Comic Reading Review: Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1

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

Synopsis:

“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.

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.9.20 – less than usual..

 

This week for the last week in new comics, felt brief and limited for me. I picked one issue, from a personal favorite début. Then, took my chances with two new series. Both, new takes on old concepts but in very different directions. How did that go? Find out below…

Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS:

Hadrian’s Wall #1 (Image Comics), by Kyle Higgins, Alex Siegel, Rod Reis

Here, we have a strong start to a series that feels fresh, though it takes from a lot of old genres and mixes them together. It’s a murder mystery, a science fiction tale, an emotional drama. Stemming from an alternate timeline where America and the Soviet Union exchanged nuclear strikes, there is a new Cold War brewing between Earth and the Theta colony. The main driver to the story is a drug-addicted investigator looking for answers to a sudden death in space. The situation is a bit complex, as connections involve his troubled past. The first issue is mostly a set-up on the set-up and key players for the first act. The mix of paint and digital color gives the atmosphere a soft tone throughout, with little speckles and stokes to establish mood and drama. There is a lack of personality throughout the players here, where the past gives more of the emotion than the present. That’s a good thing, to where we wonder where all the emotion will come from. The ending gives a good direction for all that, and then I think the story will (and should) accelerate in the following issues.

Animosity #2 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

I loved the first issue, leading to my excitement for the second issue here. The story continues the strange global development, where animals become intelligent and talk (never mind the impossible non-explanation of it all). My expectations were a bit different as I was expecting more of a horror story with dark comedic elements. Yet, I feel much of that was left, in favor of something odd uplifting about the spirit of humanity. The animals overall don’t see as vengeful as they appeared in the first issue. Here, there are other aspects to their nature bringing it all perhaps to something that will turn over the Earth into some Planet of Apes (and other animals). But then the book takes a brutal turn, where many humans have now become the monsters. Some driven by their volatile natures, to commit new terrible acts of violence. This leads to an ending where the survival is not against both the violent humans and animals, while an innocent representation of both must team-up go on a quest.

Doom Patrol #1 (DC), by Gerard Way, Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillian

DC’s weirdest superheroes are back in this new series written by the former leader singer of My Chemical Romance (also the writer of the critically acclaimed Umbrella Academy comic series). Here, I am greatly confused on what the hell is going on, where it was, and where it’s going. I could try to explain it, but would just come off as misguided perhaps, by those who better understand this series. I never read the classic Grant Morrison run, but I do feel a sort of throwback to the classic Vertigo comics of that early late 80s, early 90s era, where abstract thinking and surreality where welcome among the mainstream. I love the art and panel play going on throughout, while I felt captivated at this overall puzzle with vague references to characters I have come to somewhat know through the DC Universe. I will likely not pick up the second issue, as I feel that perhaps this book is not for me. I do however appreciate DC Comics to do bold things again with new imprints. This carries the new “Young Animal” imprint, where I hope other titles will follow in originally, but something with a bit less puzzling for my brain.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and seeker of great comic books and all related wonderful things.