The original Forager, artist Jack Kirby
|First appearance||New Gods #9
|Created by||Jack Kirby (writer & artist)|
|Place of origin||New Genesis|
Fictional character biography
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Powers and abilities
Forager possesses many of the attributes of a humanoid insect, including increased strength, speed and superhuman leaping ability. He is a skilled 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 to or climb walls and surfaces, and his signature weapon, acid-pods, which allow him to shoot streams of burning acid at his opponents.
In other media
- Forager first appearance outside the comics is in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips...Now!" Part Two.
- Forager appears in the Justice League episodes "Twilight, Parts I & II" voiced by Corey Burton. He first appears to aid Batman and Wonder Woman (who are trying to stop Brainiac) when they are attacked by giant worms. He is portrayed as very modest and reveres the Supertown Gods. Wonder Woman appreciates his help and recommends that he be treated no worse than other New Genesisians like Orion. During Darkseid's subsequent attack on New Genesis, the New Gods were forced to abandon Supertown, and Forager gave several shelter in his hive. For his kindness, Highfather promotes Forager to a higher rank.
- Beatty, Scott (2008), "Forager I", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 129, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Beatty, Scott (2008), "Forager II", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 129, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017