The original Forager as depicted in New Gods #9 (July 1972). Art by Jack Kirby.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceNew Gods #9 (August 1972)
Created byJack Kirby (writer & artist)
In-story information
SpeciesBug/New God
Place of originNew Genesis
  • Longevity
  • Immortality
  • Superhuman physical attributes
  • Bug-like attributes
  • Ability to cling to most surfaces
  • Shed exoskeleton
  • Shield, adhesive pads and acid-pods

Forager is a character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Publication history

The original Forager first appeared in New Gods #9 (August 1972) and was created by Jack Kirby.[1] A female version of the character debuted in New Gods (Volume 3) #2 (March 1989).

Fictional character biography

Original Forager

Evolving from the "micro-life" spread on New Genesis during their war with Apokolips, Forager's people are a society of humanoid bugs that thrive in colonies beneath the surface of the planet.[2] These colonies are ruled by beings known as the Queen-Widow and Prime-One. Considered to be below the New Gods of the floating city, Supertown (both literally and figuratively), the bugs form a lower class on New Genesis and are sometimes the target of prejudice by the gods.[3]

Although Forager was raised among the insect nation, it is implied in New Gods #9 that he is in fact not of their species and may be from the race of gods. His true background is never fully explored. When the bug society is threatened, Forager is sent by his colony's rulers to entreat the gods for aid. With help from Orion and Lightray, he prevents Mantis from slaughtering the bug species.[4]

Initially treated as subhuman by the New Gods, particularly the hot-headed Orion, Forager proves himself to be a worthy ally against the forces of Darkseid. He is killed saving Batman's life and preventing the destruction of Earth from the embodiment of the Anti-Life Equation in the limited series Cosmic Odyssey.[1] Later Orion carries Forager's body to the Insect empire by the decree of Highfather, and slowly comes to respect the warrior and his people.

Female Forager

Main article: Countdown to Final Crisis

Forager from Countdown #29, artist Ian Churchill.

A second Forager, this one a female, appears as the new defender of the bugs in a subsequent New Gods series in 1989. She is given the name of her people's fallen champion by the Prime One and Queen Widow.[5]

She appears again in Countdown #40 spying on Darkseid to find out about Lightray's death, and she later recruits Jimmy Olsen to help her stop the murders of the New Gods.[5] They later enter into a romantic relationship. Over the course of the series, she and the other protagonists of Countdown are witness to the entire Death of the New Gods, the "Great Disaster" and the corruption of Mary Marvel. In its final issue, she ends her relationship with Jimmy and joins forces with Donna Troy, Atom and Kyle Rayner in a new Challengers from Beyond, declaring to the Monitors that they will be acting as Multiversal "border guards" in the future.

Young Animal

In 2017, DC Comics published a 6-issue limited series starring the original Forager titled Bug! the Adventures of Forager as part of its Young Animal imprint.[6] The first issue launched May 10 of the same year.

Forager awakens in a cocoon and breaks out, only to seemingly find himself in a home basement on Earth. He recalls Metron saying he wasn't actually dead, but in a dormant state. Forager spots a teddy bear laying on a cupboard and hears it talk. A little "ghost girl" takes the bear and climbs the stairs. Forager follows the girl only to be confronted by monsters who keep referring to him as "the sleeper". He fends off the creatures and stumbles upon a room where the ghost girl is lining up dominoes in a pattern identical to that of a Mother Box circuitry grid, much to Forager's confusion.

The teddy bear asks Forager whether he will go back to New Genesis to rejoin either the New Gods or the Bugs. Forager says no; he has no intention of participating any further in High Father's war with Darkseid or going back to the Bugs just to "work 'til he dies". The teddy bear then asks Forager if he plans to go back to saving the universe, to which he also says no, he would much rather explore it. The bear then suggests that Forager is not truly "rebelling" due to his decisions being expected. Forager touches one of the dominoes, which causes him to experience a vision of various people. He then topples the dominoes, causing some kind of chain reaction. Frightened, Forager calls out to the ghost girl to make it stop, only to realize he is alone. Forager is then attacked by two more creatures, who he defeats easily.

He is then attacked by a costumed man. Once Forager inadvertently reveals himself as the sleeper, the man tells him that he intends to save him. The man introduces himself as Sandman and the two creatures as his helpers, Brute and Glob and tells Forager that it is their responsibility to police the Dreaming. Sandman also tells him that he is not in the real world, but a dream. He tries waking Forager by saying his name, but when that fails, he suggests saying his nickname, "Bug". It works and Forager reemerges from his cocoon in the waking world, and finds that his new acquaintances are there with him. The group is attacked by lizard-men, who they easily kill. Sandman reveals that he and his helpers can exist in the real world thanks to a whistle made of the reality warping metal, orichalcum. They then encounter the Nazi mad scientist, General Electric, who renders them unconscious with his own orichalcum whistle and takes Sandman's. Forager and his allies regain consciousness in a giant bottle within General Electric's lab. As Electric is gloating, Forager breaks the bottle open. He takes one of the whistles, and then accidentally steps into a seemingly random dimensional portal.

Powers and abilities

Forager retains the attributes of The New Gods, including superhuman strength, endurance, speed and reflexes. The Forager's incredible strength allows him to face much bigger enemies, jumping several meters high easily and running to great speed without fatigue. Forager is extremely long-lived and immune to diseases. Also, he is an accomplished fighter, hardened by the bugs' harsh life of hunting and survival. In addition to his natural abilities, Forager carries a variety of tools including a shield, adhesive pads on his gloves and boots that allow him to stick or climb walls and surfaces, and his signature weapon, acid-pods, which allow him to shoot streams of burning acid at his opponents.[1]

In other media

See also


  1. ^ a b c Beatty, Scott (2008), "Forager I", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 129, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ Martin, Brian (June 2018). "The Returns of the New Gods". Back Issue. TwoMorrows Publishing (#104): 5.
  4. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  5. ^ a b Beatty, Scott (2008), "Forager II", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 129, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  6. ^ Sava, Oliver. "The Allred family pays tribute to Jack Kirby in Young Animal's Bug!". News. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  7. ^ "Wally West Voice Returns for Young Justice: Outsiders". 20 July 2018.