Invader ZIM Wiki
20px-Cquote1.png Whoa, Zimmy. No need to get nasty. How about this? I bet I can do a better job invading Earth in three days than you could in 16 years. Winner takes the planet. And the loser gets banished to Earth's sad, dumpy little moon.

Invader Zim Issue
Issue 21
Previous: Issue 20
Next: Issue 22
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication date: July 12, 2017
Story by: Dave Crosland
Art by: Dave Crosland
Color by: Warren Wucinich

Official Summary[]

Special one-shot issue by former series artist Dave Crosland! ZIM’s finally found a way to get rid of Dib and Gaz—his Mind Swapper will transfer their brains into any object ZIM desires! Enter GIR, out of control and hopped-up on sugar, causing the machine to malfunction. And when the smoke clears, the wrong minds have been swapped! Now Gaz is ZIM and GIR is Dib and Dib is GIR and ZIM is Gaz and… eh, just read the issue, alright?[1]


Issue 21 was released on July 12, 2017.


Issue #21 has a total of 2 cover variations. 

  1. Dave Crosland standard retail cover
  2. Caitlin Rose Boyle variant cover

Characters in Issue #21 (In Order of Appearance)[]


SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!

Human test subjects or something

ZIM once again up to something evil

The issue opens with a hooded figure addressing an unseen audience, saying that they are going to share the story of how Zim finally managed to conquer the Earth.

The scene then flashes back to Zim's Base, where Zim is holding Dib and Gaz prisoner and is intending to destroy them. After perusing several means of doing so, he settles on a machine that can switch a person's mind with any other person or object, intending on trapping the siblings in other forms to get rid of them.

He then tells GIR, who's eating pudding, to stop and prepare the machine while he gloats. While Zim is gloating, neither of his prisoners are impressed - Dib states that he'll win like he always does, while Gaz is more concerned with getting back to her games. Annoyed, Zim tells GIR to activate the machine, only for the pudding on GIR's hands to cause it to malfunction, causing a huge explosion that engulfs the base. When the smoke clears, Zim has switched bodies with Gaz, and GIR with Dib, and the machine has been destroyed, making it impossible to switch back.

Lets make a deal

ZIM and Gaz make a bet

Zim and Dib are horrified at this, but Gaz doesn't care and makes to leave. Dib goes after her and tries to convince her to stay and help figure out a way to get back to normal, or at least keep Zim from conquering the Earth.

This makes Gaz stop and think, and she goes to Zim, proposing a deal - she thinks she can do a better job of taking over the world than him, so she should get three days to do, with the loser of the bet being banished to the moon.

Zim smugly accepts the deal, thinking she can't win. As Gaz starts to study Zim's equipment, she reassures Dib that she's just trying to destroy Zim's operation from within, and suggests he access GIR's robot brain for information. However, the insanity of GIR's mind is too much, and terrifies Dib.

The next day, Gaz emerges from the lower levels of the base and tells Zim, who has started displaying Gaz's own gaming obsession, that she's putting her plan into action, starting by confronting all the world's militaries, opening the front door of Zim's base to reveal them all assembled outside. The soldiers prepare to destroy the alien threat, but Gaz (referring to herself as Zim) uses a device of Zim's to magnetically gather all the militaries' weapons and then shoot them into the sun. She then states that she's from a friendly race, and that she's now brought the world peace, leading to her being carried away by a grateful crowd, with the soldiers' leader singing her praises.

The following day, Gaz holds a press conference, announcing that she's now going to solve world hunger, using a new kind of food created from Borlax nectar, which unbeknownst to the public, poisons the eater and makes them stupider and easier to control. The day after this, world leaders are hosting a conference with Gaz.

Zim and Dib, both upset with Gaz's actions (Zim is jealous of her success, while Dib doesn't like how Irken-like Gaz is becoming) go to speak to her in her dressing room, finding her accompanied by GIR, who has turned Dib's body into a cyborg. Zim is furious that Gaz is taking all the credit for taking over, only for her to state that she promised everyone would know Zim's name, and that she is Zim now, leaving both the real Zim and Dib stunned.

Zim actually taking over the earth

Gaz about to be nominated as leader of the world

Zim tells Dib that they have to stop Gaz, but Dib becomes overwhelmed by GIR's insanity and runs off. Zim turns to GIR, saying that he has to prove to everyone that he's the real Zim.

In response, GIR shaves Gaz's body bald and implants fake antennae in her head, allowing Zim to look partially Irken as he marches on stage to confront Gaz as an imposter while she's accepting her nomination as leader of the world. However, no one believes him when he says that he's the real Zim.

The story then changes back to the present day, where the hooded figure reveals themselves to be Zim, who was banished to the moon as per the terms of the bet, along with Dib, who is now completely consumed by GIR's insanity. Zim says that he's making the most of the situation, while it's revealed that he's actually now on a show called "Moon of Sadness", which Gaz and GIR are watching from Earth.

End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.

Facts of Doom []

  • This is the fourth one-shot issue. The other three are Issue 6, Issue 11, and Issue 16.
  • When Dib is hallucinating several copies of GIR talking to him, they ask him to come play with them forever, a reference to the horror movie The Shining.
    • In the same hallucination, Dib sees more copies of GIR in his dog disguise, causing him to say that he doesn't want GIR's "dog babies", presumably meaning puppies. This is the same term for them Zim and GIR used in Issue 9.
  • This issue's title, "Merciless Monday", is a nod to the Freaky Friday franchise.
  • Zim's antennae are green rather than the standard black, this error was also briefly made in "Battle of the Planets".
  • Gaz's, GIR's and Dib's bodies change eyes to represent them having switched bodies, but Zim's body keeps Zim's eyes and instead gets a tuft of Gaz's purple hair.
  • Gaz is shown to be a little friendly towards Zim, as she calls him "Zimmy" many times throughout the issue. Though she somehow banishes Zim and Dib to the moon while stealing his mission.
  • When swapped; the 8-bit bunny skull on Gaz's shirt changes to the Irken Invader symbol. Dib's ghost shirt also changes into an Invader symbol.
  • When proposing her bet to Zim, Gaz states that she can do more in 3 days than Zim could in "16 years", a nod to how long since the Invader Zim franchise started, at the time of the issue's publication.
  • We learn that Irkens can grow a "third arm" something Zim was not aware of.
  • It's ironic that Zim ended on the moon seeing as he promised it to GIR as revealed in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl."
  • Since the PAK is basically Zim's brain, it's unknown how he was even able to switch bodies with Gaz, seeing as she still had his PAK while in Zim's body. Presumably this is simply a case of the writers ignoring an established but relatively minor fact for the sake of the plot.
  • The issue was negatively-received by fans; it was criticized for its very confusing storyline, nonsensical moments, huge plot holes, disturbing visuals, and the art-style of the issue. It was also criticized for Gaz being out-of character as she purposely steals Zim's mission and becomes the Earth leader herself to the point she banishes both Zim and Dib to the moon and are now being seen as a laughing stock TV-show.