Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

Exinsectialist Dilemma

Storytellers: Lee Allred & Michael Allred 
Colorist: Laura Allred 
Letterer: Nate Peikos of Blambot 
Cover by: Michael & Laura Allred 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: May 10, 2017


This is it, folks! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Team Allred on another book!! I don’t care what the comic book is, if Mike and Laura are involved, I want in. The involvement of Mike’s brother Lee is no deterrent, either, but—oh that Allred artwork! I want to tattoo it on the inside of my eyelids. I want to convert the classic works of Renaissance painters into Michael’s chunky lines. So clearly, I am not going to be objective when it comes to the look of this comic, but is it a good story? You’ll have to read my review of Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1 to find out!

Explain It!

I wondered, before writing this review, if I should provide background on the character Forager and detail the events that occurred the last time we saw him. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that many readers of this issue will be new to our would-be New God. Then I decided that I shouldn’t; if this comic book does its job correctly, you should be able to enjoy it without any foreknowledge about its trappings, so let’s just dive right in eyes wide open! Our story begins in Bug’s memories, where the New Gods are bullying him and calling him a Bug. He’s not a bug, though, but a guy in a weird buggy-looking costume. Batman stands up for him and says his name was Forager…was Forager? Yes, it seems that he fought valiantly at some point (see Cosmic Odyssey for more information) and then died. And now, he’s not dead.
He’s emerged, fully-clothed, from a cocoon of viscous glob in some basement full of mannequins and other immediately weird stuff. Adding to the proceedings is a pupil-less little girl that shows up to grab her spooky teddy bear (relating to Xemnu the Titan?) and march upstairs after glaring at Bug. He steps out into a disheveled room populated by awesome-looking monsters! Bug dispenses with them and chases the creepy girl up a nearly endless winding staircase, only to find her at the top sitting in the midst of a very complex setup for tipping dominoes. About now is when you get the idea we’re in Bug’s dream, partly because the teddy bear is talking to Bug about all kinds of personal stuff, and partly because the late 70s iteration of Sandman is there! The one that fought nightmares with his warped cohorts Brute and Glob. This was a Simon and Kirby revamp, that was abandoned by both of them almost immediately. Indeed, much of this book seems like a psychedelic love letter to Jack Kirby, with lots of references to his Fourth World as well as the Golden Age Sandman (that was Simon and Kirby’s first revamp for DC Comics, way back in 1941—look it up, folks!), OMAC and mentions of Brother Eye…it’s a Kirby smorgasbord, over here. And best for me, it was a lot of the most oddball Bronze Age stuff, which are some of my favorite comic books. As I have warned before, however, I am very weird, so if you were looking for something more straightforward, well this ain’t it.
The story is mainly Bug discovering his identity apart from New Genesis, and remembering suppressed memories by way of tipping dominoes and having successive epiphanies. Eventually, Bronze Age Sandman is able to wake Bug up from his dream, where he pops out of a goopy cocoon for realsies and is immediately beset upon by Sleestak-looking dudes known as Werblinks. Sandman, Bug, Brute and Glob take care of the lizard-men, then Sandman gives Bug his special whistle that can make dreams real—but Bug doesn’t want to feel beholden any longer! While he vacillates about what is basically the most awesome gift in the history of gifts, evil science villain General Electric shows up, and blows a whistle of his own!
And you know what? I’m going to leave it there. You’ll have to get the book if you want to know what happens next. The whole book is more like a crash course in philosophy and self-actualization, and while there is a story woven throughout the rumination, I wouldn’t call it a linear narrative. The artwork is amazing, as you might have expected from the Allreds. The story is pretty heady, and I would be curious to know what Kirby neophytes think of it. I enjoyed it, personally, but looked at it more like Alan Moore’s Promethea; a primer on subjects larger than the tale to hand. Do not ask for whom the Bug tolls, he tolls for thee.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue delves into the subconscious of Bug, and there's a lot more than building hives on his mind! Do bugs think of building hives? They don't really "think" about them at all, do they? It sort of happens on instinct. In fact, that's what "hive mind" is all about! They don't have individual impulses or wants. So that was a bad metaphor, but this isn't a bad comic. Check it out.



  1. Oh man I can't wait to read this. I just wanted to check your score, didn't read the actual review. This has been on my radar since it was announced, I'm a sucker for ANYTHING Kirby 4th World related. I really hope that this is considered in continuity because then by acknowledging Cosmic Odyssey they have put the capper on the new 52 by making it so that Heroes had been around longer than the 5 years as stated in the new 52 (evidence of this being in the button crossover with the items in the Hall of lost and found and in Blue Beetle with Ted having been the Blue Beetle in the JLI until his heart attack). Looking forward to a return of the pre flashpoint New Gods for sure. Thanks for the time you take with bringing these reviews..

    superspic out

    1. Thanks for your comment! If you love Bronze Age Kirby, you'll love this