iZombie: 10 Things That Make Sense Only If You Read The Comics

iZombie Liv Moore

The CW's hit show iZombie recently completed its fifth and final season. Based on the comic by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, the show centers around Liv Moore, who is a zombie masquerading as a human. Her ability to see people's memories after eating their brains helps her assist the police in solving crimes.

First of all, it's important to note that the CW show changed a lot of things from the comics, especially regarding the show's central character, Liv (Gwen in the comics). This is a very loosely based adaptation. In fact, there are really only a few similarities between the two. The comics are more supernatural in nature, with the inclusion of ghosts, were-terriers, and Frankenstein's monster-inspired monsters. These supernatural elements aren't included on the show. While the concept of eating someone's brain and absorbing their memories is still there in both versions, it's not really a big component of the comics while it's the central story of the show. Even Liv/Gwen's job is different.

Despite all of the things that the producers changed from the comics, there are a few similarities that remain. And the comics help to explain these ideas a little better.

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IZombie Government Task Force

In the comics, Gwen encounters a government task force made up of people who also have supernatural or "special" characteristics. This includes another zombie, a Frankenstein's monster-style creation, and a werecat. The group is led by zombie Abraham Lincoln. They are in charge of keeping the monsters in check and are used because a monster is way better at fighting another monster than a human is. This explains a bit about the zombie-run institution Fillmore-Graves on the show and why they exist. Fillmore-Graves employs a zombie military force to enforce human-zombie law and order in Seattle. It all boils down to "it takes one to know one."


IZombie Full on Zombie mode

On the show, when zombies go too long without eating brains, they begin to lose touch with humanity and take on the characteristics of traditional zombies. These zombies are no longer capable of cognitive function and become monsters whose only goal is to kill people and eat their brains. They refer to zombies who have reached this stage as "Romeros."

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There is no chance to turn back at this point. This is taken from the comics, where Gwen begins to lose all of her memories from her human life. The more she loses those memories, the more she becomes mindless. This is how the zombies become Romeros.


IZombie Mind Memories

The whole premise of the show is that Liv gets flashbacks of people's memories when she eats their brain, which also results in her taking on some new (and often hilarious) personality traits. She uses those memories to help Clive solve crimes. In the comics, this is kind of explained a little more. When Gwen eats a brain, she starts being overwhelmed by that person's thoughts if they have unfinished business. These thoughts become so consuming Gwen is forced to solve the unfinished business so she can get that person out of her head, hence the mystery-solving.


Fillmore-Graves invents a brain paste tube that they give to all of their soldiers. It's made from blended up pieces from different brains in order to avoid potential memories or flashbacks that come with brain-eating.

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In the comics, these come in the form of a smoothie. Madison, one of the Dead Presidents, explains how it works. Basically, by mashing different brains together in a paste, these voices will ultimately silence each other and the zombie won't have to deal with constant conflicting thoughts.


IZombie opening credits

The opening credit art is by far one of the most direct and strongest connections to the comics. That's because it's art that was done for the show by the original comic book artist, Michael Allred. These images are done in the exact same style as the comic, giving it a nice nod to the show's origins. Liv's character is drawn as Gwen Dylan in this sequence as well. Each of the commercial bumpers is also designed and drawn by Allred in the same comic style, but with a focus on the appearance of the actors instead of the comic book character.


IZombie story

This one's easy to explain. On the show, the stories are told through Liv's narration. She often explains her perspective on things as she experiences the world, giving the audience little inside secrets on the situation at hand.

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This is done on the show because it's the way that the comics are structured. The comics are told through Gwen's perspective as she gives us the story of her life, her thoughts, and her interpretations of current events.


IZombie Zombies

Most TV shows that feature zombies often have some different terminology for the creatures. Think white walkers, biters, walkers, the infected, and the like. But on iZombie, they are called zombies. There are actually two reasons for this. First, it's because the show takes place in a world where folklore exists so people already know what they are. Some shows, like The Walking Dead, are based around the idea that zombies in pop culture aren't a thing so no one knows about them. Second, in the comics, they are referred to as zombies because the comics feature a world of supernatural creatures, from vampires to ghosts. It's natural that zombies are just acknowledged for what they are because of the casual existence of all of these other mythological creatures.


IZombie Dungeons and Dragons

On the show, Liv and the gang engage in a game of Dungeons and Dragons when Liv eats the brain of a dungeon master. However, some of the guys, including Clive and Ravi, continue playing the game throughout the rest of the series. Why Dungeons and Dragons?

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Well, it could be because in the comics, one of Gwen's friends, a wereterrier named Spot, is an avid player. He regularly gets together with his friends to play, and it's how they start to know about his secret monster identity.


The idea that zombies are obsessed with hot sauce because they can't really taste anything otherwise was created just for the show. Liv is always creating some kind of dish using brains that makes even our regular human mouths water. In the comics, Gwen just eats regular brains straight out of a corpse's head. But her explanation is the same – brains are disgusting, and they taste like dirt. That's why Liv has to get creative with it. Also, imagine having to eat the same thing over and over again for the rest of your (undead) life? You'd want to start channeling your inner Gordon Ramsay, too.


IZombie Friend gang

You'd think that someone who becomes a zombie would want to be alone and isolate themselves from human contact. But in both the comics and the show, Liv/Gwen surrounds herself with a gang of people who know about her secret and help her throughout all of her adventures. In the show, this is Ravi (Liv's boss at the morgue), Peyton (Liv's best friend), Major (Liv's on-and-off-again boyfriend), and Clive (her police detective partner). However, in the comics, it's a little bit more supernatural. Gwen's gang consists of Ellie (an adorable ghost from the 60s), Spot (the D&D-loving wereterrier), and sometimes Amon (the guy responsible for Gwen's zombie status).

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