Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1 Review

"Bug! The Adventures of the Forager" #1 from DC Comics' Young Animal imprint

    Forager was one of the Bugs of New Genesis, a sub-species that lived, literally and figuratively, below the New Gods. However, the heroic Forager eventually earned the respect of The New Gods and Earth's heroes when he selflessly gave his life to save Earth from the Anti-Life Equation. Imagine his surprise when he awakes and emerges from a cocoon in a wacky world of glaring little girls and talking teddy bears. Desperate to discover where he is, he soon encounters the strange Sandman, a colorful character that claims to have the task of ensuring that nightmares never enter the real world. Soon they are hesitantly thrust into forming a team to stop the nightmarish villain, General Electric, who dreams of using, er...Dreams to conquer the world. Is Forager awake or dreaming, alive or dead, none of the above, or all of the above?

   Lee and Mike Allred take on this very weird tale starring two of Jack Kirby's Bronze Age creations, Forager and Sandman! And when I say this story is weird, that is exactly what I mean. It is a twisty, turn-y tale filled with (possible) figments of someone's imagination in a bizarre place where the regular laws of physics do not apply. I got the sense that Forager and Sandman weren't the real story... But more like the protagonists that just happen to be necessary for the weirdness to move forward. In other words, the story's the star, the stars aren't the story. The reader never really gets a foothold in the place; it's almost as if it's a drama told from the perception of a silent, unreliable narrator. It's impossible to know what's real, or whose perception is trustworthy. Is Forager alive, or dead? Is this all born of his imagination, the last spark of existence a dying hero, or is Forager himself just a character playing a role in someone else's (something else's) dream? Lee and Allred ask some REALLY philosophical questions in this book, questions all based in a haunting uncertainty in the nature of reality and existence. At first glance, this book seems to be all weirdness in a whacked-out world with two second-string Bronze Age heroes, but if you dig a little deeper, the Allreds are feeling about for some answers to some VERY serious questions. Now THAT is art. Speaking of art, The Allreds make this book absolutely pop with seemingly simplistic, gorgeous, colorful art that works perfect for the book, and hides the complexity of its creation. Simply put, the Allreds make it look easy. Now, this book isn't going to be for everyone. The story seems to meander, the heroes may not be very well-known by younger fans, and they aren't earthshakingly interesting at this point, but the story sure is. I am a sucker for journeys that ask questions about the nature of existence, and reality. Rock on Allreds, do rock on.

RATING: 9 out of 10.

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