During his illustrious career, the legendary Jack Kirby created scores of iconic comic book characters. Forager wasn’t one of them. However, the Allred clan of Lee, Michael and Laura have brought the obscure Bug back to the forefront in a new bizarre six-issue miniseries under DC’s Young Animal imprint. If the first issue is any indication, Forager is in great hands.

Bug! The Adventures of Forager starts where it seemingly all ended almost 30 years ago, in the pages of the classic Jim Starlin-Mike Mignola series Cosmic Odyssey. Forager was seemingly killed during that series, but like most comic deaths, it didn’t take. When this series kicks off, Forager has emerged from a cocoon of his own creation. He’s puzzled, as he never realized he had that ability before.

The issue is filled with references, both subtle and not-so-much, to other Kirby creations, including a Christmas card from the Blankenship family, including little Buddy Jr. (Buddy Blank is the real name of one of Kirby’s weirder creations, OMAC). Forager isn’t alone in the home that housed his cocoon, as he encounters a talking teddy bear and a young girl…I did say it was bizarre, remember.

Forager follows the girl up from the basement, where he stumbles into a room filled with dominoes, which are set out in a pattern resembling a Mother Box. He touches a domino and the resulting splash page is one of the coolest I’ve seen in years. Forager is surrounded by dominoes with covered with images of many Kirby creations, including the aforementioned OMAC.

One of the characters is Sandman, but neither the Neil Gaiman nor Wesley Dodds versions. This is the Kirby version, Garrett Sanford, and he’s accompanied but his lackeys Brute and Glob. Oh, Kirby’s brain makes me happy, and the Allreds tapped into it beautifully with the opening chapter of this tale.

If you’re a Kirby fan, buy this book. If you’re an Allred fan, buy this book. It’s amazing, and quite possibly the best individual issue I’ve read in 2017.

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