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Zim the Warlord: Irken Reversion is an ongoing Invader Zim fanfic by AkumaKami64.

By a stroke of luck, Zim is given a second chance at being a great Irken, thanks to an experiment finally paying off. With a body no Irken has had in eons, Zim shall take up the mantle of Warlord to carve his name into the minds of all sentient races, as the first of a new class of Irkens.

Tropes in this story

  • Accidental Innuendo: In-Universe, there's a Running Gag where Zim keeps making flirtatious or even sexual-sounding comments about his relationship with Gaz, in a way that makes it clear he doesn't fully understand the context of what he's saying. However, after awhile the Computer, Dib, and Gaz herself all start to wonder if he's doing it intentionally to mess with her.
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  • The Ace: Zim readily admits that Tenn was the best Invader even before the Reversion, and that afterwards she's probably the only one who can beat him in a fight.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Zim has taken to referring to Gaz as "Gazling".
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated:
    • Zim develops a taste for Earth seafood.
    • The Computer and Bob both take an interest in human video games. The latter also likes anime and comics, which Skoodge likewise develops a liking for after ending up on Earth.
  • Alien Blood: Irken blood is pink, and unlike human blood tastes sweet instead of metallic, and turns loose and greasy as it coagulates, instead of thickening.
  • Asshole Victim: As far as Gaz is concerned, Malinda deserves her Fate Worse than Death for attacking Zim and trying to rob her father's lab.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Back during his training days, Zim observed all his fellow Elites and Invaders, studying all their strengths and weaknesses. Years later, he still retains all of this, which allows him to easily dominate them all in a fight.
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  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Irkens are this by default, due to having long since genetically engineered themselves to no longer reproduce biologically. Thus, Zim is surprised to find that his Reverted state includes having genitals.
  • Basement-Dweller: Bob has been living in Zim's basement ever since the events of "Hobo 13". Skoodge joined him after arriving on Earth during Zim's coma.
  • Berserk Button: Threatening Gaz is a surefire way to piss Zim off, as Sneakyonfoota finds out to his dismay.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Dib is not happy about the obvious attraction between Gaz and Zim, but everyone just ignores him.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Gaz's reaction when Zim asks her if she's a virgin (due to trying to understand why a unicorn doesn't like her).
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Irkens are already this in canon (with the added touch here that they can taste through their palms), but the Reverted state is even more so. In this form, Zim now has an extra pair of arms, his legs are triple-jointed and make him capable of jumping a story in the air, his circulatory system can absorb oxygen straight from the air through his skin, and he has an extendable dart under his tongue which drains blood and stores it in one of the new organs that formed out of his squeedlyspooch; this is later revealed to be for creating a powerful poison, but in Zim's case at least also fuels a Healing Factor (though it's unknown whether this is in general or specific to Zim).
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  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Todog is noted by Red to be the best Elite in the Irken Empire, but as he, Zim, and Todog himself all comment, he's too lazy and unambitious to ever act on his potential, which is why he's never become an Invader. Zim states that he'll probably be one of the most successful Warlords due to his ability to get results despite his laziness.
  • Children Are Innocent: Averted with Gaz. Despite still being a virgin, something about her doesn't qualify for a unicorn's sense of "purity", leading to it attacking her.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • Gaz's canonical switch from a black dress (as in the show) to a blue shirt and black skirt (in the movie) occurs during the time skip. According to her, it's because she got tired of people thinking she was Goth or emo.
    • Due to outgrowing his old uniform during his Reversion, Zim gets a new outfit after waking from his coma. While he keeps the black pants and red shirt, he adds a white Irken symbol on the front of the shirt, an open black vest, and green shoes.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • The entire Reversion experiment was ordered by Tallest Miyuki and the Control Brains as a means of making the Irkens once again capable of living independent of their PAKs, just in case an enemy ever manages to disable the Control Brains.
    • As Zim explains to Dib, as a part of Irken culture being built entirely around conquest, they've dedicated a lot of time and effort towards being prepared for any potential obstacle they might face. Even Earth gaining magic and psionics as a result of the Childergy event doesn't throw Zim off any aside from the fact that he now has to scrap all his old plans and start over from square one.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Zim easily overpowers the mercenaries trying to kidnap Professor Membrane, and later all the non-Invader Reverted Irkens. Even most of the Reverted Invaders can't keep up with him, except for Tenn, who easily turns the tables on him.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: At the start of his fight with the other Reverted Irkens, Zim lets himself get pounded by the much larger and bulkier Lud, just to see how much pain tolerance his new body has.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone from the amused Computer to the horrified Dib to the usually oblivious Professor Membrane can tell that Zim and Gaz have feelings for each other.
  • Evil Is Petty: After being named a Warlord, Zim chooses to celebrate by going to his former banishment site on Foodcourtia, just to rub it in Sizz-Lorr's face that he's no longer legally bound to work for him. Sizz-Lorr in turn makes him sit at the tentacle monster-infested Booth 12 just to make his visit uncomfortable.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Malinda Dunn, the sole survivor of the muggers who attack Zim, is hooked up to machinery in his lab and painfully turned into a cyborg, being kept sane only by pain suppressors and repeatedly revived even when her wounded state keeps causing her heart to give out. She reflects on how death would be preferable to this.
  • For Want of a Nail: Zim's Reversion preempts the events of the movie; while some things still happen the same, Zim's focus is understandably elsewhere, so he doesn't carry out his plans from the film, causing the plot to go in an entirely different direction.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Zim has a habit of making up ideas for what GIR's name stands for, since he doesn’t know what it actually does.
  • Galactic Conqueror: All the Reverted Irkens are eventually granted the previously defunct title of Warlord, which is basically just an expansion on being an Invader — aside from their initial assigned planet, they're also given free reign to spread their conquests outwards and carve out their own domains that are autonomous but subservient to the overall Irken Empire.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Despite still hating each other, Zim and Dib still sit down together (along with Gaz) for a casual seafood meal as they await the Childergy event. Gaz finds the peaceful moment a nice change of pace.
  • Healing Factor: The blood-draining organ that the Reverted Irkens have can power one of these. Though as of now it's unknown if this is a general ability or a mutation specific to Zim, as he's so far the only one to show it.
  • Horrifying the Horror: When Zim takes Gaz and the other Warlords to Foodcourtia for a meal, a spiteful Sizz-Lorr makes them sit at Booth 12, which has a tentacle monster infesting it that lashes out at them... until Gaz gives it a Death Glare, causing it to retreat.
  • In a Single Bound: Thanks to his new multi-jointed legs, Zim can easily leap a full story into the air.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Dib exchanges such pleasantries with Zim and Gaz right before the Childergy event hits critical mass, just in case it's the end of the world.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When he learns that humans are experimenting with Childergy, Zim doesn't even try to stop it, noting that since they've discovered its existence, they're bound to eventually hit the critical mass moment regardless of what he does. So he decides to just let it happen, and evacuate from the planet if it results in a World-Wrecking Wave.
  • Lack of Empathy: Gaz acknowledges that she doesn't sympathize with people except under rare circumstances.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: This is why Dib can't remember how he and Zim got back to normal after the events of "Bolongius Maximus" (the episode that ended with them fully turned into baloney) — Zim wiped his mind of that knowledge, apparently for laughs.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After Zim accidentally touches Gaz's cheek and comments on the sweet taste (as he can taste through his palms), there's a moment of awkward silence, and then she tells him that they'll never speak of it.
  • Made a Slave: Played for Laughs, as Zim declares that Gaz will be his personal slave (though he also alternates calling her a "trophy" and a "pet") once he conquers Earth, something which Gaz shrugs off, as she doesn't take Zim seriously enough to find anything wrong with that potential situation.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: According to Zim, every species goes through a phase where they experiment with Childergy, ultimately leading to a critical mass moment, with unpredictable results. Sometimes it will devastate the planet, but others it will alter the species on it in ways that result in bizarre abilities. In the case of Earth, the end result is all native species getting the potential for magic and psionic powers.
  • Metamorphosis: The Reversion. Zim, after a period of looking and feeling ill, goes into a coma that lasts six months. In that time, his squeedlyspooch tears apart into several other organs, he grows extra arms, his legs reform to be triple-jointed, he gains genitals, and it's implied that other, so far unknown, changes take place.
  • Mugging the Monster: After Zim starts interning at Membrane Labs, a few thugs corner him on the streets at gunpoint and try to force him to help them rob the facility. Zim responds by cutting off the hands holding their guns; three of them end up dead, while a fourth is taken prisoner.
    Zim: You all really thought you were the monsters here?
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Zim develops a second set of arms during his Reversion.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • GIR somehow got a college degree during Zim's coma.
    • Upon returning from their trip to the Massive, Zim and Gaz find that Dib got into a fight with Skoodge and Bob upon finding out that they're living on Earth. The details aren't clear, but it somehow led to Zim's yard getting wrecked and the house covered in pink goo.
  • Nothing Personal: While Zim fights all the other Reverted, he makes it clear it's only because the Tallest ordered them all to do so. He has no hard feelings towards any of them otherwise.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Zim's reaction when he learns Professor Membrane is experimenting with Childergy, and again when he discovers that its use has led to life on Earth developing magic and psionics. Dib and Gaz share in the latter moment when the full implications are explained to them.
    • The Tallest, when Zim crashes the meeting for all the Mod Irkens and reveals that he's undergone the Reversion as well.
    • Dib, when he realizes that since a unicorn likes him, a bicorn (which is the opposite of a unicorn in temperament) which shows up is likely to attack him.
  • Oh My Gods!: Zim occasionally swears by "the Broodmother".
  • Old Friend: Zim has apparently known Todog a long time, and they get along very well.
  • One-Man Army: Between his Invader training and the strength of his Reverted state, Zim is virtually unstoppable in a fight.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The Irken characters keep peppering their dialogue with words from their own language (generally swears, judging by the context). After a while of hearing Zim do this, Gaz starts to pick up some of the words herself.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Following Dib's fight with Skoodge and Bob, GIR is found eating burnt popcorn while staring at a puddle in one of the resulting craters in the yard (either watching the water dry or his reflection; it's unclear which, and Zim suspects both).
  • Pet the Dog: After beating all the other Reverted in their fight, Zim takes them all to Foodcourtia to show there's no hard feelings.
  • Photographic Memory: Zim is able to remember details he observed about his fellow Invaders back during their training days, as accurately as if he just learned them in the present.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: When some unknown people crash his keynote speech to abduct him, Professor Membrane lets them so that he can find out who sent them.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Zim fails to understand why humans think unicorns are effeminate, since their horns and speed make them extremely dangerous.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Zim is 162 (163 after the time skip) in Earth years. Though in Irken years (and comparative lifespans), that makes him only 16.
  • Running Gag:
    • Zim making an Accidental Innuendo about his relationship with Gaz. People in-universe start to wonder if he's doing it on purpose.
    • Zim quoting Dragon Ball Z Abridged, and then wondering why he's saying what he's saying. Gaz eventually calls him out on this, and they realize he's never even watched the show, so is somehow referencing it unconsciously.
  • Ship Tease: Pretty much every scene with an interaction between Zim and Gaz shows off their chemistry.
  • Shout-Out: As noted above, the dialogue is peppered with references to Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Except for when he walks in on Dib, Skoodge, and Bob's fight, where he instead quotes Hellsing Ultimate Abridged.
  • Slave Collar: Zim presents Gaz with one as a sign of how she'll be his slave once he takes over Earth. To his credit, it's mostly aesthetic, as she can take it off at any time. Also, it can unfold down her shoulder and over her arm to form an energy gauntlet.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Sneakyonfoota likes to live up to his name, moving stealthily enough to constantly sneak up on people.
  • Time Skip: Zim goes into a coma for six months as he undergoes his Reversion.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zim's loyalty to the Irken Empire is absolute. It's explained that he's perfectly aware that his mission to Earth is fake and that the Tallest have tried to have him killed, but he doesn’t care, instead choosing to focus on his conquest attempts.
  • Unicorns Prefer Virgins: It's noted that unicorns only like those who are pure, with the virgin connection being specifically mentioned. Which makes it very confusing for everyone when the unicorn they meet not only doesn't like Gaz (who quite angrily insists that she's still a virgin) but actually tries to attack her on sight. There's also a related species called bicorns, which are the exact opposite of unicorns and will thus instinctively attack anyone that unicorns normally like.
  • Winged Humanoid: Zim casually mentions that Irkens used to have wings, but lost them after their Childergy event.
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