The Oddball of the Week has returned…but with a twist. This time around, we’ll spotlight the weird, the wacky, and just plain obscure characters from across the comic spectrum. To kick off the new blog, get ready for…Ambush Bug!
We can thank James Gunn for this. Ever since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the quirky personalities from across the comic spectrum have begun to dominate the superhero landscape. The rise to fame for the offbeat crew of space rejects paved the way for some of the strangest figures in all of comics to be embraced by mainstream audiences. Since GOTG, we’ve seen the likes of the Grandmaster, Korg, and Miek in Thor: Ragnarok, Throg, the Doom Patrol, Peacemaker, and virtually every other character in The Suicide Squad.
With more obscure characters getting the live-action treatment, it leaves us wondering what other oddballs could be the next unlikely stars of stage and screen. In this weekly blog, we’ll explore the darkest corners of the comic universe. Everything from Marvel, DC, and beyond, starting with an old favorite, Ambush Bug.
Fans of Cartoon Network’s Batman: the Brave and the Bold will recognize the lovable lime-green face and antennae from the series finale. Think of him as Deadpool’s spiritual predecessor; he’s a self-aware comic book character who breaks all the conventional storytelling rules in hilarious fashion. In many ways, he is the voice of the editorial team, taking jabs at all things comics. Ambush Bug’s story is that he is an interdimensional being and the last survivor from his home world. His alter ego is the mentally ill Irwin Schwab. That leaves questions as to whether Ambush Bug is part of Irwin’s imagination or vice versa.
With both Marvel and DC embracing the irreverent, it makes for the perfect time for Ambush Bug to arrive in live-action.
As the Bronze Age came to a close, the early 1980s was a shifting point for superhero comics. While many titles were becoming more mature, the groundwork was laid for a self-aware character to stick his nose into superheroic adventures.
In 1982’s DC Comics Presents #52, readers were treated to the first appearance of Ambush Bug. He would go on to costar with many of DC’s biggest stars, injecting a dose of levity to all his appearances.
Since so few collectors care about his first appearance, you can nab a 9.8 DCP #52 for about $150.
Three years after his debut, Ambush Bug would star in his own self-titled limited series in 1985. Staying true to the character, the comic was filled with inside jokes from the DC creators. Plus, plenty of winks and nods toward the audience.
Since AB has fallen into obscurity, this is not exactly prime real estate for collectors. However, with so many wacky characters being introduced into the DCEU, this issue could get a quick boost if the Bug comes to live-action.
The last time a graded 9.8 traded hands, it went for just $56 in 2020. You can hardly get one graded for that price, so there’s virtually no risk.
Ambush Bug isn’t the only obscure character in his forgotten solo series. Fitting the theme of fourth-wall-breaking comedy, the second issue of 1985’s Ambush Bug introduced another quirky character, Jonni DC.
In what was clearly a jab at both the DC editorial staff and die-hard DC readers, Jonni DC is the continuity cop. Her job is self-explanatory; she appears in the pages of Ambush Bug to correct any story mishaps that contradict an earlier event.
Jonni DC is literally has a DC logo for a torso, stick-figure arms and legs, and a cartoon woman’s head and face. The concept came from the Silver Age (go figure) when the company introduced Johnny DC, the personification of the DC logo. He served as the corporate mascot and played host to letters and notes from the editors.
Need one to call your own? The last raw copy sold for $0.99.
LOW RISK GAMBLE
At these prices, you can roll the dice on Ambush Bug without risking hardly anything. You’ll pay more in shipping than you will for the actual comics.
For that matter, you may be able to find them in your local comic shop’s dollar bins.
Who should be the next Oddball of the Week? Drop a nomination in the comments or on social media.