Wednesday, July 30, 2008

5 Things to Like About Ambush Bug Year None #1

A week late? Yeah, well, you can't always get your comics on the appointed date, even an important issue like this one, which is part and parcel of why I don't do a lot of "current" material. Still, Year None demands commentary.

1. Ambush Bug is back, and so is everyone else!Though it's never expressly mentioned, it looks like Ambush Bug left the doors of Comic Book Limbo open when he left it. There are TONS of cameos from DC's most obscure stars, some of which have appeared in Ambush Bug before (Egg Fu, Green Team, Sugar and Spike, Glop), many of which haven't (the original Batgirl, 'mazing Man, Atlas, Yankee Poodle). In fact, there are a number of them I can't identify at all! I mean, Cap's Hobby Hints? Where was Scribbly, for God's sake? Giffen even makes a point of having some of the Vertigo prisoners appear. Take THAT, Vertigo!

2. Argh!Yle
Of all the returning characters, the most exciting has to be the Soleless Sock of Evil. Last seen being blown up aboard his orbital Bureau by the Interferer, he was apparently saved by a Superboy punch, because he's back and manipulating 60s Titans style villain Go-Go Chex (easy when the Chex thinks you're "Wonder Chick"). Truly, he is Ambush Bug's greatest arch-enemy.

3. It takes no prisoners.
Truth be told, I was struck at how dark the humor was in Year None. It is, after all, a story about DC's female characters getting killed off violently. Women are found in refrigerators (of course), near the Fortress of Solitude, floating in pools, in orbit, even falling from the sky. Maybe they're just the bastard daughters of the Phantom Stranger, but we care about some of them, like Jonni DC (there goes the continuity cop). The old series seemed a lot lighter, but Ambush Bug is perhaps as subversive as it's always been. Maybe it's just subverting a different reality. Back in the early 80s, subverting DC Comics basically meant laughing at kryptonite's Silver Age prevalence. This first new issue tells us that nothing is sacred and that, by golly, there are places other than blogs where we can vent about Spoiler's pointless death and the ugly new DC bullet.

4. My favorite joke:
The perfect ending for Argh!Yle yet again recounting his origin story. At this point, it's the opposite of a Secret Origin.

5. How the little things have changed.
Obviously I remember when characters made broad use of thought bubbles. I also remember the "innovation" of using first person narration in caption boxes. What's more fuzzy is when captions became so prevalent as to totally displace thought bubbles (despite speech bubbles getting all sorts of bells and whistles to denote tone, accent and sound processing).

There's more, but you'll have to buy your own issue. Next month: Ambush Bug takes a bullet for Blue Beetle. Can one bug save another?


De said...

Cap's Hobby Hints was one of the many house ads (like Allergy or the PSAs with Superman, Bob Hope, etc.) that appeared in Silver Age books.

Siskoid said...

It's clear from the comic at least.

Now call the Justice League, somebody's after my Twinkies.

SallyP said...

Yeah, things have been a little dark. Darkly amusing, that is!

Stephen said...

this was a lot of fun

Sea_of_Green said...

LOVED the use of the old DC Go-Go checks. ;-)

Siskoid said...

You're right! Chex is actually another staple from the past that's escaped from Limbo!