It comes as a surprise that throughout the history of comics, Ambush Bug has only had twelve issues all to his own, the most recent of which being in 1992. This newest reintroduction of the classic DC character, Ambush Bug: Year None #1 (of 6), is an amusing read that is worth the price of admission.

Brief plot synopsis:

Female characters are being murdered in vast quantities accross the DC Universe, and when the Continuity Officer bites the bullet, Ambush Bug gets the call for help… Since all the other super heroes seem to be on lunch break. The problem is that for nearly the last two decades Ambush Bug has been living in the the world of DC’s back issues, completely devoid of any knowledge of recent comic book events.

As the Bug tries to solve the murder, his ignorance of any recent comic continuity leads him into some precarious situations. And I’m not just referring to his dealing with the loss of thought balloons. As Ambush Bug tries to solve the murder, he is stalked by a discarded article of his own clothing, who now dons a metal mask intent on revenge…

We meet many wacky characters in this first issue, most of whom have been written off by the DC Universe. Some of them include Yankee Poodle, rap mogul Hugey Huge, and Egg Fu. Their names should speak for themselves.

Some thoughts on the issue:

-Robert Loren Fleming does a great job with the script. His writing is clever, and playing with the Bug’s lack of recent comic knowledge is an amusing convention. I also like Fleming’s concept of breaking the ‘fourth wall’ with the reader. In theatre the ‘fourth wall’ refers to the idea that the audience is separate from the world of the play; that there is a fourth (invisible) wall separating the two worlds. In this comic, Fleming breaks down that fourth wall as Ambush Bug references the reader directly, making the character genuinely likable.

-Keith Giffen’s art is great. His pencils have that vintage comic story telling feel to it, complete with yellow narration boxes and simply drawn characters. Giffen also plotted the book with the classic six panels per page layout, and it fits perfectly with this title.

-Letterer Pat Brosseau uses a Silver Age font, and colorer Guy Major stays true to the theme of the old time comic book feel.

-Some one liners:

“My thought balloons used to be all white and fluffy, and now they’re blue and rectangular!!” – Ambush Bug

“I almost stopped at Teen Titans HQ… But I’ve been nauseated enough for one day without having to deal with all that acne!” – Ambush Bug

“Gasp! I’m trapped on Earth Six, where it’s always the Swinging Sixties!!” – Ambush Bug

-Ambush Bug’s ability to ‘pop’ in and out of places as a form of teleportation would make Nightcrawler jealous.

The final word:

If you’re a DC fanatic this title is for you, especially if your area of expertise is the Silver Age and the Bronze Age. Ambush Bug: Year None is a fun, light read, that has a great plot and a lovable protagonist. I can’t make you read it, but I’ll bug you to pick up this first issue until the cows come home!

4/5 stars

Ambush Bug: Year None #1

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