Zim is a member of the alien Irken race, and a former Irken Invader; however, since his actions usually lead to disaster (having nearly destroyed the Irken homeworld during Operation Impending Doom I) his leaders, the Almighty Tallest, banished him to Foodcourtia. While there, however, Zim heard of Operation Impending Doom II, and - obviously not understanding the purpose of his previous exile - "quit being banished" and ventured to Conventia in the hope of getting an assignment. Chagrined, the Almighty Tallest sent him on a "secret mission" to Earth, in order to keep him occupied and away from the real Operation Impending Doom II. After arriving on Earth, Zim enrolled in the nearest elementary skool to begin his infiltration and gather information about the indigenous race. There, he became quick rivals with Dib. He is the titular main protagonist of Invader Zim.
Although he is the protagonist, Zim is morally, and ethically a villain, being an overall fairly unsympathetic character, though he occasionally shows some kindness towards certain characters, (such as GIR in "Walk of Doom"), and is usually only causing chaos and destruction for either himself, his own race, or Earth. As well, almost everyone else he comes into contact with at any time. His unawareness of his destructive actions is most likely the result of him being a "defect".
Why He Takes Over the World
- Zim's primary desire is to conquer Earth, mostly to prove his superiority and impress his leaders. However, as mentioned by Gaz in the episode "Bloaty's Pizza Hog", "He's so bad at it."
- While most Irkens are expected to be ruthlessly loyal to the Empire, Zim is considered overzealous even by their standards: Brash, arrogant and overconfident, Zim's tendency to cause wanton destruction makes him a danger to himself and his own people, yet he still considers himself a mighty Irken warrior.
- Despite his self-proclaimed greatness, Zim rarely succeeds in his attempts, and is held up as a complete laughingstock by his own people - a fact that he is either oblivious to or simply chooses not to notice.
- Despite his frequent displays of stupidity, it is clear that Zim is highly intelligent in some respects - being a keen manipulator of tools and devices - but has absolutely no apparent interest in thinking things through, and wastes much of his time fretting about or dealing with unimportant "threats." Moreover, it is evident that he is more than capable of conquering the Earth, yet he hardly ever uses this capability properly, and has often been very close to taking over the planet, only to be thwarted by his own negligence.
- He came back with a TV movie, now bigger and better than ever.
- He was wonderfully voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz, who played Billy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
- His character design is great.
The Only Bad Quality
- Zim usually shows little to no affection, often claiming to "need no one", but he occasionally lets a softer side of him slip by accident.
- Zim is fittingly the first Irken to appear in the series, albeit only the upper part of his face is seen in "The Nightmare Begins."
- Mark Hamill auditioned to voice Zim, according to a 1999 tape. He was rejected in favor of Billy West. After Billy West voiced Zim in the pilot, he was replaced by Richard Steven Horvitz because Billy West also voiced in Futurama.
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