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Ambush Bug is a hero, though other heroes don't see him as such. He is a teleporter who is aware he exists inside a comic book.


Ambush Bug's true name was supposedly Irwin Schwab, but it must be noted that he suffered from mental problems that prevented him from truly understanding reality around him, so even his true identity might be no more than a delusion on his part. His origin is disputed, although the most commonly accepted origin is that Brum-El of the planet Schwab sent his clothes from his supposedly doomed planet, hoping that his wardrobe would survive, only to have it intercepted by a giant radioactive space spider. In the resulting crash, only two articles of clothing survived: the Ambush Bug suit, which was subsequently found by Irwin Schwab, and Argh!yle, an argyle sock with a metal mask.

Criminal Career

At first, Ambush Bug was a villain, named after a type of insect, and dressed in a green, skintight suit (with two orange antennae) that covered his whole body. Inside his hollow antennae, he carried miniature robot bugs that possessed the ability to teleport him around.

After attacking Superman and the Doom Patrol (and being little more than an annoyance to them)[1] he then escaped jail and started meddling with Superman and the Legion of Substitute Heroes in the 30th century.[2]


Ambush Bug escaped prison once again, and decided to become a superhero. He ended up in Supergirl's hometown and started attacking people for petty crimes. He encountered Supergirl, who was attempting to stop someone known as the Bandit. She tried to ignore him, but he thought that she was Superman trapped in a woman's body and continued to follow her saying that he would get 'Superman' back to normal. In the end, Ambush Bug figured out that Supergirl was not Superman after all, and Supergirl apprehended the Bandit, but Ambush Bug got loose again, just long enough to tell Supergirl that he knew her secret identity and that he'd keep it secret.[3]

Superman and others

He apparently fancied himself Superman's friend, which only annoyed the hero even more,[4] and also explained his origin to the Kryptonian, who thought it was absurd until he realized it was his own origin. The costume apparently then became permanently affixed to his body, and he gained the power to teleport by himself.[5] The Peabody, Dicker, and Pending agency tried to get people interested in an Ambush Bug limited series, so they sent Ambush Bug out to go find guest stars for his comic, but was rejected every time.[6]


At one point, he picked up a doll, and, thinking it was alive, 'adopted' it as his partner, calling it Cheeks, The Toy Wonder, complete with its own costume.[7]

He became something of a joke to other heroes.

Son of Ambush Bug

In the limited series Son of Ambush Bug, he was an out-of-favor with the editors. Schwab was forced to make due with no funding. In a long, convoluted chain of events involving Argh!Yle!, repeatedly dying, and avoiding being retconned by a cosmic interloper, he left the DC Universe "forever", leaving behind his suit. For the first time, Ambush Bug's face was seen, an unfinished outline, with two lines across eye level. Given the Bug's return to the DCU recently, it is likely that either he made up with the editorial staff, or that the entire series is non-canon.[8]


Ambush Bug was a member of the Suicide Squad for a brief time during the Invasion.[9]

Justice League of Anarchy

Ambush Bug joined a very short-lived version of the Justice League called the Justice League of Anarchy, which consisted of Ambush Bug, 'Mazing Man, Plastic Man, Harley Quinn, The Creeper, and The Trickster.[10]

JLA: Welcome to the Working Week

Ambush Bug was seen with Heckler and Plastic Man, moving barrels full of Trappist monk made ale.[11]


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Ambush Bug joined the short-lived Justice League of America, organized by Firestorm several months after the Infinite Crisis.[12]

Doom Patrol

Ambush Bug then joined the new Doom Patrol,[13] until their final adventure on Oolong Island when Ambush Bug defeats Mr. Somebody by whispering into his ear that the Doom Patrol series has been cancelled, and reveals information about the upcoming Flashpoint.[14]


Ambush Bug encountered Matrix during Convergence.[15][16]



  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): Ambush Bug is skilled in combat, able to defeat multiple members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes at once.

Other Characteristics

  • Mental Disorder: Ambush Bug is clearly insane at times, having been previously locked up in Arkham Asylum.

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • Ambush Bug spent some time in Arkham Asylum, but was released primarily because they could not deal with him anymore. At the time, they had been close to curing the Joker's extreme paranoia, until Ambush Bug recognized him and attempted to arrest him seventeen times. He attempted suicide by hanging himself in his cell... by the heels. He also convinced a number of the attendants that they were crazy, and pursued legal action demanding more electric shock therapy.[4]
  • Ambush Bug has died and gone to Hell multiple times (occasionally multiple times within the span of a single issue). He always returned to Earth via a back exit that leads to the Metropolis Subway.
  • Ambush Bug is an avid comics reader, however he just reads the captions and balloons and skips over the pictures.[17]



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This character has been a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from the clutches of both interstellar and domestic threats.
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This character was at some point primarily a member of the Doom Patrol. A long-running team of rag-tag misfit heroes who work together for the common good, fighting evil against all odds. This template will categorize any article that includes it into the Doom Patrol members category.

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This character is or was a member of the Suicide Squad, a team of imprisoned super-villains who perform high-risk missions for the U.S. Government in exchange for commuted sentences, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Suicide Squad members" category.