The Swollen Eyeball Network is an organization of devoted conspiracy theorists and paranormal investigators obsessed with the paranormal, including aliens, Bigfoot, and ghosts. Dib is one of their members, who, unfortunately, has been made a fool of in the eyes of his organization many times, most notability in "Zim Eats Waffles".
They sometimes help Dib fight Zim, as shown in "Battle of the Planets". It was confirmed by Jhonen Vasquez that the Swollen Eyeball Network would help Dib fight. Most of the time, however, a vast majority of the agents are simply annoyed by Dib.
The exact extent, founder, goal, and power of the organization is unknown, although multiple factors suggest that they are more powerful than one might assume. The technology used by Swollen Eyeball members seems advanced, as they have been shown to use a two way camera/video screen that hovers in midair, an example shown in "Zim Eats Waffles". In the episode "Battle-Dib", there was a very large audience when Dib went to make his presentation on Zim (which he accidentally left behind and was unable to show them).
In episode "Zim Eats Waffles", most of the Swollen Eyeball agents are identified. They use code names to conceal their identity. The only known members are Agent Darkbootie (The Swollen Eyeball agent who has appeared most often, and in the episode "Battle of the Planets" was revealed to be a janitor), Agent Disembodied Head, Agent Tunaghost, and Agent Nessie (who bears a resemblance to Dib's father, Professor Membrane). Dib's codename is Agent Mothman, which is theoretically an allusion to the Mothman myth. The agents never show their faces, except for Agent Darkbootie.
- Main article: Dib Membrane
Dib is known as Agent Mothman in the Eyeball Network. He is often ridiculed by the other agents, but Agents Darkbootie and Tunaghost help him from time to time, most notably in "Battle of the Planets" and "Gaz, Taster of Pork".
Agent Darkbootie is the most often-seen member of the Network (aside from Dib), and one of the few agents who want to give Agent Mothman a chance to prove himself to their organization, and did so in "Battle-Dib". However, Darkbootie was upset with him when Mothman called him in "Zim Eats Waffles" and apparently was trying to play a joke. In "Battle of the Planets", it's revealed that Agent Darkbootie is actually a janitor at NASAPlace.
Agent Darkbootie is most likely (though it's never expressly stated) the leader of the Swollen Eyeball Network. Despite being a janitor, he has impressive engineering skills (having repaired an old rocket NASA once used to shoot monkeys into space), and while he expressed disdain or annoyance regarding Dib's attempts at exposing Zim, he offers occasional assistance. The only notable time was in "Battle of the Planets", when he said the only other planet with built-in rockets had to be Mercury.
Agent Darkbootie is voiced by John de Lancie, who played the all-powerful Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When not appearing in silhouette, Darkbootie has a far less inimidating voice, provided by Fred Tatasciore.
Agent Tunaghost is the only female agent to make an appearance in the series. She is the only other agent, besides Darkbootie, who tries to help Dib and investigates for him in "Gaz, Taster of Pork". She is voiced by Jocelyn Blue.
It's possible that she is one of the punk girls found in the background of the episodes (featured in "Megadoomer" as the girl using the computer when Zim stomps down the street), as she bears some resemblance to her. However, this is never confirmed nor alluded to beyond physical similarities. Her name is confirmed to be Rika in the "Invader Zim Stock Adult Line Up" page in The Art of Invader Zim.
Agent Disembodied Head
Agent Disembodied Head didn't bother listening to what Dib had to say in "Zim Eats Waffles". Instead, he yelled at him for calling the agents so often. Disembodied Head has a bird on his shoulder, and is one of the many Swollen Eyeball members who finds Dib annoying. He is voiced by Danny Cooksey.
Agent Nessie laughed at Dib when he called him in "Zim Eats Waffles," and then mentioned that he had heard about Dib's reputation for being insane from Darkbootie. He is voiced by Bill Chott.
Agent Nessie was the second agent Dib contacted to witness the "carnage" of the waffles. He proclaims that Dib was an idiot and refused to watch his spy camera footage. While he never shows his face, due to his mouth-covering collar, the possibility exists that Agent Nessie is a scientist from Membrane Laboratories.
Although never seen in the series, there were several agents revealed in concept art that came with the boxed set DVDs of Invader Zim, Unfortunately, there are no legitimate names or information about them, other than the ones that have been shown in the show. There is one, however, that appears to be their leader. He resides in a hover chair, has a wide stare, and a bald head.
It's unknown if Dib's Laptop and his various other equipment is from the Swollen Eyeball. It's much more likely, though, that the majority of it was obtained through his father, since Professor Membrane is the Earth's most brilliant scientist of his time. However, in "Dark Harvest", Dib claimed to Gaz that he ordered his working X-Scope from a magazine.
Facts of Doom
- Their phone number is 1-555-555-0199.
- Dib's codename, Agent Mothman, is a reference to the flying cryptid, the Mothman. It's interesting to note the significance of this particular cryptid; Mothman is sometimes linked to the various disasters he appears near, such as the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge. It's often argued, in those cases, that Mothman tried (unsuccessfully) to warn of the bridge collapse, just as Dib is frantically trying to warn those around him of the coming Irken invasion.
- Agent Nessie's codename is a reference to the Loch Ness Monster, which often goes by the nickname Nessie.
- In the unmade episode "Invader Poonchy", Zim pretends to be a member of the Swollen Eyeball Network to trick Dib but got the name wrong, calling it the Swollen Meatball Network, and instead of the silhouette that all Agents use to conceal their identities, Zim used a bizarre disguise in a shadowy form.
- The Swollen Eyeball is a possible parody of the conspiracy theory of the Illuminati, a secret society said to use the eye on the back of a dollar bill as their symbol to represent the Illuminated ones. The eye of the Swollen Eyeball Network logo could be copying the Illuminati eye.
- The Swollen Eyeball Network also appears in the comic series. However, so far this has been limited to Agent Darkbootie making a cameo appearance in Issue 13 and the main agents appearing briefly at the beginning of Issue 31. Dib tries to contact them in Issue 37, but the "agent" he talks to is just another part of the virtual illusion he's trapped in, and turns into Zim.
- The TruthShrieker forums are a different organization, though both are dedicated to paranormal activity. The two organizations have similar codenames, for example Dib's account on the forum is "Agent Mothman", which is the same as his Swollen Eyeball codename. Other members of the forum tend to have names beginning in "Agent", such as: Agent Fingerpoops, AgentVonAgent, and Agent Batflaps.
- Issue 0 makes it clear TruthShrieker doesn't like the Swollen Eyeballs, at least partially because TruthShrieker editor UFO Face tried to join them once but was rejected for not having a cool enough code name.