Since its premiere in 2015, iZombie has amassed quite a considerable following of adoring fans. The show's witty and somewhat relatable (you know, minus the whole zombie thing) main character, paired with the crime-solving element and the paranormal vibe, are a great formula to get people hooked.
While some fans of iZombie were probably attracted to it in the first place because they were already acquainted with the comics in which the show is inspired, there are also many people out there who have no idea the source material is a series of comic books. This, however, isn't much of a problem.
Yes, the show is based on comics with the same title, but similarities between the two are actually pretty scarce. The showrunners took more than a few liberties when getting the story to take the leap from the pages to the screen. Some fans were happy, some weren't, which is pretty much the norm in these situations. But just in case you're wondering, here's the rundown of iZombie, the show VS the comics.
10 Oh Liv, Liv, Wherefore Art Thou Liv?
Let's start with the basics - the main character's name in the show isn't the same as it is in the comics. The Liv Moore we've grown to love and admire is actually Gwen Dylan in the original source material. A change like this has serious potential to annoy die-hard fans of the comics. Just imagine if Edward Cullen was renamed Richard Molasses in the movie adaptations. That would make for some devastating teenage girl uprisings!
Within the context of iZombie, however, the change does sense in a way. Because the creators took so many liberties with their take on the show, Liv and Gwen seem like different people. And if the point of the show was to somewhat offer a new take on the comics, renaming the character is okay. Or at least preferable to keeping it and completely change everything else.
9 Let's Skip Portland, Shall We?
Another tiny change the show makes compared to the comics is the setting. Zombie Gwen Dylan and her pals live through their adventures in Portland, Oregon. Of course, we all know TV show iZombie takes place in Seattle, Washington, and not in Portland.
Whether this was just a matter of practicality and budget or the showrunners thought it enhanced the dramatic effect of the series, it's unclear. Either way, it's not a major change that either gives or takes away from the show or the comics. Still, it deserves a mention before moving on to bigger things.
8 Taste? No, I Don't Know Her
Both the comics and the show are pretty similar in the depiction of zombie Gwen/Liv. They stray away from the typical notion of what we imagine when someone says the word "zombie". In their new-found form, both versions of the main character are deathly pale, but not so much that they can't pass as humans - thankfully, otherwise, that wouldn't make for much of a compelling show. At least, not one in the likes of iZombie.
There is, however, a slight addition in the show to Liv's new life as a zombie. Many people with think this is a fate worse than death - completely losing a sense of taste. It's good for dieting but just plain sad for life in general. This change leads Liv to quite literally drowning all the brains she eats in hot sauce, the only way she can taste something. Yay?
7 The Job Doesn't Suck Quite As Much
Gwen's occupation in the comics is far from being anyone's dream job. Once she turns into a zombie, she realizes that, surprise, surprise, brains are now her one and only source of sustenance. Her new job as a gravedigger provides her with fresh brains from newly-buried corpses, but it doesn't do much in terms of the action and mystery-packed storyline the showrunners were aiming for.
Instead, in the TV show, Liv finds herself a cool new gig at a morgue. This is definitely a win-win situation, since we see the main character get her nutrition source from the corpses that arrive to be autopsied, and we have the perfect excuse to see Liv solving murder cases. Posing as psychic, the memories she gains access to after eating someone's brains are an invaluable asset to help get the job done.
6 Bite Me! (Or Don't, Whatever)
A major plot point of the series is that Liv turns into a zombie after she is infected. The infection occurs when she is bitten by everyone's favorite antagonist, Blaine. The bite is pivotal because it sets in motion another huge plot point of the series. However, in the books, things go differently.
The iZombie comics are an entire supernatural universe on its own. Much of this universe is completely absent of the show, but it's due to the characteristics of that universe that Gwen turns into a zombie in the first place. She isn't bitten - she simply rises from her grave one night, but she isn't human anymore. Slightly underwhelming, but it makes sense within the context of the comics.
5 There's No Such Thing As 'Leaving The Past Behind'
In the comics, once Gwen rises from her grave, she has little to no recollection of her previous life. There are a few scattered memories, but it doesn't go beyond that. In fact, Gwen has absolutely no intention of reconnecting with anyone from her past life, due to her new-zombie self and everything that comes along with that.
Well, there's not so much of that in the show. Even though Liv becomes a brain-eating zombie, she still remembers her past life quite clearly. More than that, she still harbors feelings for her ex-fiancé, Major, and tries to keep her relationship with best friend and roommate, Peyton, intact. Both these characters are a vital part of the show, particularly Major, who gets his fair share of zombie-related problems and storylines.
4 Find Me A Cure, Please
As we've seen, in the comics, Gwen simply rises from her grave as a zombie. There's no talk of an infection or a bite, only of supernatural. But because the show chose to take a different direction, the zombie epidemic that affects Liv is portrayed as a disease.
This is a very big deal throughout the show because treating the cause of Liv's condition like an infection implies there is a cure. This leads, of course, to her good friend and colleague, Ravi, trying to come up with a cure. This gives Liv hope that her life might not be like this forever and, of course, brings along a whole other web of plot points to keep fans engaged.
3 Is This Scott? No, This Is Ravi
It's virtually impossible to imagine the show iZombie without kind, funny and loving Ravi. He's a major character in the series, helping Liv early on to navigate her lifestyle. He not only aids her in keeping her true nature a secret, but he also helps to provide her with fresh brains and works harder than anyone else in trying to find a cure for the infection.
However, Ravi doesn't even exist in the comics. Instead, Liv's sidekick is a were-terrier named Scott, who also goes by Spot (and yes, pun very much intended). He doesn't work at a morgue either, he's just kind of there to lend Gwen a helping hand and a friendly shoulder. While at the beginning of the story he's in love with her, he later marries Gwen's brother, Gavin.
2 They Ghosted Ellie, The Ghost
Yet another character who doesn't make an appearance in the show version of iZombie was Ellie. Ellie is a friendly ghost that Gwen befriended in the comics after turning into a zombie. She died in the 1960s after being hit by a bus - a bit of a grim way to go, honestly.
The replacement they found for the friendly ghost was probably Peyton, Liv's best friend, and badass lawyer. The similarities between her and Ellie end in the close friendship they share with the main character since Peyton is very much alive. However, including her in iZombie is a cute nod to a strong friendship between two awesome women.
1 The Supernatural Is Just Very Toned Down
As you've probably noticed by now with Scott, the were-terrier, and Ellie, the ghost, the iZombie universe in the comics plays a lot more around the supernatural. While the comics don't just stop at ghosts and were-terriers, the show goes in a completely different direction overall.
People turn into zombies due to a virus, not supernatural forces of any kind. It's still an out-of-the-box show, with a brand new concept, but it manages to be a lot more grounded by taking away the other elements of the comics. This decision was made by the showrunners to differentiate the series since there are already so many others that fall into these molds.