Sometimes you just need a shot of fun. Enter Bug! The Adventures of Forager, a series that harkens to an older time in comics when they were a little silly and a lot weird. The first issue was trippy as hell with great art from Mike Allred, but can the trippy nature continue to excite?
Writer: Lee Allred
Artist: Mike Allred
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Bug’s tumble through dimensions ends up taking him back in time, to the start of General Electric’s mad scheme. In the remote Himalayas, the mad scientist leads his robot army in search of a precious magical metal. Sandman, Sandy, Blue Beetle and the Losers are already out in the snow looking to stop him, but only Bug knows that the fate of the multiverse hangs in the balance.
Why does this book matter?
Part of the DC Young Animal line of comics, this is a comic that’s instantly going to give you something a little bit different. Bug is a character that has a history in DC Comics, but you might not know it because he’s a bit of a B-lister. Writer Lee Allred introduced the character last issue in a way that conveys even he might not know what is going on which adds a weirdness to the book that may require a bit of patience, but can be rewarding.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
“Hit” aka “Time Magazine” right?
Bug is facing off against a villain named General Electric and he’s also doing a bit of time travelling. I think. It’s safe to say this book is a bit weird and that starts with Bug’s personality–he’s a bit goofy and very good at talking to himself. In a lot of ways this character reminds me of Mike Allred’s Madman, and not just because Allred is drawing this. The book has a way of meandering a bit, but also exploring interactions between characters. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lee Allred wrote this page by page, because it can turn on a dime and change its direction on a whim. Bug literally rides into this comic on a sled, meets the Losers (a World War II team of soldiers first introduced in 1969), and then rolicks his way into an enemy base. The characters comment, get off topic, and then face off against a robot army–all of which have plugs for heads. Yeah, it’s kind of weird, but that’s part of the allure of this book.
Mike Allred draws another fun issue with monsters fighting robots, Bug expressing himself clearly even with a mask and goggles, and a lot of fun elements. In one panel for example, Bug throws a whistle at someone and the circular panel surrounds Bug, with the whistle shooting out over slices of circles until it hits the bad guy. It’s a style choice that adds a bit to the motion. The monsters and robots look great too with a thick cel-shaded line look and there are plenty of fun, unconventional layouts. In one for instance, a circular panel at the top left and bottom right give the page a border of sorts of Bug listening in on the scenes in between. In another page, Bug is slapped across a magazine similar to Time at the top of the page, with the rest going a more conventional layout route.
How convenient to the plot!
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are portions of the book where the goofiness seems to go nowhere and you’ll be wishing the book would get on with it. In a scene where Bug somehow magicks a Mother Box out of an old walkie talkie, the character uses it to show what it can do. It’s a goofy scene and it also serves as a convenient element to get the story going. This occurs in the opening, which is particularly loosely written. It doesn’t help the backgrounds are mostly white, which increases the somewhat boring nature of the scene.
Is It Good?
Wacky, incredibly weird, but all the time endearing, Bug! The Adventures of Forager is worth a look. The weirdness can get frustrating, especially when it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but overall this is a unique work worth a look if you’re into comics that are a little different.