Review by: Jeff Reid

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Avg Rating: 4.5
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Size: pages
Price: 16.99

Ambush Bug started out as a teleporting villain, albeit one with an odd sense of humor. With some futuristic circuitry built into his costume and a set of flying “bugs” that he could teleport to, he came off as a poor man’s Warp. Quickly, his comedic elements overshadowed his initial super-villain tendencies, and the stories in which he appeared became more interesting. An example: in his fourth appearance, Ambush Bug deduces that Clark Kent is Superman by pointing out the flimsy disguise of glasses and, in the last panel of the story, comments upon creator and penciler Keith Giffen’s placement of the “camera.”

From there, things got even wilder.

Once Ambush Bug got out of appearing in the Superman line of comics, he appeared in a sequence of mini-series and specials. Giffen somehow was given free rein to create any sort of comic that he liked. All bets were off. The Ambush Bug comics were simply a place for jokes about comics as a whole. Everything from DC continuity problems to panel layouts to other creators’ drawing styles were joked about. Eventually, Julie Schwartz, legendary editor at DC and actual editor of these comics, became a reoccurring character portrayed as a photocopied picture of the real Julie Schwartz. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol show up in a late special. It gets weird. But it’s always fun.

To get the full enjoyment out of these stories, it helps to have a decent knowledge of comic books’ cliches and history in general, but also a working knowledge of DC Comics specifically. This is great stuff. It’s a shame that the newest Ambush Bug series, AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE, seems that it’s never going to be completed. Perhaps Giffen doesn’t have the support from DC to make these kinds of comics anymore.

So buy this Showcase collection before it goes out of print. I highly doubt DC is going to keep this thing around. As the back of the book says, “this is as close to the ABSOLUTE AMBUSH BUG as you’re going to get.” Yes. Yes it is.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Sounds good.

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