FROM THE VAULT: Gore, Power Rangers and Bugs in BUG SLUGGER #1

From the Vault – Bug Slugger

From the Vault is a comic book column in which every 2-4 weeks we take a deep dive into a comic book previously sent to us for a review which didn’t make the cut. This could’ve been due to time constraints, lack of interest from our contributor team or the comic book not meeting what we were looking to cover at the time.

This installment of From the Vault reviews indie comic book Bug Slugger #1. Bug Slugger is written by Wes Locher with art and colouring by Loch Ness

Synopsis:

A hero armed with a powerful and mysterious slap bracelet must defend his city against a siege of human-sized crickets led by an ill-tempered narwhal! But when The Kamereon comes across another bracelet-powered bug sluggin’ vigilante, he must decide if they are friend or foe while he still has a city left to call home.

Bug Slugger #1 was released on May 13, 2020 to all your usual digital comic book outlets including Comixology

From the Vault: Bug Slugger #1
From the Vault: Bug Slugger #1

Bug Slugger #1 Story 

Bug Slugger introduces us to writer Wes Locher and artist Loch Ness’ world of heavily 90s inspired Pop Culture references, none of which is more obvious than the overwhelming Power Rangers diversion.

From the onset of the first page Wes Locher drops us in on an absolute dive of a cafe where a couple is enjoying a night club and our protagonist who will be later introduced as Kemereon is surveying the other customers in the cafe. What is soon revealed is that two men in a corner who don’t seem to be enjoying anything, much less coffee, are revealed as two life sized anthropomorphic crickets that bust out the skin to reveal themselves as hideous insects.

Thus introducing us to the protagonist who, thanks to a “slap on band,” transforms into the series hero Kemereon. A chameleon armed suit with blatant similarities to the Power Rangers of our childhoods. What follows is a schlocky gore fest of man versus insect that leads the reader all over the (as yet unnamed) city. 

Locher’s scripting is a loving rendition of what captured his imagination as a child: 9

Japanese tokusatsu television and the Power Rangers. These first loves are vibrantly decorated with so much 90s frame of referencing and innuendo it’ll make any Gen Zer want to puke. Though it’s a fun little issue for someone of the era that this comic book is clearly targeting. 

Bug Slugger #1 Art

Artist and colourist Loch Ness is outrageously suitable for the Bug Slugger series. His cartoonish style lends exceptionally well to a comic book that both tells a new story but also runs the gamut for Power Rangers fans like few indie artists have ever done before. His colours are rich, full of life and extremely animatic for a medium so reliant on still graphics. 

It’s easy to forget this comic book is a gore filled martial arts tournament where fists through chests and disembowelled bad guys are commonplace when the pencilling fits a style so well with a potential YA audience.

Bug Slugger #1 Conclusion

Wes Locher and Loch Ness outing on Bug Slugger #1 is a strong pairing. While their two styles juxtapose one another there is lots of fun to be had throughout this entire comic. Although not a mature aged comic book, it neatly sits in the annals of Teen Fiction, making Bug Slugger perfect for millennials eager to revisit the ridiculous absurd fads the 1990s had to offer. 


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