The Bugs are an alien race that feature in DC Comics.
The Bugs were a sentient insectoid species that lived on the surface of the planet New Genesis. It was initially claimed by the New Gods of New Genesis that the Bugs were mutant creations of Darkseid who had sent them to Apokolips sister world in order to pillage its supply of good. In order to battle them, the New Gods created the Monitors to serve as an extermination squad to eliminate the Bugs when they ravaged the food supplies. Furthermore, they made use of special insecticides to eliminate the Bugs without harming the food. However, in reality, the Bugs origins were far different than what was known to the New Gods. They were in reality a hybrid race of god and insect that were developed by the New Genesians following an attack made by Apokolips that saw gigantic biological mutants being unleashed during the longstanding war between the two worlds. In response, the New Genesians developed the Bugs with the intention of deploying them against Apokolips where they were intended to destroy the dark worlds food resources in order to bring an end to the conflict. However, before they could be unleashed, a group of these Bugs managed to escape from their gestation facility whereupon they hid within the forests. In time, they started reproducing rapidly and formed colonies that resembled large mounds or hives. As a result, the Bugs formed what they called the Insect Empire that was based on New Genesis.
This incident led to the ruling council of New Genesis fearing the response of their actions and its impact on public opinion. Thus, they began a campaign of disinformation and made the claim that the Bugs were the products of biological weapons deployed by Darkseid. The New Gods claimed that they evolved from micro-life and were spread over the surface of their world by Apokoliptian forces. This allowed for extermination programs being initiated against the Bugs along with the creation of the Monitors and formation of special pesticides to allow the crops to remain unharmed whilst killing the insectoids. These efforts had the impact of keeping the Bug population in check though their high rate of reproduction meant that this was not a serious impact on the Insect Empire. The Insect Empire itself was made up of several Bug tribes that lived in large underground colonies that were led by the queen All-Widow and the Prime One. Mantis was once a Prime One who managed to survive and went renegade along with his follower Bugs that later served Darkseid.
Following the birth of Forager, it was deemed that his appearance and capabilities meant that he had more in common with the New Gods than the Bugs. Thus, the reigning Prime One charged this seemingly deviant Bug with the task of befriending the gods of New Genesis in order to negotiate a truce. However, before this plan could be initiated, the Prime One was killed as part of the sacrificial ritual with the All-Widow. She in turn attacked Forager as she believed him to be dangerous though he managed to escape. Eventually, he berfiended the New Gods and stopped the renegade Mantis from conquering Earth. However, Forager ultimately fell in battle during the events of the Cosmic Odyssey. Orion later took the deceased Forager's body to the Bugs for a proper burial where he was shocked to see the sophistication of insect civilization. Thus, peace talks began with the All-Widow and the new Prime One who later met with the ruling council of New Genesis.
Some amongst the New Gods saw within the Bugs as valuable allies against Apokolips though others such as Commander opposed these peace talks. At this time, a new Forager was selected and Orion was surprised to feel a kindred spirit in her. With the new female Forager, Orion and the Bug moved to stop theplans of Mantis who had taken control over outcast insect tribes that had settled on Earth. They in turn sought to provoke a nuclear war on the planet that would have devastated the world though the Bugs higher level of tolerance to radiation would have allowed them to survive. This plan was sanctioned by Darkseid who had given his blessing with the renegade Bugs taking Earth for themselves. Orion and Forager battled the renegade insects in their hive mound where the New God believed his ally was slain. This led to Orion falling into a berserker rage and he teleported a group of launched nuclear missiles to New Genesis where they detonated over the main Bug colony.
This act severely decimated the Bug population with the new Forager having witnessed the destruction as she had survived. This left her in deep despair at the atrocity and she refused to have anything done with Orion as a result. Whilst many Bugs were killed, their population still remained on New Genesis though the status of the Insect Empire as well as their treaty with the New Gods remains unknown. During the Final Crisis, a new Forager was sent on a mission to investigate the mysterious murders that were claiming the lives of the various New Gods.
A Bug typically was a humanoid looking being with distinctive insectoid features such as eyes and antennae. Some deviant members of the population were noted for holding even more of a human appearance compared to their kin. These members were even deemed as being attractive by the New Gods and Humans. They were also divided into two genders namely males and females with a high rate of reproduction amongst their kind. They were noted for having some of the power of the New Gods of both New Genesis and Apokolips. However, individual abilities were capable of varying amongst the race. They were noted for holding a highly sophisticated culture and members of their kind were even capable of crafting a Mother Box.
Bug society consisted of numerous tribes that made up the Insect Empire that were ruled by a hierarchy made up of the queen All-Widow and her second-in-command who was known as the Prime One. Their tradition held that the fate of the Prime One was to wield unlimited power for a period of time before being killed by the All-Widow in a sacrificial ritual. Afterwards, a new Prime One was elected or born though it was not known how long a Prime One held office. Collectivism was the norm within the insect civilization and worked for the common good with aims such as the survival of the colony. Individuality was neither common nor was it desired amongst the Bug colonies. They tended to refer to other species that were not New Gods as being Bugs as well such as the third Forager calling Jimmy Olsen as Earth-Bug. Their greatest strength as a species was their organisational abilities that were comparable to social insects seen on Earth.
Within Bug colonies, an individual did not hold a name but rather were called their occupation with it serving as a description of their purpose such as a Forager. Among their kind, they did not hold freedom but instead were aligned for their duties. Bugs that were of one kind were not allowed to deviate from their purpose into the role of another type of Bug. (Bug! The Adventures of Forager v1 #1)
- Forager :
- Mantis :
- The Bugs were created by Jack Kirby and made their first appearance in New Gods v1 #9 (July 1972).
In other media
- In Justice League, the character of Forager was shown in the episode "Twilight" when Batman and Wonder Woman journeyed to New Genesis to get the aid of Highfather. After being attacked by a native monster, they were saved by the timely intervention of Forager who described himself as a lowly Bug and unworthy to be among the New Gods of New Genesis that resided in their flying city home in the skies of the planet.
- In Young Justice, the Bugs appeared in the animated television series Outsiders season starting in the episode "Away Mission". They were redesigned for the series as being four armed insectoids that could curl up into a ball which they could launch themselves at enemies as part of an attack. The Bugs were the native inhabitants of New Genesis who lived on the surface with them having a tense relationship with the New Gods that lived in Supertown that floated in the sky. The White Martian M'comm M'orzz masqueraded as Orion where he attempted to heighten tensions between the Bugs and the New Gods.
- In DC Universe Online, the DLC expansion Halls of Power added the Fourth World into the MMORPG. Among the elements added was equipment types for Insect Colonist and Imperial Insect costume styles.
- New Gods: