Invader Zim – The Nightmare Begins

By Joshie Jaxon

Some may argue that Invader Zim is too new to be featured on our site, which is devoted to all things retro. However, Invader Zim is fourteen years old, and a cult classic. I’m counting it. Besides, I appreciate the humor in it now, more than I ever did when it was new. I didn’t follow Zim during it’s initial run, so there’s no real nostalgia to this one for me. All jokes will be made strictly from my adult standpoint and observation. Let the geeks begin! 


Welcome, Irken soldiers, to Conventia, the convention hall planet. An entire planet just for conventions? I wonder if Comic Con thought of expanding there? Can you picture Hiddleston standing in Hall Gleeb, shouting “Kneel!”? I can, but then again I usually picture Tom Hiddleston telling me to kneel. That’s a story for another day. Conventia has complimentary teleporters, as well as a gift shop, for lots of cheap, useless, stuff. Their words not mine. I love when shows have quality humor. Speaking of, the Irkens walk past someone holding an X-Ray machine. Now, I thought the Irkens were insects, since they have antennae and big bug eyes, but they seem humanoid, because they have skeletons, as opposed to the traditional insect exoskeleton. Relevance? None. Just another fun factoid that you’ve come to expect.


As the convention hall that they are in fills, we’re told to wiggle our antennae in salute to our powerful leaders, Almighty Tallest Red and Almighty Tallest Purple. Irken society places value on hight, as opposed to skill, it would seem. I though gay men were the size queens. Red tells Purple that the laser show was a success. Purple says a fog machine would have worked, and then the poor guys gets hit in the eye with a laser. Red tells the audience they are the finest warriors, but they’ve selected their choices for Operation Impending Doom 2! Now with 47% more doom! These superior ones, but not quite as superior as the Almighty ones, will be assigned to an enemy planet. There, they will blend in to their native society, gather crucial information, assessing the planet’s weakness, making it vulnerable for their invading big, spaceship, gang. The armada? Yes!



Let the assigning begin! The first invader steps up, and is assigned to the planet of the slaughtering rat-people. The invader has tears in his eyes, and starts to stammer. Wouldn’t you? However, because of this invaders increased height, he’ll be assigned to the planet that is home to the universe’s most comfortable couch. Um, why is that planet an enemy? They won’t share their couch technology? Whatevs. Cut to a ship making it’s way to Conventia. We hear shouting to get out of the way. Someone has road rage. Is it still called road rage in space? There aren’t any roads. Space rage? Anyhow, the sorting ends with the last, and shortest, Irken being assigned to the planet of the slaughtering rat-people. This Irkan is ready to cry too. Oh well. Sorting over, help yourself to nachos. You mooches. 


Zim shoves his way to the front of the crowd. He begs the tallest’s forgiveness. He couldn’t find his invitation. That’s because he wasn’t invited. Apparently Zim had been banished to FoodCourtia. Zim quit when he found out about the assigning. He quit being banished? Yep. He’s a strong, independent, green Irken, that don’t need no man. Red and Purple tell him the sorting is over. Zim says they can’t do this without him. He was in Operation Impending Doom 1. They remember. Flashback to Zim in a giant mech, ala Power Rangers or Voltron, smashing and blasting his way across the planet. His troops tell him they’re still on their own planet. Zim orders them to keep turning knobs and pulling levers. 


Hey, he put the fires out. No, he made them worse. Besides, no invader has ever been so, small. Zim says invader blood runs in his veins, and not to deny him. To thank Zim for his service in the past, Red reaches into the front of his pants, and gives him a sandwich. But, he’s allergic to nuts. Sorry, had to. The tallest decide to send him to a planet so mysterious, no one knows where it is, and those who do, dare not speak it’s name. Zim asks for the name. Purple says he dare not speak it. Zim asks where it is, and they point to a post-it that says “planet?” on it. A secret mission. Score! 


On Earth, we see a boy on a rooftop, listening to the transmission from Red and Purple about the universe belonging to the Irken empire. He scrambles into the house to warn his family. Not now son, I’m making… Toast! Dib’s sister, Gaz, doesn’t care either. Dib can’t even tell them who’s coming. 


Back with the Irkens, it’s time to get your SIR, Strategic Information Robot. All the fancy models are obedient to a fault. Zim can’t wait to have his own robot slave. Red says they have a special model for him. Red goes through the recycle bin, while Purple prevents Zim from peeking. After assembling spare parts, and the contents of their pockets, they present Zim with his robot. He takes one look at it, and says it doesn’t look good. Uh, that’s what the enemy will think. Zim buys it, and is honored to be trusted with such advanced technology. The robot activates, and introduces itself as Gir. Zim asks what the G is for. Gir doesn’t know. He pulls a derp face and sticks out his tongue as he hits himself in the head. Zim asks if it’s supposed to be stupid. It’s not stupid, it’s “advanced”. In their spaceship, Zim tells Gir that it’s time for them to rain doom down on their doomed enemies, on their doomed planet, in their doomed solar system, in the doomed universe! I may have made some of that up. Gir says he’s gonna sing the doom song now. Sing it with me now, doom, doom, doom, doom…


Six months later, Gir is still singing, and Zim is in a stupidity coma. He’s checked out to avoid brain damage from the doom song. That doom, doom doom doom doom. He comes to, and is ready to kill Gir. The sensor tells him they are approaching a planet. Zim asks Gir to stop. Gir holds up a finger, and finishes the verse. Then he gets excited. Zim explains that they’ll need to set up a base of operations. Time for Gir’s advanced technology. Observe what Earthlings consider to be normal, so they can make their disguises accordingly. Gir looks around like a puppy going for his first car ride. Zim finds a spot to park the cruiser, and says this is where they will build. He asks Gir what he learned. I saw a squirrel! Oh, Gir. 


Zim goes to a control panel and selects a disguise. It’s so good, that Gir doesn’t recognize him, and wonders where his master went. Zim says that Gir should be a dog. Gir wants to be a mongoose dog. Quiet! Do you want to wake up the whole planet? “I dooo”. After Gir has his green dog suit on, they begin to design their home. Zim draws up a plan, and sets it in a capsule that drills into the Earth. He and Gir hide, as the drill reaches it’s depth, and extends outward, building their house, and underground base. It attaches itself to the neighboring homes, and saps some of their resources. Lawn gnomes, flamingoes, and an I heart Earth flag complete the design. Zim grabs Gir’s leash, and walks him to the front door. Two half-assed robots stand there, and say welcome home, son. The illusion is flawless. So is the interior design. A toilet in the kitchen? That is so totally Earth.


Zim wants to find the fastest way to learn about the planet so they can conquer the giant ball of filthy dirt. He decides to enroll in skool. Yes, it’s spelled that way. Mrs. Bitters introduces Zim as the latest useless appendage to the education system. Zim then introduces himself as a perfectly normal human worm baby. Pay no attention to him, and you’ll be fine. Dib is in the class, and has a horrified look on his face. Today’s lesson is on outer space. Bitters says the the universe is doomed to implode on itself. Zim asks in the event of a full alien invasion, how prepared the Earth would be. Smooth. Dib can’t take it. Is he the only one who sees the alien in class? The students all look around. Dib calls out Zim as one of the monsters he’s been talking about. Zim gets ready to push his self-destruct armband. 


The students call Dib crazy. Dib points out Zim’s green skin, and lack of ears. Zim says it’s a skin condition. Dib tries again to point out Zim’s lack of human features. The kids are sick of hearing it. Jumping on the bandwagon, Zim says he’s always like that. Dib shouts that he just got there. Dib says there’s finally a way for him to prove that he’s… “Crazy” Zim adds. Ah, the students can see that. Dib and Zim stare each other down, as Bitters repeats doomed, doomed, doomed. Foreshadowing?


After school, Dib says that Zim’s disguise may have fooled the others, but not him. He’ll bring Zim before them without his disguise. He has alien handcuffs, guaranteed to work. Zim laughs. How will they work if he’s never met an alien before? He has, right now. Dib chases Zim through town. Zim shouts to be left alone, he just wants to be normal. They fight atop a bus, but Zim falls onto a fence. Pitiful human! He shouts, before being promptly mauled by a dog. Dib searches the bushes for signs of Zim. Zim gets behind him, and shoves him into the yard with the dog. 


Gir! Help! Gir rockets through town to get Zim, and blasts back to their house. Only problem with that plan is that they left a smoke trail to follow. Dib shows up, and Zim orders Gir inside. It’s too late. Dib knows where you live now. He’ll wait forever if he has to. A lawn gnome targets the handcuffs, and destroys them. Inside the house, we can hear Dib still shouting from outside about how he’s going to prepare, and blah, blah, blah. Zim tells Gir he feels good about how the day went. 


On the good ship Almighty Tallest, they receive an incoming transmission from Earth. Neither of them knows what Earth is. They are surprised to see Zim on screen, and alive. Zim says the mission is going well. He’ll have the planet taken care of before the armada can even arrive. Invader Zim, signing off. Red and Purple just blink and the screen. Shouldn’t have underestimated the little guy. He’s got something to prove. Until next time, everyone. Stay geeky, and keep gabbing. 


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