Ambush Bug

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
I'm watching you while you surf All The Tropes...

A character from The DCU, created by comic book writer/artist Keith Giffen, Ambush Bug is the Cloudcuckoolander secret identity of Irwin Schwab, a man raised solely on TV who one day discovered a green teleportation suit that was sent within a capsule from a doomed planet (or so he claims.) He has starred in several critically acclaimed mini-series, though he is pretty much on the fringe of the comic universe he inhabits.

Ambush Bug first appeared in "DC Comics Presents" #52 (December, 1982). Originally he appeared as a minor foe of Superman, before deciding to become a superhero himself, though Ambush Bug proves himself utterly incompetent at the job. As time went on, his appearances became increasingly in-jokey, Fourth Wall-breaking, satirical and surreal. As a generally Fun Personified character, he wasn't seen much during the pits of the Dark Age, and though he is rarely used by other writers, he still exists in the DC Universe. Most recently, he's become a supporting character in Keith Giffen's Doom Patrol.

The closest Marvel Comics equivalent would likely be Deadpool, with a dash of Squirrel Girl thrown in, though Ambush appeared before either of them.

He has appeared in the animated TV series Batman: The Brave And The Bold, where he knows he's a character in a TV show.


Tropes used in Ambush Bug include:

Kobra: First you will die! Then, I will defeat your fellow heroes, take over your nation, imprison its citizens, destroy their TV sets, burn their homes, and--
Ambush Bug (in Superman's body): Destroy TV sets?!! You ANIMAL!!

  • Beware the Silly Ones: So you think the weak idiot in the bright green suit can't do squat, do ya? Lemme tell you this - combine Motor Mouth with Teleport Spam, Confusion Fu and the occasional dash of genre savviness and you got a damn powerful enemy on your hands, buster.
  • Bizarro Universe: There is (or was) a counterpart on Htrae - Bizarro Ambush Bug. Fittingly, he is the only sane person on the planet.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Apparently one of Ambush Bug's super powers. He can also actually see the speech bubbles that come out of characters' mouths, and once asked Zatanna why the text in hers is backward.
    • Or maybe he's just crazy.
    • It's suggested in a one-shot that while he can read speech bubbles (and presumably thought bubbles), he can't hear what other characters on the page are saying -- the speech bubbles are his only means of communication.
    • When Mayfair Games published a scenario for their DC tabletop RPG that featured Ambush Bug (Don't Ask!), he was likewise perfectly aware that he was in a roleplaying game.
      • Even more so, he supposedly comes OUT of the game to interact directly with the players instead of their characters - the back cover was a mask to cut out and assemble to put on for that particular scene.
    • In DC Universe Online, Ambush Bug can be found in the Watchtower (for heroes) or the Hall of Doom (for villains). His first line is "Hey, look who's in your video game!"
    • Ambush Bug stars in the Grand Finale to Batman the Brave And The Bold, where he attempts to thwart Bat-Mite's efforts to force the show into cancellation or at the very least, ensure the show ends with some dignity.
  • Clingy Costume: The zipper is stuck.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Companion Cube: Cheeks the Toy Wonder, a Big Boy doll Ambush Bug adopted as his sidekick.
    • Note that Cheeks isn't alive or even animated (except when he briefly became undead), Ambush Bug just thinks so. He also wears a costume reminiscent of El Chapulin Colorado's.
  • Determinator: Goes against Bat-Mite and endures a round of being beat down by Batman and Aquaman in an effort to save the Batman the Brave And The Bold universe from being deleted.
  • End of Series Awareness: Ambush Bug throws an after-party at the end of his first miniseries.
    • He also convinces Batman to ensure his Silver Age exploits end up with as much dignity as possible, even if they failed to save the show.
    • He convinced the villain in the Doom Patrol series to drop his plan, 'cause the book was being cancelled and there was no hope for him to see how it ended.
  • Exiled From Continuity: Some of his more blatantly fourth-wall-breaking exploits are specifically not canon.
    • At the end of the Son of Ambush Bug miniseries AB himself is put on trial and Exiled From Continuity.
  • Fourth Wall Observer
  • Fun Personified: So much Darkseid is willing to go karaoking with 'im.
  • Gag Series
  • Gender Bender: When he appeared in an issue of Supergirl's comic, he mistook her for a Gender Bent Superman.
    • During his latest miniseries, he also found his own gender-bent alternate.
  • Genre Savvy
  • Heel Face Turn: He started off as a supervillain and decided to become a superhero.
  • Medium Awareness
    • He has an uncanny ability to see through Clark Kent's disguise, and even remarks how no one should be fooled by it. Superman was not pleased. Supergirl took it with more grace when 'Bush revealed he knew who she was, merely by observing her in both her identities.
  • Meta Guy: One of the first of the modern versions.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Post Modernism
  • Rage Against the Author: Giffen/Bug isn't above lampshading DC Comics' faults (or his own).
    • Dan DiDio is one of his mortal archenemies. When fighting against Bug, he's an idiot intent on destroying the damn green pest.
      • Before that, there was editor Julius Schwartz.
  • Screwy Squirrel
  • Shout-Out: Expect to see several in pretty much every comic about him. (As well as the occasional Take That.)
    • Appeared in Tiny Titans dressed as the mysterious figure that had been showing up in DC comics since the 2011 reboot.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: He's probably glued himself to the farthest end of the silly side of the scale.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Parodied with a sequence where Ambush goes shopping and cannot find a fridge without the body of an ex-girlfriend in it. He settles for a mini-fridge with a pygmy corpse inside.
  • Super-Hero Origin: Parodies Superman's. The greatest dandy in an alien world, Brum-El, discovers his planet is going to be hit by a swarm of meteorites which will kill all life against the belief of all experts, and creates a rocket... to save his wardrobe. And then it turns out the meteorites really were harmless, leaving the man naked and humiliated. And then a giant radiactive space spider loots the rocket before accidentally nudging it to Earth, where it crashes, leaving one of the rocket's two remaining contents - a lime green suit - stuck in the antenna of a random Metropolis loser. The another item? A sentient sock. Who immediately becomes a Doctor Doom parody, angry at being left behind.
  • Super Zeroes: He's definitely one.
  • Teleport Spam: Part of the reason of why he's a great fighter when dueling against serious enemies. Superman has learned to loathe this.
  • Thought Caption: Ambush can see 'em.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Originally, he needed small electronic "bugs" to teleport. He has since internalized the ability.
  • Un Installment: Ambush Bug: Year None has an issue number 7, but no number 6. The joke being that there was a huge delay with the release of the next issue after issue 5... so it was numbered 7 to mock the delay ("Issue 6 is never coming out!")
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: In Ambush Bug: Year None, he wakes up and finds he got married to Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five.