This issue is so gloriously weird and so masterfully executed that you have to experience it. It’s seriously a must-read book for any comic lover out there.
As part of the Young Animal imprint (which is a division of DC Comics and, apparently, somehow connected to the mainstream content), Bug! The Adventures Of Forager utilizes several of Jack Kirby’s DC contributions, most notably Bug and Sandman.
Let that last sentence sink in a moment …
The first installment of this series is so strange. Bug wakes up after apparently breaking out of a cocoon. He’s in a basement. He’s flashing back to Cosmic Odyssey – you may need to “Google” that one. A ghost girl appears along with a talking teddy bear. This may be my favorite paragraph ever.
I won’t spoil it further, but if you loved Jack Kirby’s trippy Fourth World, this book is just as nuts if not more so! That’s not to say it isn’t well-constructed, though. Lee and Michael Allred definitely seem to be headed somewhere. There is a great deal of foreshadowing, and there are also several references to the past — we’re talking before Rebirth, before The New 52, even before Zero Hour — that raise very interesting questions not just about this title in particular but about the Young Animal imprint as a whole.
So along with a wild story and appearances by several revered Fourth World characters, you also have the most beautiful sequential art you will ever see. Michael Allred is a very special talent. Every single panel in this book is magnificent. Not only is he a master of anatomy, but Allred is also able to do something many artists are not — he is able to convey body language and facial expressions that progress the story. There are no superhero poses in this book. His characters put actual weight on a single leg while standing, their fingers are never clenched into a superhero fist, and their faces convey actual emotion. It is wonderful to behold.
Let’s not forget Laura Allred’s colors. Michael Allred’s pencils and inks are gorgeous, but Laura’s colors amplify them exponentially. It’s hard to pull of pink, red, and bright yellow in a single panel, but Laura does it and makes it all look perfectly complimentary. Amazing.
Does this issue make any sense at all as a standalone? Not really, no. But, it absolutely lays solid groundwork for what seems to be a focused direction, and the wonderful art, Kirby character appearances, oddness, and general sense of fun make it a must-read issue. Enjoy!