Invader ZIM Wiki
20px-Cquote1.png I have achieved enlightenment! It's all so clear to me now! The one perfect, flawless way to conquer Earth! My ultimate plan!

Invader Zim Issue
Quarterly 4
Quarterly 4 cover.jpg
Previous: Quarterly 3
Next: The Dookie Loop Horror
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication date: March 17, 2021
Story by: Sam Logan
Art by: Fred Stresing

Official Summary

ZIM hasn't come up with a new scheme in weeks - not because he's out of ideas, but because of the constant distractions. (Dib's endless hounding! Gir's endless nonsense! Minimoose's deeply, deeply judgmental stares!) Because everyone else is the problem, ZIM inserts himself in a sensory deprivation tank, where his genius brain will be free to concoct the ULTIMATE PLAN in undisturbed isolation. He emerges six weeks later to a world completely changed. Everyone has fallen victim to a digital self-improvement program that seems to be subliminally conditioning them. And to ZIM's horror, the delightful digital mascot for the program is a cute little alien named 'Zip' that looks extremely similar to ZIM's undisguised form."


Quarterly 4 was released on March 17, 2021.[1]


Quarterly #4 has two covers

  • Fred Stresing retail cover
  • Cab variant cover
  • Matthew Seely variant cover

Characters in Quarterly #4 (In Order of Appearance)


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

Zim is frustrated by his inability to come up with any plans to conquer Earth, blaming it on distractions like Dib, the other Skoolchildren, GIR, and Minimoose. Determined to eliminate such distractions, he decides to put himself in a sensory deprivation tank so that his mind can be entirely focused on scheming. Despite the advisement to only go into the tank for two hours, he sets it for a much higher amount; he ultimately emerges from the tank six weeks later, completely drained of energy and unable to think of any plans to conquer Earth with. Convinced that his mind will settle and the plans will come to him, he decides to return to his human cover and goes to Skool.

However, when Zim gets to Ms. Bitters' class, he's shocked to find that all the students are now being made to use a typing program featuring as a mascot an alien invader called "Zip", who looks and talks just like Zim, and who makes the students type out phrases encouraging obedience to Zip. Confused and bewildered by this, Zim flees the skool, and is confronted by Dib. The two accuse each other of being responsible for Zip, with Zim claiming that it's a scheme by Dib to expose him. However, Dib points out that the programming created by the Zip Corporation isn't just at the skool, but is being used by all aspects of society.

Determined to figure out what's going on, Zim infiltrates the Zip Corporation's headquarters and confronts its leader. And to his surprise, he finds a prerecorded message from himself. Apparently after three weeks in the deprivation tank, Zim emerged with both a perfect plan and the epiphany that the only way it could succeed is if no one knows what it is, even himself. To this end, he put the majority of the plan in motion from the secrecy of his base, left precisely timed recorded messages to guide himself in complete the plan in the field, then reentered the tank for another three weeks to make himself forget. In the present, Zim is annoyed with himself over this, but goes along with the recorded instructions when GIR (who was with Zim when the messages were recorded) is apparently unable to remember the details.

Zim carries out the instructions from the messages, including throwing disco balls into a volcano, wrapping cows in plastic wrap, giving kazoos to apes at the zoo, planting tuning forks in the ground, and both decontaminating and then recontaminating the sewers. Finally, Zim returns to the Zip Corporation and is told to push a green button on a panel to activate the plan. Frustrated by this whole situation and hating taking orders from someone, even if it's himself, Zim debates whether to push the green button or the red one next to it, wondering if the messages are trying to manipulate his actions. Eventually, just as Dib arrives to stop him (even if he doesn't know what Zim's trying to do) he snaps and presses the red button. The messages congratulate Zim, explaining that having anticipated his desire for having agency in his actions, both buttons were designed to do the same thing.

A transmitter atop the Zip Corporation building activates, and the Zip program causes everyone to say "Eeeee" at the same time. Combined with Zim's previous actions, this somehow destroys every balloon in the world (including uninflated ones). It's at this point that it's revealed that after three weeks in the deprivation tank, Zim was manic and delusional, and thought that destroying all balloons was his greatest goal; the present Zim is initially enraged to learn he was following such a stupid plan, but upon realizing that it succeeded, takes it as a victory and proof that he can win again in the future.

Dib is unimpressed, but the last scenes show that people are heartbroken over the loss of all the balloons.

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

Facts of Doom

  • This is the last quarterly issue, as a few weeks after it was released, Oni Press announced that it would be ending the Invader Zim comic series with a special oneshot issue scheduled to be released in August, which is not part of the quarterly release schedule.[2]
  • A Mr. Wiener Face can be seen in the garbage that's spewed out when Dib emerges from the trashcan he was hiding in.
  • Dib apparently just hiding in a trashcan for the entire time it takes for Zim to show up again, and Zim's confused reaction to it, is similar to Zim hiding in a toilet back in Issue 1 for the whole time it took to make Dib weak, and Dib's confusion at that.