One of the best artists alive is drawing this book, and he just so happens to be one of the best at capturing weird stuff. Just look at his run on Silver Surfer and you’ll catch the weird bug that’s infused within. Lee Allred writes this book, a part of the weird publishing imprint that is DC Young Animal and we might just have an instant classic on our hands.
Writer: Lee Allred
Artist: Mike Allred
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
Why does this book matter?
Bug was created in 1972 by Jack Kirby, which is an instant indication it’s going to be weird, in your face, and fun. Kirby understood how to slap you across the face with the visuals, and this book is no different. It’s also trippy, ties closely with major DC heroes, and introduces a new kind of hero for anyone unfamiliar with the character.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Speaking as someone completely unfamiliar with this character I have to say this a nice introduction, even given how confusing it can be. The confusion lies with some playing around with dreams, visions, and a main character who is unable to discern what is real and what is fake. This character gave me some Madman vibes, in part because he’s a bit kooky, but also because he’s trying to grasp what the hell is going on. Opening with a page that reveals some dramatic tensions involving Batman and New Genesis, Allred makes the reader aware of Bug’s life, but in a disorienting sort of way. This cuts to Bug violently waking up and the story kicking off in a mysterious and seemingly haunted house.
So Batman is involved…but why?
I can easily see this comic not rubbing some folks the right way, but that’s not necessarily the comic’s fault. If anything, the trippy nature of the story is a big part of its allure. Bug attempts to figure out what is going on and just as he seems to think so, Allred flips the script and changes things. Within these flips are some interesting dream powers to keep an eye on as well as a promise for more answers.
The art is as you’d expect from Mike Allred, flipping amazing! There’s something about his style that seems effortless, yet incredibly controlled and detailed. Bug’s costume has a unique look you can’t deny with some cool glasses to go with it. As the world around him becomes trippy and weird, the layouts help convey that well. A big portion of this issue involves dominoes and, frankly, I never thought I’d see dominoes in a comic work so well. From key closeups with energy flowing over them to some well timed sound effects like, “Swap! Replace!” to help convey what is happening the intensity is high. As with much of Allred’s work, there are poster worthy pages throughout too.
I think he’s losing it.
It can’t be perfect can it?
With the title character spending much of this issue confused, duped, and without direction, I can see how some might be put off. Given the weirdness of the story though, how can you not enjoy the wacky nature of it all? Truly, the purpose is to unsettle, play against convention, and deliver a unique tale. I think it does so here. That said, I don’t feel like I know the main character all that well as much of his postulating is confusion and not developing him enough. Aside from the rather obtuse opening, I’m also not sure how this character even fits in the DC universe. It’s still early yet though!
Is It Good?
Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1 is weirdness incarnate, in the best possible ways. Let your weird flag fly and try this out.