DC Comics is going all-out for its Jack Kirby centennial celebration honoring the legacy of one of the most influential creators in superhero comics. It started with The Kamandi Challenge, a year-long miniseries teaming big-name creators to tell single-issue stories about the last human boy on an Earth populated by humanoid animals. In August, The Sheriff Of Babylon’s Tom King and Mitch Gerads reunite for a new Mister Miracle book, and Kirby’s birthday month will also feature six one-shots spotlighting various Kirby creations. DC’s Young Animal imprint is getting in on the action with Bug! The Adventures Of Forager, a family affair from writer Lee Allred, artist Michael Allred, and colorist Laura Allred that takes readers on a bombastic journey through Kirby’s fervent imagination. Forager meets different characters that Kirby worked on for DC Comics as he embarks on a quest to save the Multiverse, and bringing together a creative team with an intense appreciation for Kirby’s work makes Bug! an outstanding tribute.
This exclusive preview of this week’s Bug! The Adventures Of Forager #2 sends the titular character to World War II, where he crosses paths with Kirby’s interpretations of Blue Beetle, Sandman and Sandy The Golden Boy, and The Losers. After the first issue’s weird, creepy exploration of the Silver Age Sandman mythos, this second chapter jumps back in time to showcase Kirby’s wartime heroes, giving readers a strong impression of the incredible range of Kirby’s work. The first thing that pops out in these pages is Forager’s physicality, starting with a page of him maneuvering through the air as he drops out of a hole in space-time. The deep red of his costume pops against the pale blue background, and that red saves his life when Sandy confuses Forager with Red Bee, another crimson-clad Golden Age hero. There’s a thrilling energy in these pages as Forager comes face-to-face with these intense soldiers, but there’s also a sense of humor because Kirby always found ways to make his comics fun, even when the situations were fraught.