A Year of Cool Comics – Day 172
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a look at one of the more overlooked Ambush Bug stories – the last new Ambush Bug solo comic for sixteen years – 1992’s Ambush Bug Nothing Special #1 by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming and Al Gordon!
1992 was a weird time for Keith Giffen and DC Comics – he had been working for the comic company steadily for a decade, and in fact, he and Ambush Bug scripter Robert Loren Fleming were actually in the MIDST of DC’s 1992 Summer Crossover, Eclipso: The Darkness Within, when this special came out. And yet Giffen was less than eight months away from departing from DC for a few years (he had already ceased writing Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes).
So Ambush Bug Nothing Special #1 had a certain sort of “this could be goodbye” feel to it. Luckily, if it WAS goodbye, it would have been a proper send-off to the character as it was a very funny one-shot filled with a ton of gags (and great Giffen and Gordon artwork).
The opening of the book is a fun series of one-page bits based on the premise of Ambush Bug trying to find work from various DC characters including Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol…
This sequence is notable for also including an appearance by Morpheus, in a rare non-Gaiman-penned appearance of the character during Gaiman’s original tenure on the title…
Giffen then turns the rest of the book into a fight between Ambush Bug and Julie Schwartz (with lots of random wackiness mixed in, of course).
First, Ambush Bug vies with Schwartz for his “position” as DC’s Goodwill Ambassador. Thing is, the job can’t be his until Schwartz dies.
So Bug goes into the future…
Schwartz shows that he will stop Bug wherever he goes – WHENever he goes!!
this leads to the brilliantly harsh Image Comics parody…
Ultimately (after a lot of other great bits, including a flashback to Keith Giffen’s youth and the origin of his 9-panel-grid format), the book ends on a Silence of the Lambs parody with Sugar (from Sugar and Spike) as Clarice, Ambush Bug as Hannibal Lector and Schwartz as Buffalo Bill…
This was a strong product with good dialogue and impressive art (especially how Giffen changes styles throughout). I believe this is available in the Showcase Presents Ambush Bug black and white trade. Go get it!!