Sunday, May 8, 2011

CBR Ambush Bug (1985)


Today, I present you the first series that was given to one of my all-time favortie DC comics characters. (incidentally, the same year I was born - Eyz trivia)

In the form of...

Comic title: Ambush Bug
Art by Keith Giffen & Bob Oksner
Story by Keith Giffen & Rob Fleming
Published by DC
From 1985
Lineup Ambush Bug
Format: Four issues mini-series.

Who is Ambush Bug?
Let me answer this question with another question:
What isn't the Ambush Bug?
Well, the Bug, as his non-existent friends call him, isn't a stereotypical character, you see?
The Bug doesn't take himself (itself?) too seriously.
The Bug doesn't obey your usual long running comic book publisher mainstream guidelines, as they say.
The Bug isn't what you'd call a "super hero".

Instead, he (and his book) is fun light hearted character who's first preoccupation is exploring the comic book format play with it, and despite of it.

Ambush Bug is beforehand a pure creation from Keith Giffen, first as a mischief/foe to Superman. Which was okay, might I add. But it was when Giffen took the Bug out of Superman books that he started to really play with this character to have fun with the medium and explore new horizons!

What I'd expect from 3 Ambush Bug panels side-by-side, nonetheless.

Irwin Schwab is the Ambush Bug!
Woah, I just revealed Ambushy's secret identity to the whole world.
Sorry Bug!

You're all excused!

Alright then.

Go on!

Irwin, as I was saying, is the Ambush Bug. How or Why? He found a "magical technosuit" from space someday, and since he's been wearing it is able to teleport and do many other crazy things.
Anyways, after annoying Superman a bunch of times in the past, he is seen trying to find a "stick", a gimmick for himself and so opens an agency.
He finds a weird baby toy, renames it Cheeks the Toy Wonder and decides then to become a superhero and fight some crime!

The dynamic duo is born.

As you can imagine, it's very random and jumps from one story point to another.

Giffen's legendary art style and layout really come to its full potential in this classic run of the Bug. He's got a very great grasp of narration (no wonder DC likes to use him from time to time, like the breakdowns he did for 52).
Unlike most regular comics, there's no "gutters" separating the panels, they're all glued together only separated by a thick black outline. At first it might looks like the pages aren't breathing, but it creates a great pacing for such a oddball character. It makes the whole world around Ambush Bug more constructed, classical while he explores and goes on from a panel to another.
And it's this strange mix and relation that helps Ambush Bug accomplishes its main role.

Exploring comics.
Ambush Bug is a means to play around the DC Universe first of all, and then comics in general.
So it's perfectly natural to come around fake ads, parodied splash panels or teasers or mock-up covers.
Where would we have our dose of modern Super Turtle in a DC comics post-Crisis? Or any of the other out-of-continuity super pets?

It's the End of the World as we know it...and he feels fine.~

Cause you see the Ambush Bug doesn't care about what is or what isn't in-continuity as fanboys use to put it.
Some would even dare say he is a villain since he killed a guy on national TV during his first appearance in a Superman comic (pre-Crisis "out-of-continuity"). But you see, the Ambush Bug never killed anyone!

It was just ink.

And so, the Ambush Bug POPs around from panel to panel, place to place meeting such epic characters as Jonni DC (continuity cop!), faces down his terrible nemesis Arg!Yle! (an old sock given life and bent on taking over the world!) and clashing against Lord Darkseid himself at the end of each issue (or was it...?).

Ambush Bug is a great, fun meta-comics which doesn't fear going completely out of subject in one of its issues (about Silver Age forgotten characters), introducing various alternate characters such as the already-classic Lil' Ambush Bug, completely gratuitous pinups of Starfire and in the end yet still having an on-going thread achieved over the course of its four issues!!

Overall, it's a very fun quite "original" ride.

I dare you to read this!

Ambush Bug is a great character, buy his T-Shirts!

*cough* Hu-hum.
As I was saying, it's a great character! The book is really different of any other mainstream super hero comic. And I really suggest you give it a try if you love the medium and/or DC Comics in general (since it's the universe he's allowed to explore, you wouldn't want Marvel to send in their lawyer, would ya??)

Try it/Check it out if you sound interested by all this.
The others, stay the hell away from the Bug, he's got rabies.

I give it:

  2 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

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