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20px-Cquote1.png Taste my Fistmas!

Invader Zim Issue
Quarterly 3
Holiday Special 1.jpg
Previous: Quarterly 2
Next: Quarterly 4
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication date: December 30, 2020
Story by: Eric Trueheart
Art by: Aaron Alexovich
Color by: Fred C. Stresing

Official Summary

The holidays are upon us and we come bearing gifts! This Invader ZIM holiday special boasts THREE festive stories: The Ghosts of Fistmas pay ZIM a visit, a floating Santa-being vs. hive-mind aliens, and we peer into Professor Membrane's past to learn the origins of his anti-Santa ways. All that PLUS more bonus deranged winter fun!


Quarterly 3 was released on December 30, 2020.[1]


Quarterly #3 has two covers

  • Aaron Alexovich retail cover
  • Warren Wucinich variant cover

Characters in Quarterly #3 (In Order of Appearance)


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

This issue is composed of three self-contained stories:

The Santa-assimilated hive mind

  • The first story opens with a revisit to the end of "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", as Zim and Dib toss the Santa Suit into space. It drifts for a thousand years, until it's found and taken in by an alien AI hive mind which absorbs all things it encounters into itself. The suit steals energy from the hive mind's ship to create a simulated North Pole and restore itself to its full form. It then brainwashes the hive mind into being its elf servants and going out to spread Christmas joy to the universe.

The "Ghosts of Fistmas"

  • Zim wakes up in an old fashioned bedroom, and is confronted by two beings disguised poorly as "the ghosts of Fistmas", whom he quickly realizes are the same idiotic alien abductors he met once before. They reveal that they've trapped him in a simulation of a holiday they call "Fistmas", which they intend to use to conquer Earth, after using Zim to test the simulation and figure out just what Fistmas is. Zim calls them out on misunderstanding Christmas, and how he's already tried this plot, but finds out that he can't leave until he's completed the simulation, so he reluctantly goes along with it. He observes a poorly designed simulated version of himself choosing work over love, a family composed of GIR, Dib, and others denouncing him for having no Fistmas spirit, and his own abandoned grave. However, Zim refuses to learn any lesson, causing the simulation to crash.

Young Professor Membrane

  • A young Professor Membrane receives socks from Santa Claus instead of uranium and declares vengeance. Over the years, he obsessively researches ways to destroy Santa, even while admitting that it's not scientific to believe in him, and struggling with the idea that maybe his parents lied to him. Eventually, he decides to give up and destroy his anti-Santa arsenal, but before he can, Dib calls for help to defeat the Santa Suit. Membrane excitedly hands over the arsenal, and congratulates himself on being a great parent.

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

Facts of Doom

  • Zim's story is a parody of the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol.
  • The last portion of Professor Membrane's story shows what he was doing during "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever".
  • It's revealed in this issue that "in universe" Zim was the one who coined the name for the Christmas episode, which would explain why in the future Mr. Sludgey refers to the events as "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever".
  • Zim's story is implied to take quite some time after the Christmas episode, as he had to explain what the day is about to Blue and Green, which shows he is more familiar with the holiday than he was before.
  • This issue reveals the appearances of Professor Membrane's parents (and Dib's grandparents). Interestingly, the mother is the one with the hair-scythe and the father has Gaz's hairstyle.
  • GIR is seen wearing a different version of his elf-dog disguise for the cover.
  • The two aliens from "Abducted" make their first comic debut in this issue.
  • This is the first issue since Issue 9 to have an activities page at the back of the comic.
  • Unlike previous issues with an anthology format, this one lacks an overarching framing device.
  • Zim being trapped in a virtual simulation is ironic, given his plots against Dib in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom" and Issue 37.
  • This also marks the second time Zim has been trapped in a virtual simulation, as at the end of Issue 37 he became trapped in the simulation he created for Dib.
  • Ironically, Blue and Green are disguised as ghosts, like Zim and GIR were supposed to be in the unmade episode "Day of Da Spookies!".
  • Oddly enough in "Abducted", both aliens seemed more interested in capturing different species for their "collection". However, in this issue, they are now trying to take over the Earth, which unsurprisingly they attempt to do so even worse than Zim has tried to.
  • This is one of the few occasions where we see Zim wearing something other than his Invader uniform.
  • Oddly, in Membrane's story people mock him for believing in Santa, even though the Christmas episode established that all of humanity worships Santa.
  • Membrane's assistant Lucius may be a reference to Batman's associate Lucius Fox.
  • The stadium where Professor Membrane gave his keynote in Enter the Florpus makes an appearance.
  • Fittingly enough, it's revealed that Professor Membrane went to "Science University of Science".
  • Probably as a continuity error, during his college years, we see Professor Membrane with normal arms rather than his robotic ones, unless they are ones made to look like the real ones from before he was attacked by a shark as a child.
    • Similarly, near the end of the third story, Dib seems to have his new hairstyle from the comic, even though he had a different one in the original episode.
  • It's hinted that the Professor's parents are deceased, as he has a photo of them in his office but oddly enough its a photo that must have been taken when he was a child and not a recent one which could also hint that they died a long time ago.