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If there is any character more deserving of a great send-off from the old DC Comics universe than they cannot exist – because the name is Bug. Ambush Bug. He is a staple that has been overlooked. An unsung hero. The man with the antenna. Deadpool before there was Deadpool and leagues better in terms of consistent execution. Yet, Convergence is where we say farewell.
Actually, to be specific Ambush Bug will get his very last story in the pages of Convergence: Supergirl Matrix and it is only fitting. He debuted in the Superman line of books and now he will finally end his decade long tenure as the premier commentator on DC both fictional and real in a Superman Family book. If there was anything more poetic about the whole deal it would be set in the future, as a nod to his Legion days, but let’s take what we can get.
Ambush Bug was the brain-child of co-creator/artist Keith Giffen and is one of the best examples of an “author avatar” in comics that probably ever existed. Keith is Ambush Bug, and Ambush Bug is Keith. It is the venue with which Keith is most able to pinpoint his complaints and wry observations about the DCU, and his time there, as he seems fit. It’s unabashed, it’s bold, it’s actually pretty frightening at times – but it is pure Giffen.
If anyone knows Giffen, or has even read one interview with him, than they know how blunt and unfiltered his opinions are. This is the man who simply stated that he lies to readers, that DC’s move to Burbank just “changed who [he] lies to”, and the writer whose own colleagues admit doesn’t have a twitter because he would break it. Ambush Bug embodies all of these qualities in a family friendly package, more or less, and in incredibly fun adventures.
The last time we saw Ambush Bug was in the hysterical, magnum opus tier, Ambush Bug: Year None – which was a huge potshot at Infinite Crisis and everything that came associated with it. It dealt with the advent of the “Dan Didio” era of DC, the rage of the Fanboy (both real and imagined), and eventually a fight against the idea of being “in continuity” itself. It was tongue in cheek and knew that complaints are a double edged sword.
The main joke in that story lay in the villainous Dan Didio, who was portrayed as an Anti-Monitor-esque, power crazed, maniac. In reality, Keith and Didio are actually very good friends and while his decisions are unpopular – the tendency of fanboys to envision him as he was in Year None was the actual joke being made. It was a great send-off to the character, and that is why it’s both great and worrying that he will be in Convergence.
It’s going to be hard to top a story like that, a story that was both the definitive Giffen and the definitive Ambush Bug, so it’s best to go into it expecting a nice epilogue. A waving off, a goodbye, but not the big conclusion that we already had. Giffen may not be on art, Timothy Green II is, but here’s hoping that all of the hallmarks are in place. If anything, it can’t be as much of a letdown as The Godfather Part III, it just can’t be.
Ambush Bug has been through a lot – zombie toys, a Vegas wedding, gender-flipped selficide, being banished from the DCU, the beginning of time itself, a mass murdering turtle, and let’s not forget – Julius Schwartz’ favorite pencil. It’s been a long ride, and if you love the DCU then you have to check out “The Last Ambush Bug Story”. He’s been the unseen backbone for fanboys everywhere, give him the last time of day. Also, if there’s no Cheeks, no buy!