Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bug! The Adventures of Forager #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

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Bring Me A Dream

Storytellers: Lee Allred & Michael Allred 
Colorist: Laura Allred 
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot 
Cover By: Michael & Laura Allred 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: June 14, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

It’s time to bug out again with Bug! The Adventures of Forager! How long do you think I had that sweet pun in storage? Okay, you got me. I just made it up. And come to think of it, I think I used something similar if not identical last month. It gets better from here, I promise. Just read my review of issue #2.

Explain It!

Bug has emerged from General Electric’s hole (hey, get your mind out of the gutter) into the steep, snowy landscape of World War II-era Himalayan mountains. There, he finds DC Comics’ misbegotten army troop that isn’t Sgt. Rock and the Easy Company, known as the Losers, as well as Golden Age Blue Beetle and Golden Age Sandman—but in the purple-and-yellow suit given when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby worked on the title. This is about when any confusion about this being the Allreds’ love letter to Jack Kirby, DC Comics Edition, should be cleared up. Those small, crazy voices that disregard Jack Kirby’s contributions to comics can clear out now, because I think the references are only going to go deeper. Sandman’s zit-faced sidekick Sandy thinks Bug is Golden Age character Red Bee, so the Losers stop shooting at him and explain that they are in the Himalayas looking for a mad scientist and “magic metal,” which Bug recognizes as General Electric and orichalcum. Unfortunately, their walkie talkie is busted, so Bug converts it into a Mother Box—which clears up Sandy’s pimples, among other things. I get the feeling if someone said their leg was broken, he’d turn that into a Mother Box, too.
Lying in the snow, Sarge finds the orichalcum whistle he got from the Bronze Age Sandman last issue—must have slipped out of Bug’s pocket. Just as he picks it up, General Electric’s plug-headed robots nab him and abscond. When Bug and the gang rush to the location, they see evidence of a struggle and no Sarge, leading one of the Losers to assume that he was captured by the Abominable Snowman. Acknowledging other possibilities, however, the team tracks the plug robots back to General Electric’s mountainside base, right in the mystical, hidden city of Nanda Parbat. The front is guarded, so Bug suggests they look for a back entrance—there’s always a back entrance! Everyone pretty much thinks he’s insane so they ignore him, but send Sandy along on his fools’ errand while they figure out how to bust in the front way.
No surprise, Bug and Sandy do find a secret back entrance, and come upon a chillier version of the underground slave mining operation from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. General Electric has subdued Rama Dass and all of Nanda Parbat’s magical citizenry, but in doing so rendered them too weak to mine for orichalcum—so Sarge Clay must do it, along with some other Losers that were captured! Sandy is ready to barge in and save the day in the name of America, but Bug realizes they must be more cautious and wait for a distraction. General Electric is strolling around with that creepy ghost girl, a guy named Chagra who is a servant to Atlas (more on him next issue), and Bug’s orichalcum whistle—which he can’t get to work. The General E tosses the whistle in Bug’s secreted location and sets to having the ghost girl transmutate a whole bunch of coal into orichalcum—which is then stolen by Chagra who flees through a portal to the next issue! When the other Losers, Blue Beetle, and Sandman come riding into the cavern on some Abominable Snowmen, things wrap up rather quickly: Bug throws the whistle into General Electric’s forehead and jumps through that same Next Issue portal with the ghost girl, while a newly-freed Rama Dass clears everyone’s mind of the events that transpired and returns them to their…well, wherever they’re from, restoring Nanda Parbat’s secrecy.
So that was…wacky. Last issue, I did my best to read it without too much Jack Kirby on the brain, but I think here it’s impossible. Characters like Sandman and Blue Beetle were tossed in purely because Kirby worked on them at one time, and really contributed little to the story (though the reference to Red Bee and the fake Time magazine cover were pretty inspired.) General Electric’s whole scheme seemed a little far-fetched, though I guess that’s nothing new in comic bookery. I had fun with this, but I’d definitely say anyone sour on Kirby should avoid it, because I don’t know that it can be enjoyed or understood without some appreciation for the King. As for the artwork, do I need to say anything? Incredible!


Bits and Pieces:


Bug travels through time and space to pay more tribute to the work of Jack Kirby, before skedaddling off to the next setting. It's a fun issue, but Kirby aficionados only need apply. Indeed, Kirby aficionados should apply, liberally and regularly! Soak in every issue of Bug!

8/10
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2 comments:

  1. This issue lost me. I'm out. I can't deal with jaunts through the hey days. Wanna do weird shit with teddy bears and mother boxes made out of dominos? I'm all in, but start talking about The Losers and dealing with old shit and nostalgia you completely lose me. It's just hard for me to follow without thinking the entire time that I'm missing stuff and eventually I start skipping over wordy parts and then I eventually get bored and quit reading the issue.

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  2. I'm w u Jack I love the art but have no idea what I'm reading

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