Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1
- Writer: Lee Allred Artist: Michael Allred Colorist: Laura Allred
- Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: May 10, 2017
- Notes: New monthly six issue mini-series
“An all-new Young Animal miniseries begins! Forager is just one of the Hive before he breaks out of his cocoon and finds himself in a mysterious house in an unknown realm. There he meets all kinds of strange creatures: a ghostly girl, a talking teddy bear and otherworldly weirdos that have literally jumped out of his worst nightmares. But these interdimensional oddballs are nothing compared to the evil General Electric, who is on the hunt for a reality-bending metal that could alter the fabric of life itself. To stay one step ahead of him and preserve the multiverse, Forager must travel through alternate dimensions to seek the metal and, hopefully, catch up with that cagey stuffed bear. If he does it, will he finally be able to distinguish himself as a New God? DC’s Young Animal celebrates Jack Kirby’s centenary with this new six-issue miniseries-and who better to tackle this task than the Eisner Award-winning Allred clan! Featuring scripts by Lee Allred (BATMAN ’66), art by Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) and colors by Laura Allred (Lady Killer), BUG! is truly a family affair..”
Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):
Wow, a comic book based upon an obscure character few remember. What a wonderful time to be alive, and finding this at my local comic shop!
Forager was an obscure character created by Jack Kirby in his 1970’s New Gods series. Much was not done with him until the awesome Cosmic Odyssey mini-series in 1989. He teams up with Batman and then sacrificed his life to save him and the Earth from the Anti-Life Equation. Aside from a different female incarnation showed up in later comics, the ‘Bug” never appeared. Now along with other DC comics obscurities throughout the Young Animal imprint books, the Forager, or “Bug” lives on in his first ever series.
Or does he?
There is a shout out to the Cosmic Odyssey limited series in the beginning, where there transference from yesterday into today, leading to a fresh start. There is an interesting struggle for his former identity, combined with a will to live on that feels part meta, part insect nature survivalist. We find him in this strange world, with odd elements and mysterious happenings. He meets forgotten characters of the Kirby yesteryear (or, at least long remembered as), with some new friends and enemies.
The weirdness of classic Kirby is definitely present, with much left to the reader to go with the flow of the story. Not all is perfectly clear, but I think that’s part pf the fun of going through the story in part to that of the “Bug.” There is a larger world, with so much not quite understood. The Bug finds himself trying to make sense of it all, separating good and evil while being the hero meant. Readers, both old and new to the DC universe can identify with his perspective as the lost explorer, even with the grasping of the obscure references known to hardcore DC fans.
The art of Mike Allred, combined with the awesome vibrant coloring with his wife Laura Allred) displays beauty and definition to the story. But stylized more-so to this comic are the crooked panel set-ups. Nothing is quite straight after the first-page rewind. Each panel has strategic positioning of the characters, stabilizing themselves in a strange topsy-turvy unpredictable universe. Such is a wonderful thing, for those coming to the comic-store to escape the current world we readers are stuck in.
Overall, a solid first issue for a reader demographic that enjoys the very thing the Forager creator (and the rest of the original Fourth World) brought to comics, a weird and wonderful burst of imagination, with mystery and wonder from a mythology made from scratch. Bug, with the work of the Allreds, carries on that awesome work as it should.