Regular readers of “iZombie” have probably noticed by now that in addition to the main character of the book being a zombie (duh), Chris Roberson’s been adding a wide assortment of other mythical creatures into the cast. I’ve enjoyed the variety being present, but this month it starts to pay off in that regard as Roberson shifts the focus over to Spot the were-terrier for a fun one-off story.
It would be a fair assumption at this point that this would be little more than a fill-in, a way to give Michael Allred a break and an empty space between stories. Happily, it’s not. “iZombie” #6 takes place immediately after the previous issue, with the entire creative team intact. Gwen still doesn’t trust Amon the mummy, and the knowledge that he’s given Gwen has filtered down to Ellie and Spot on how the existence of the oversoul and the undersoul has made all of them what they are.
From there, though, we get Spot’s secret origin as a were-terrier. It’s not quite what you’d have expected, and we also get to see a lot of Spot’s general geeky upbringing and pastimes, which is yet another reason to love him. He’s a fun, unassuming character who has quietly started to steal his scenes in “iZombie” to date, and this issue is no exception to that rule. Some of the story is a bit predictable (if you can’t see the immediate fate of Spot’s grandfather coming you’ve never read a single book or gone to the movies in your life), but at the same time Roberson makes sure that it’s what happens afterward that will bring a pleasant surprise. And unlike most one-off stories, it looks like this is going to have some longer term consequences.
Allred’s art looks a bit more sharp than it did last month, and he’s back to his normal, clean and smooth ink line. I love how he draws Spot’s slightly goofy expressions and his gangly body in general; he’s probably one of the most realistic looking characters at the big two comic publishers right now. And let’s face it, while Paul Pope may still have the lead for “most fashionable looking comic book characters,” Allred is in the top ten list of artists who make characters dress well. Gwen and Ellie’s outfits are a trip, and a nice contrast to the typical well-adjusted geek dress sense that Spot and his friends are sporting.
Sure, it would’ve been fun to see more about the agency out there that’s tracking down all the fantastical creatures in the area. But this brief detour away from the main plot for a story all about Spot came at just the right time. It’s a nice way to let the reader catch his or her breath, introduce someone new, and prepare us for the next big storyline. Like the series in general, “iZombie” #6 is just a lot of fun.