Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: Showcase Presents Ambush Bug

When reviewing the names of super-heroes and super-villains that everyone knows, there's a select group that comes to mind: Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Wolverine, Hulk, Ambush Bug, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the Silver Surf ... umm what? You don't know Ambush Bug? But I'm sure Ambush Bug knows you. And Showcase Presents Ambush Bug is the only collection of his original adventures that we're probably ever going to see.

Ambush Bug knows most comic book readers because he's one of the few characters that knows he's in a comic book. Before getting all meta on us, the character began as somewhat of a throwaway villain in DC Comics Presents #52, facing off against Superman and the New Doom Patrol. He was created by Keith Giffen and Paul Kupperberg. Back then he was a happy-go-lucky (and slightly murderous) bad guy who could teleport using these little bugs. It was a few months later, in #59, when Ambush Bug was steered into a more comedic role, when he inadvertently went to the 30th Century with Superman and was engaged by the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Back then, the Subs were thought of in the same vein as the Legion of Super-Pets in sheer usefulness, so hilarity reigned.

Ambush Bug made several more appearances in Supergirl, Action Comics, and DC Comics Presents before he earned his first mini-series, which was so popular he got a Stocking Stuffer special followed by a second mini, a Secret Origins origin, and a second special before comic books turned all dark, grim and serious again.

All of these funny books (and for once that phrase is truth-in-advertising) are reprinted in Showcase Presents Ambush Bug, another volume in DC Comics' black-and-white series of trade paperback reprints. The stories all have an element of humor to them, and Ambush Bug, knowing that he's in a comic book, does his best to strain all the conventions of comic books that existed back in the eighties, the era of the DC fanboy and the Marvel zombie. It's fast-paced comedy, like if SCTV was combined with Cracked.

Showcase Presents Ambush Bug is an excellent read, both as a reprint volume and just as something to page through when you're bored and want to snicker a little now and then.

by Rich Meyer

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! Feast your eyes on it! It's here! It's here! The second volume of the TV Show Quiz Book has arrived! <DOOO-DOO-DOO-DOOOOOT>
Umm. Sorry about that. 
Here's another round of questions and answers about America's favorite babysitter: Television! The TV Show Quiz Book Volume II has 301 questions about shows from the last 60 years of broadcasting! You'll find queries on beloved old favorites, those ones you never could stand, and new shows from the past year. There are easy questions, the ones were that answer is just on the tip of your tongue, and questions to make you go "Huh?" Everyone should find something they like in this e-book quiz book!

No comments:

Post a Comment