Heroes & Villains: What If?, The Me You Love In The Dark, Invader Zim: The Dookie Loop Horror

It is early. The kind of early that make a man mean…and bitter. But somebody has to watch the new Disney+ series What If…? before anyone in the Eastern time zone is awake. Luckily for you all this is a feat I’ve attempted once before when Disney+ launched with The Mandalorian AND I’m a habitual early riser so this is really just another Wednesday for me.

What If…?

You may ask yourself why I haven’t repeated this feat for any of the three prior MCU Disney+ installments? And you may ask yourself, “How do I work this?” And you may also ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?” To answer the third question first, please see my introduction where I clearly state that I am an early riser. Now, as for the second question, I am up EARLY everyday without fail. Ass-shatteringly early. So, I’m able to watch some TV before I begin my workday proper. As for the first question…nobody asked me to review those early. Also, two thirds of those premiered on Fridays, not the day H&V is published.

First off, I still stand by this tweet of mine.

Next, Jeffrey Wright is the coolest and if I could pick anyone to voice a giant, bald, all-seeing baby man from Earth’s moon…it would be him. Also, I’m glad to see Hayley Atwell back as some variation of Peggy Carter along with a surprising number of the cast from The First Avenger.

What If…? moves along at a brisk clip, remixing the plot of The First Avenger so a passing knowledge of the movie is helpful, but not required, to get the most out of the show. It packs A LOT into its half hour runtime just like the What If…? comics did in their day. For the uninitiated it could be frustrating to get half an hour (or an issues-worth) of great story and be left asking, “Well, what happened NEXT?” If anything, this show blows the doors wide open on Marvel’s forthcoming entry into the multiverse by showcasing its limitless storytelling potential.

The animation didn’t exactly grab me in the few trailers we’ve gotten prior to the series premier but in execution it has a very slick finish with smooth action and some more comic book flourishes than would be possible in the cinematic MCU. It’s going to be an interesting show to watch especially with other MCU actors reprising their roles, notably Chadwick Boseman’s final outing as T’Challa which no doubt will require me to bring a big box of tissues prior to viewing.

The Me You Love In The Dark
Skottie Young (W)
Jorge Corona (A)
Image Comics

I will freely admit to being asleep at the switch on occasion when it comes to new releases. Sure, I get the advance press emails but every now and then stuff just escapes my gaze. That’s why I always make it a point to peruse the new releases at my LCS when I’m picking up my pull. I had actually seen The Me You Love In The Dark in the Previews catalog and made note of it but promptly forgot to ask that it be added to my pull list. Here’s the blurb:

Writer SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool, Strange Academy) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Super Sons, Feathers) follow up their critically acclaimed series MIDDLEWEST with a brand-new haunting tale. An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town to find solace and inspiration without realizing the muse within is not what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

I absolutely adored Middlewest and the world Young and Corona created with that book so when I saw that they were reuniting for another book I was excited. Middlewest had a lengthy run and The Me You Love In The Dark is a five-issue miniseries so I’m curious to see what the duo does with a limited amount of time with which to tell their story. This was a strong first issue and it feels like it’s going to be a great book to read as we transition into fall.

Invader Zim: The Dookie Loop Horror
Jhonen Vasquez & Eric Trueheart (W)
Aaron Alexovich (A)
Oni Press

It’s the 20th anniversary of Invader Zim…a show I watched in college which now makes me officially “an old” and also the FINAL issue of the Invader Zim comic. Here’s the blurb:

In Invader ZIM: Dookie Loop Horror, up in the sky, something…BLUE approaches. And it smells HORRIBLE. It turns out that interdimensional creatures called Chrono-Dumpers eat time and use our dimension as a toilet, creating an infinite time loop. There is no escape from the time poop loop, forcing Dib and ZIM to live the same TERRIBLE day forEVER. They wake, the tuxedoed pig farts, the world ends. And the key to fixing the loop is GIR. We are all DOOMED.

Fans of Invader Zim should be completely satisfied with this book…I mean, I was and I’ve been there since the beginning! I can only hope that Zim fans will now be able to let Vasquez and Trueheart rest and stop badgering them about when we’ll get another animated Zim project. Seriously, Invader Zim: Enter The Florpus was something of a minor miracle coming out EIGHTEEN years after the show’s cancelation. I don’t think we can pull off another one. We should concentrate on asking Vasquez on when he’s going to do more Filler Bunny comics and we should really be asking Trueheart when the next volume of The Medium-Sized Book of Zim Scripts is coming, or perhaps new episodes of his D&D One Man Murder Maze podcast.

Comics that are adaptations of animated properties have traditionally been a hard sell for me as they oftentimes lose something in the translation. Oni’s Invader Zim title has been a notable exception due to the voice and utter lunacy of the show refusing to be bound by one medium. Zim has had an phenomenal run in animation, comics, and Hot Topic stores everywhere and this was a fitting end.

OR IS IT? Probably? I don’t know…let these guys go do something else awesome for a change.

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