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Invader Zim was a 2001 animated television series created by comic book writer/artist Jhonen Vasquez and aired on Nickelodeon. The show has a sophisticated, anime-influenced animation style, quirky humour, and a dark, cynical style combined to give it a growing, devoted cult following, particularly among young adult viewers older than the normal Nickelodeon viewer base (young children). Disappointed that its low ratings did not justify high production costs, Nickelodeon initially cancelled the show. Production was reinstated after intense pressure from fans, and then cancelled, resumed and cancelled once more. In all, one and a half seasons of Invader Zim were made (the second being incomplete). It was first transmitted in March 2001. Invader Zim DVD compilations have been released by Media Blasters. On June 25, 2005, a dubbed Japanese version was broadcasted in Japan.
Zim is a member of the mighty Irken race, a species of aliens whose social hierarchy is based on height. The Irken head of state is the Almighty Tallest (during the course of the show, leadership of the Irken Empire is shared by two beings who are exactly the same height). Zim was banished to the planet Foodcourtia to fry things for the remainder of his life for destroying a sizable portion of an Irken city with a giant robot, known as the Frontline Battle Mech. The robot was part of Operation Impending Doom I, a major galactic conquest venture by the Irkens. Zim was overeager and activated his robot before leaving his home planet, much to the chagrin and hatred of his rulers.
Upon hearing of Operation Impending Doom II, Zim "quits" being banished and races to the Great Assigning where Irken Elite soldiers are chosen to become Invaders whose mission it is to blend in with the indigenous life forms of their assigned planet and collect intelligence. Zim pleads with the Tallest to assign him a planet, and in a desperate act to get Zim out of their hair, assign him to a Mystery Planet (or alternatively a random point in space), which turns out to be Earth.
The show features the exploits of Zim trying to conquer the Earth while his arch-nemesis Dib tries to stop him. The concept of alien invasion or conquest of Earth resisted by a lone guardian is the basis of a science fiction sub-genre but the idea of repeated inept failure by the alien conqueror seems to be original.
In a Nickelodeon Magazine Special, there was a short 4 page comic of "Invader Zim" that ended the series with Zim taking over the world while Dib wasn't looking, then inviting Dib to go into space with him and ride giant alien bunnies. But another possible ending would end up with Zim failing to take over the world in the episode "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", which was the last episode made of the series, where we see 2 million years into the future and the humans are not conquered or destroyed.
Invader Zim DVDs are now available.
Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
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