Ambush Bug: Let the Buggy Bizarro, Chapter 1: Ode to a Phymatidae

by GDL629 19136

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It was a fine, sunny morning on Earth-One. The birds were chirping. The chick with the flute was laying down some sweet Bambi meets Godzilla licks. And Jonni DC, continuity cop, was just waking up. It had been a long night, due to the after-effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, even without the added antics of the Ambush Bug.

First, he had jumped all around the kryptonite-strewn streets of Metropolis wearing a blonde wig and a stuffed triple-G cup, proclaiming himself Power Girl, for chrissakes! The little creep, thought Jonni as she arose from bed like little Nemo from Slumberland. A frickin’ Earth-Two character, no less! He lives just to make my life hell! Oh, God, why can’t he just go away to another planet or something?

She’d caught the Bug streaking down Times Square with Quisp and B’wana Beast, though she couldn’t begin to imagine how they had met. All three of the little perverts were trying to convince Starfire and Dumb Bunny that they were sundaes and they needed to be covered in butterscotch. That was egregious enough even without taking into account the fact that Starfire, who was supposed to be on Tamaran at this time, wasn’t usually played for laughs and was naive, sure, but not outright stupid, and Dumb Bunny from Earth-Twelve was supposed to be stuck on Earth-C along with the rest of the Inferior Five! (*) Then the Bug gave Brother Power (who was supposed to be in outer space at this very moment and currently a prisoner of the Alien Alliance that was due to invade Earth any day now) some fifth-dimensional brownies to eat, so the Geek was jumping around and calling himself Amethyst Nitrate from Earth-X! (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Oz Well That Ends Well,” The Oz-Wonderland War #3 (March, 1986), The New Titans: Fragments, and Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Strange Visitors, Chapter 2: Meta-Human Task Force.]

Jonni gave Ambush Bug a fierce dressing-down in front of the entire circa-2980 Legion of Substitute Heroes, whom he had smuggled here using Quisp’s powers and her Interlac credit card! Then she forced Quisp to send all the impossible characters back to where they came from, with no memory of these events whatsoever, and scolded Aquaman’s little water sprite pal for letting Ambush Bug talk him into misusing his magical powers to bring them all here in the first place. Finally, Jonni had threatened the Bug again with the Contempt of Comics Clause, and with calling Child Welfare about Cheeks, the Toy Wonder. That’ll keep him quiet for a while, thought the stirring Jonni DC.

Then she noticed something. The sheets were all sticky and wet. She lifted the bedspread to find…

The head of Comet the Super-Horse, covered with a kryptonite demi-glaze sauce!

“IIIEEEYYYAAA-AAA-AAA-AAA-AAAHHH!”

Scream, Jonni, scream! Mr. Horse can’t scream. Mr. Horse is now a jar of Elmer’s.

Outside the window, a cheery buggy and his li’l plush were cut up with laughter, having planted the very bloody (but very fake) horse head only minutes earlier. “Good boy, Cheeks!” said Ambush Bug. “That’ll teach her to make me an offer I can’t refuse!”

“…” was Cheeks the Toy Wonder’s hearty reply.

***

“And today, the Linus Van Pelt Treaty to save the little baby seals was finally signed by Prime Minister Yassir Ambush Bug — I mean Arafat! — uhh…”

“Kent! You @#%[email protected]^%#^^&^ moron! Cut, Coyle! We gotta re-take — again!” screamed Morgan Edge, the megalomaniacal despot of GBS Broadcasting, the only man in journalistic history to make Perry White seem like a fuzzy wittle bunny-poo pussycat. “Oh, Jesus, not again! Kent, what is the matter with you? Again with this #@^#%^&%^% Ambush Bug character! That’s it! One more time, and you’re history, Kent! Do you hear me?”

“Uh, y-yes sir, Mr. Edge!” stammered Kal-El of Krypton, inwardly seething at having to play yet again the nebbishy, ineffectual Clark Kent, resident doormat of the Daily Planet and the GBS airwaves.

Yeah, Edge, I’ll give you history, thought the flimsily disguised champion of truth, justice, et cetera. The first live heat-vision execution on national TV. Oh, yeah — burn, baby, burnnn!

“…and furthermore — Kent! Kent! Am I boring you?” Morgan Edge had turned a bright ruddy complexion and was clearly only just getting started in his trademark rant-‘n’-rave dissertation.

Just then, Clark’s super-hearing caught the strains of an all-too-familiar sound running amuck in downtown Metropolis. (Cue dramatic orchestra.) Clark exclaimed inwardly, as was his wont to try to cover up — sorry — explain on behalf of the writer’s lack of expositionary skills, Great Scott! It’s Ambush Bug, and he’s running amuck! His Peeping Tom peepers confirmed the ghastly tableau unfolding in Truffleopagus Square.

Coughing, he said, “Uh, Mr. Edge, sir, I think I’m–” More coughing. “–still feeling too sick to come back to work,” concluded Clark, the bastion of honesty and integrity, lying to his Hitlerian honcho for his classic duck-out routine. In a way, though, it was true — he had been sick ever Argo City was dropped on Metropolis, spreading kryptonite fragments and dust all over the city. (*) And now he was forced to wear a lead-lined protective suit at all times that projected a hologram illusion looking like Clark Kent, which he could easily switch to look like his Superman identity. Clark immensely regretting trying to talk Morgan Edge into sending him on a tour in which he would film a quick thirty-minute spot every day, giving him enough time to super-speed back to Smallville and rest from the kryptonite exposure, since Edge had wanted him to instead get back to work at the anchor desk. Still, until the kryptonite situation was fixed, he had to get out of Metropolis somehow.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter,” DC Comics Presents #97 (September, 1986).]

Morgan Edge just turned and waved one hand dismissively. “Go home, Kent! It was a mistake bringing you back to work this soon.” Edge had been impatient with Clark taking sick leave for more than two months, now, and Clark knew it, which was why he allowed Edge to coax him into coming in and doing a news reading on tape just this one time.

As the familiar red-and-blue streak soon tore from the stockroom window of the GBS Communications cartel — (no, not Streaky with Beppo in his jowls, you eeediots!) — a curiously circularly shaped female with curly auburn tresses and the air about her of a vinegary old spinster bore sole witness to the departure of ol’ Supes. (She and about half of the ten million people of Metropolis who routinely saw Superman fly out of that same window and back when danger was over; thankfully, these were the very same people who’d be fooled by a pair of glasses, y’know?)

“Ooh, that little green %$?%[email protected]%[email protected]%’s gonna get it this time!” she said, only a little regretfully. There was always a price to pay when you made a major character from the DC Universe Canon self-aware of his status as a comic-book character, even if only briefly. The Man of Steel’s memory of these events would have to be wiped out once more… for the sake of continuity, y’understand. And, of course, the readers would have to be encouraged — perhaps even threatened, if necessary — not to take any of these events at all seriously.

A small, plaid, woven, tubular piece of sentient footwear slithered by her side, wearing an iron mask and oozing maliciousness (or athlete’s foot — you decide!)

“Especially with my new ally — and his foot soldiers!

The two compatriots in continuity laughed in unison while one of the little green socks cued the theme to Danse Macabre played on a toy organ.

***

Amblush Bluggg — you wirr die!” the giant oval-shaped villain boomed, his trademark mustache flapping in the wake of his own heated air. Buggy had fought Egg Fu to a standstill in Truffleopagus Square as Cheeks stood by next to the detonator of the giant microwave scrambler aimed at their eggy foe.

“Whoop whoop whoop!” cried the Bug, jumping up and down as he pelted Egg Fu with barbed epithets.

“Hey, Eggy — does Mao wash the spots you can’t reach?”

“Amelican swine! You wirr rive to see youl spreen in my hands!” cried out the eggcitible eggnostic.

Hmm, thought Ambush Bug. What’s taking Cheeky so long to fry ‘im? “Hey, Cheeks! What’s the hold-up?”

“…” replied the cheeky one in his talkative way.

Buggy popped his phymatidae butt beside young Cheeks using his suit’s teleportation power to assist, detonation-wise. “Cheeky, what’s wrong? Just hit the swi–”

The man whose name was Irwin Schwab looked down at Cheeks’ little booties. One sock looked different — PLAID.

“Oh, no — it’s Argh–” was all that Buggy could croak out before the possessed Cheekero turned and fired a stun-set pistol at his bugness.

“Excellent,” said the triumphant Argh!yle!, cackling as he slipped off Cheek’s footie. “You have done well, Fu! The distraction was most appreciated.”

Egg Fu grinned evilly. “Ah, so! So rare is my playment? The Cold War stirr lages on!”

Argh!yle! grinned evilly and beckoned toward the circular continuity cutie hiding in typical alleyway comic book shadow. “Come reward your errant prisoner, my dear! Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!

Egg Fu’s eyes widened in hollor — er, in horror. “Oh, rooo! — Jonni DC! I’m flu–”

A blast of continuity-laden teleportation enveloped the eggy electorate.

“That’s right, Eggy-baby, I’m sending you over easy to Robert Kanigher’s frying pan!”

Egg Fu howled at cluel, cluel fate.

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