” may have only gotten just under two and a half years, but so far it’s been a pretty great ride. Here’s to the last three issues still en route.