Busting Your Bugs Backwards
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate Peikos of Blambot®
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: December 13, 2017
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Here it is folks, the final issue of this miniseries—and it’s a good thing, since I’ve worn a permanent groove at the top of my skull from all of the head-scratching it’s caused. But I believe that a strong finish will define a story, and make it memorable if it rectifies the disappointments found along the way. Will this be that kind of story? You’ll have to check out my review of Bug! The Adventures of Forager #16 to find out!
I have mentioned before, in this space, that I consider myself an optimist where comic books are concerned. I am well-affirmed to real life’s vulgarities and awful truths, but in the comics medium I see an unlimited potential for story telling and world-building. I don’t believe there are any such things as bad characters, just great tales yet to be told. I believe that every new issue is an opportunity for a series to turn a corner—even if it’s the last one. A good ending that wraps everything up nice and tidy can be satisfying in that regard. I think you can tell by now that I’m about to pull the rug out on this thing.
There’s a moment in this issue, when Bug first confronts Chagra, that it seems like it could be sewn up pretty neatly: Chagra tells Bug that he’s nailed to the Source Wall, and all that’s happened up until now has been in the final dying spark of his mind. That would work fine for me. In fact, it would explain a few of the weird inconsistencies. But no, it turns out Chagra is an imperfect duplicate of Metron—a fact stated in the opening of the issue that I don’t remember being mentioned before in the series—and Metron wants to assume his personality and remake the world? Or something? Metron is a real bastard in this issue, which doesn’t quite jibe with more modern, Watcher-esque interpretations for the character, but is in accord with some of his ministrations during Jack Kirby’s New Gods series. Not that it matters, since he’s essentially a Macguffin meant to frame the nonsensical happenings prior to this issue in a traditional “villain” sense.
And then there’s all of this incredibly pretentious philosophizing! Here was an opportunity to have these characters clam up for a minute and let the aggregation of their past experiences do the talking, instead we have a introductory course to modern philosophy presented by some shmoe plastering the Source Wall, who is clearly supposed to be an Old God and probably The God, for all intents and purposes. And it is just so fucking boring. There’s more in this issue, including the Black Racer and the true identity of the teddy bear, but it’s so chock full of nonsense that I do us a disservice giving it any more space.
This series has disappointed me so thoroughly, and failed in so many basic respects, that I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone. The thing with the dominoes—what the fuck was up with the stupid dominoes?! You don’t ever really find out and I’m way past the point of caring. Great example of Michael and Laura Allred’s art, terrible, frustrating story. Avoid this, when there are better works by the Allreds out there.
Bits and Pieces:
A series already thick with pretension and heady philosophizing at the end, which skids into a soggy conclusion that is neither revealing or satisfying. As my grandma used to say: "What a load of old crap."