Nate is the 11-year-old friend of Patrice Blazing, who is Crazy Dave’s niece. They, together with their sentient plants, battle the zombie armies of Dr. Zomboss.
Nate is often a little more scared of the zombies than Patrice; they have both defeated the same number of zombies, but he is slightly more likely to run away from them. He is also a little more likely to go off half-cocked in an adventure.
He likes baseball, pirates, comic books, bicycles, ice cream, pizza, and lemonade. He loves dinosaurs—especially with jetpacks. He dislikes rainstorms, meals without pizza, Zomboss, and clowns. His favorite plant is the Peashooter.
In the future, he wears long pants, a dance t-shirt, a sleeveless hoodie, and has a walrus mustache.
Major Story Arcs
Nate climbs up into his tree house and finds Patrice Blazing inside. Freaked out he attacks her and she punches him out. He explains that weird things have been going on and he didn't know who she was. She says she's just a professional treehouse investigator. A new friendship is born.
Looking outside, they see a horde of invading zombies. They rush off to Patrice's Uncle Dave's house for help, with Nate constantly trying to compete with Patrice to show off, and rarely winning. They find Dave, who shows off the army of sentient, powered plants he has been developing. They separate and use the plants to fight off the zombies. Nate mostly panics during his first outings, but gets the job done, and finally gets the hang of coordinating the plants.
They find out that Zomboss has made a machine to blot out the sun, thereby depowering the plants. Rejoining Patrice with a nervous hug, they get a giant collection of the remaining plants and wade their way back to Dave. Nate has an idea to use Blovers to blow the cloud away, but it doesn't work. They end up going to Patrice and Dave's abandoned mansion to use its giant windmill to blow the cloud off. Nate starts slapping stickers on the plants to encourage them on a job well done. Nate finally manages to turn on the windmill, saving the plants. He and Patrice now confidently lead the plant army into routing the zombies.
Dr. Zomboss invents a sun vacuum that will destroy all the plants by depriving them of sunlight. However, once of his zombies drops a Pop Smart into the machine, and it explodes, sending its pieces throughout time.
One of the pieces shows up in Crazy Dave’s garage. They realize what happened and go off in search of the other pieces.
They go to ancient Egypt, where they drop off Patrice, while Dave and Nate take off for a dance contest in 1979. Nate fails miserably in the contest, but Dave smoothly wins them the piece, and they go back and get Patrice.
Dave drops the kids off in dinosaur time, where Patrice tries to keep Nate from being too risky as he takes selfies with every dinosaur he can find. Nate randomly happens to sit on the piece they’re looking for, but Dave forgets to pick them up until they’re just about eaten.
They next travel to the future, where Patrice and Nate are now the age they would be in that time period (perhaps their mid-twenties). They find out that they are now enemies of the state in a world where Dr. Zomboss took over in the year 2020. The Patrice of this year is a martial arts master, and Nate is a respected scientist. Faced with yet another zombie army, they use their future skills to win and get the part; Nate builds a machine to take down a horde of robot zombies.
Next they need to get to to a pirate’s island. Patrice figures out how to get Blovers to turn their own island into a boat to get there. While Nate distracts the pirates and zombies with a frontal assault, Patrice snorkels around to trick the main pirate, Chestbeard, and get the final machine part.
They get home. Dave wants to make a sun magnifier instead of a sun vacuum, but needs more time. At first the kids are losing to a final zombie assault, but then they use the time machine to put them in a time loop. When Dave finishes the machine, they boost their plants and defeat Zomboss and his zombies.
Bully for You
Patrice and Nate patrol the area, looking for zombies. Using the Magnifying Grass, they see that Zomboss has a new plan to destroy Neighborville, using a globe of Muddlegass to stupefy (and then eat) everyone. The kids hop in the car after tricking Dave to join them by saying they’re getting ice cream.
Once they get to the zombies, however, Dave drives off and leaves them, looking for the ice cream. The kids prepare to fight, but their battle is interrupted by the appearance of the Anti-Bully Squad, a group of zombies that Zomboss picked on in college.
The Squad snags Zomboss and sets their own zombie army on Patrice and Nate. They can tell this college-educated zombie army is different! They retreat away from the main horde, and despite Patrice’s skepticism, Nate sets a Rube Goldberg trap to go off if any more zombies show up.
They do, and the kids run off again. They pass Dave, whose ice cream has just melted on the ground. Instead of helping them, he just wants to invent unmeltable ice cream. They now face the Anti-Bully Squad’s new combined army, which has now incorporated Zomboss’s army into its ranks.
After Nate has the terrible idea of escaping simply by standing on top of the Tall-Nuts, Patrice comes up with a plan to fill the streets with water so the Cat-tails can take out the zombies. They then take on the now-armyless Anti-Bully Squad, but Zomboss eventually comes after them with his army. However, Crazy Dave manages to protect them all with a wall of unmeltable ice cream, and Zomboss leaves in a fit of pique.
Grown Sweet Home
After Crazy Dave goes overboard inventing new machines, the plants are too distracted to focus, so they move to the old family mansion. However the plants are not used to living on their own and get out of control. Patrice and Nate try to show them how to live like humans, with Patrice doing a predictably sloppier, crazier, job of it, and in fact not really helping them be any more responsible at all. The plants have some trouble adapting to their new lifestyle, but eventually get a handle on it. Nate even finally gets better at teaching them. Patrice and Nate bring the plants down town to see how well they can fit in. However, Zomboss has been secretly observing them all this time, and the zombies are now also trying to pretend to be people. He had sent a team of zombies over to put cameras in the mansion, and Nate, unable to see through their simple disguise, let them right in. Zomboss even sends a letter asking for more information about acting human, and Nate doesn't realize that they obviously-bady-written note is by Zomboss, not Patrice. The plants and zombies have a contest to see which is better at acting human, and it ends in a tie. The two groups return to their homes.
They later get into a battle with the zombies, and can't figure out why their plans aren't working. Later, they find out Zomboss has been watching them through secret video cameras. Patrice puts together a plan to do the same to the zombie headquarters, so she and Nate pretend to be zombies and put cameras in their base.
The plants and zombies once again get into a battle; Nate gives up in a battle with a gargantuar during his round. However, the zombies have the advantage, until Patrice tells Zomboss that they saw Nigel, Frogpants, and Tugboat stealing his Pop Smarts over the video cameras earlier. Zomboss turns on his own zombies, enabling the kids and plants to round them up.
Petal to the Metal
Zomboss develops a group of souped-up race cars to take over Neighborville--the Black Tornado, Zombie Sledge-Rammer, and Doom-Stuart. Coincidentally, Patrice and Nate are trying to teach the Plants how to drive, without success. The zombies invade town, but Nate, Patrice, and Crazy Dave challenge them to a race. Dave builds an Ice-Cream Racer, a car with an ice cream machine attached, which Nate is particularly excited about. Zomboss accepts, and they race out into the desert. The plants are winning, with their solar-powered cars, although Zomboss does try to stop them with a smoke machine, and his zombie team doesn't need to sleep. Dave says he doesn't sleep either, which makes Patrice and Nate very nervous. They try to figure out another driver and have a variety of problems finding a solution. However, Zomboss eventually admits that the whole thing was a distraction, since he left a team of zombies behind to take over Neighborville while the plants are gone. The kids race back towards town. Nate keeps wanting to stop at various pizza places along the way but Patrice won't let him. As they go, they decide to attack the zombie cars based on a dream of Nate's about Chestbeard, and successfully destroy them, leaving them in the middle of the desert. Zomboss still has his own car, but the kids confuse him by dropping leaflets promising free brains and free pop smarts, and he doesn't know where to go.
Mr. Stubbins gets the abandoned zombies and brings them back to town, where the kids challenge Zomboss to another race around Neighborville. After various sections of the race, Zomboss attacks with a Massive Munch Machine. Dave counters it with a robot Dino-Pig, and ultimately gets the Munch Machine to slip on a banana and fall to pieces. The kids claim a victory and tell Zomboss to leave town, but he shows them that it was a tie, since Mr. Stubbins was actually riding on the front of the plants' car when it passed the finish line.
Boom Boom Mushroom
Zomboss devises a plan to lower Neighborville into a system of caves below the surface. Nate and Patrice stumble upon the extensive extension cords that he uses to power his underground lair, and follow them to the source, where they find his plan. After going back to Dave, he offers them the aid of Twister, a pig-dog with a very sensitive nose. Twister can lead them to the Boom Boom Mushroom, a secretive plant that dwells below the city and possesses the power to destroy Zomboss's hydraulic elevator.
As usual, Nate tends to be distracted by things like pizza and comics, while Patrice stays focused on the job. When Twister finds some unusual objects buried underground, Patrice figures out how to turn them into a grappling hook to cross a river and avoid some Toss Moss. The run into a whole city of gargantuars, and after a brief skirmish realize they need to run. Luckily the Boom Boom Mushroom shows up and defeats the gargantuars en masse.
Nate, the Boom Boom Mushroom, and Twister all ride off to destroy the elevator while Patrice and the plants hold off the remaining gargantuars. Zomboss and his army eventually make their way through to the elevator, however, and turn it on--only to find that it brings them up to the surface instead of the other way around. The plants defeat him, and Nate explains that he found a cave painting by Crazy Dave that explained how to rewire the elevator, and Twister managed to do it.
The Lady in Red (Dark Horse Free Comic Day 2016)
Nate narrates this comic in a parody of film noir, or even more particularly, Sin City (albeit still G-rated). A sunflower is kidnapped by a zombie, and Nate and Patrice track him down. Zomboss tries to use a typical mad-scientist-doomsday device against them, but Nate shoots it with a squirt gun, shorting it out and saving the day. Nate is uncharacteristically the one who knows what he's doing in this short story.
Zomboss creates a portal to the future, and uses mechanical arms to grab advanced technology from the future and bring it back to our time. With these new resources, he outfits the imps in Z-Mechs, advanced mech suits that are much stronger than normal zombies.
At first, he sends a giant mob of imps into Neighborville, which Patrice notices right away but Nate ignores, since he is so busy playing Grunting Horse on his phone. With the aid of the plants, they drive away this imp vanguard. As they do, everyone else in town is invited to go on an ice cream cruise. Strangely, only Patrice and Nate don’t get invites. They start to see time portals opening up, and meet the mysterious Citron and Rose, who starts turning zombies into goats. The kids are confused by all these events. Patrice asks Crazy Dave to help, but the Z-Mech army starts to take over the city.
Another time portal opens, revealing future-Patrice and –Nate, last seen in Timepocalypse. It turns out that they are the ones who sent everyone on the cruise, to keep them safe. They now persuade their younger counterparts to do the same. The older kids now battle the zombies and meet up with Rose and Citron, who now introduce themselves as (respectively) a magician from the past and a super-orange from the future. They help battle the zombies, who are now aided by Super Brainz, a super zombie. They split forces, with Rose and Nate taking on Super Brainz, and Patrice and Citron going back to the future.
Meanwhile, Dave almost leaves on the cruise, but current-Patrice persuades him to stay, and he soon starts work on a special frog-burping machine. The sound the burping frogs make cancel out the energy of the time portals, so Zomboss has trouble getting more resources. Furthermore, some odd living garden gnomes that seem to see themselves as protectors of the time stream keep creeping around, with the intent of stopping Zomboss’s machinations with time. Eventually, it seems like the frog-burping machine works well enough that the gnomes no longer feel the need to stop Zomboss themselves, and they leave without ever announcing their presence.
Rose and future-Nate have trouble with Super Brainz until Rose casts a spell making him think that his zombie allies are actually plants—whom he swiftly defeats. Then they trick him into looking into a mirror, where he is entranced by his awesomeness.
Future-Patrice and Citron get an E.M. Peach and put it in Zomboss’s robot tentacles as he tries to grab more future tech through the time portals for his army. It explodes upon returning to the present, and destroys all of Zomboss’s future tech.
All this time, current-Patrice and –Nate enjoy the ice cream cruise, with Nate basically getting an ice cream overdose, while Patrice keeps more of a focus on what’s going on at home.
After the zombies are defeated, future-Patrice and –Nate go back to the future.
Unrest in the Old West (Free Comic Day 2017)
The Plants, their human friends, and the Zombies are transported back in time to the Old West when Tugboat mistakes the time machine for a Pop Smarts Toaster, where they are forced to team up to do chores for Sheriff Tarnation, who has taken their time machine.
Nate engages in a country dance as part of the chores. Eventually they get the time machine back and return to their own time.
Strangely, Nate has most of the good ideas in this story: he is the one to set up the truce with Zomboss so they can accomplish the chores, and he is the one to figure out where the Sheriff hid the time machine.
Powers and Abilities
Nate is a very skilled coordinator of their plants in their battles against the zombies, and is the one most often seen organizing them in battle formations. In addition to numerous zombie hordes, he has also defeated a shark and a pirate crew with his plants.
He is also a capable hand-to-hand combatant, having often fought zombies alongside his plants. However, he seems to be generally less physically fit than Patrice; for instance, when they ran the same distance, she was fine, but he was totally out of breath.
In the future, Nate becomes the world’s preeminent anti-zombie scientist, capable of working off-the-cuff with complex electronics.
In the present time, Nate is a horrible dancer. In the future, he practices extensively and becomes a dance champion in the year 2023.
Even as a child, Nate has won several pizza-related awards, including Best Eater, Most Napkins, and #1 Chomper.
Dave, unlike Patrice, can’t understand anything Crazy Dave says.