Review: Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer #1

Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer #1 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Bob Oksner

Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer #1
Published and © by DC, February 1986


Synopsis: Against the backdrop of the holidays, Ambush Bug investigates the possible return of Cheeks, the Toy Wonder … as a cannibal?

Writer (plot): Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Robert Loren Fleming
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Bob Oksner

Review: Ambush Bug is always a tricky book to wedge into this review format – and this madcap outing is no exception. Mix a little high-brow humor with plenty of low, add some comic-industry in-jokes, and season with holiday chuckles. Add a pinch of guest creator (hello, Ernie Colón) and a dash of guest villain (hey there, Joker). Break the fourth wall. Repeatedly. Even after reading this one shot it’s unclear if there’s an actual story here, but everyone involved sure seems to be having fun. And the kinetic, stylish art from Keith Giffen and Bob Oksner matches the tone just right.

Grade: B

Cool factor: Giffen draws a mean Santa.
Not-so-cool factor: The Ambush Bug concept is starting to wear a little thin.

Notable: Ernie Colón is a guest writer and artist for two pages titled “Saturday Morning TV!”
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, the is a $1.60 Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “A hero deserves better than a Tupperware grave!” – Ambush Bug, in one of his more lucent statements this issue

Editor’s note: This review was written Nov. 22, 2020.

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