Where Is “Ambush Bug: Year None” #6?

After a decade and a half without a comic to his name, pulmonologist Ambush Bug returned to the comic stands in July 2008 with a new 6-issue mini-series, Ambush Bug: Year None. The first five issues came out more or less as scheduled, with the sixth and final issue first appearing in the September solicitations:

Ambush Bug Year None #6

AMBUSH BUG YEAR NONE #6
Written by Keith Giffen & Robert Loren Fleming
Art by Keith Giffen & Al Milgrom
Cover by Darwyn Cooke
Our last issue of this stunning, award-winning literary masterpiece takes us deep into the mind of Ambush Bug. The other 21 pages will be just as exciting, we promise.
On sale December 24 * 6 of 6 * 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

But #6 did not appear on stands in December 2008. DC issued no comment on the delay, but editor Dan DiDio addressed the question at Newsarama on February 25, 2009:

16. When will we see the last issue of the Ambush Bug series?

DD: It is being completed as we speak – the last issue is on my desk. It’s one book that I can say quite honestly that hit the editor’s desk and got stuck there. We’re just making a couple of revisions to the story, and I felt the likenesses were a little too complimentary, so I had to make them a little worse.

As confirmation of the book’s completion, letterer Pat Brousseau and colorist Tom Smith confirmed in April 2009 that they had long since finished their work on the issue.

Dan DiDio was asked about the missing issue again on April 29, 2009:

16. Where is Ambush Bug #6?

DD: Right here on my desk.

NRAMA: Complete and finished?

DD: Ummm…a work in progress. It should be out within the next month to month and a half at the latest.

That, of course, was two and a half months ago.

DiDio commented again on June 17, 2009:

9. A pretty simple question from a reader: Will we see Ambush Bug #6 before Blackest Night #1?

DD: (laughs) It’s good that we hit this question every time. I know exactly where Ambush Bug #6 is – it’s still in the same place it is the last time I was asked this question. I might have put my money on “yes” for a while given those choices, but now, I’m going with 50/50.

NRAMA: What’s the holdup?

DD: We’re just working out some of the last changes on it, and right now, everybody’s plate is full, to be honest. We’re ready to roll with it as soon as Keith is ready to go – Keith’s been working very hard on Doom Patrol and Magog, and really doing great stuff. Once he has that stuff in hand at reaches a point where he can catch his breath, we’ll get it out.

Blackest Night #1 came out earlier this week. Ambush Bug #6 is still MIA.

Finally, DiDio was asked again this week, July 16, 2009:

Freebie: Let’s get this in: Ambush Bug #6?

DD: Still on my desk.

At this point, Ambush Bug #6, the last issue in a monthly series, is seven months late, and has been on Dan DiDio’s desk for at least five months, even though he stated it was “being completed” in February.

Whatever is causing this issue to remain plastered to Dan DiDio’s desk for the better part of a year, I think we almost have to assume that it relates to an editorial desire to have pages, or at least panels, redrawn. DiDio makes it clear that he needs Giffen’s contribution, and Keith isn’t necessary if the problem is dialogue. DeMatteis is the scripter, after all, and editorial could always write its own material and have the relevant parts relettered. No, Giffen is essential at this stage only with regard to the art. Do they want to change aspects of the parody of Final Crisis? Do they want to remove Jann Jones? Did DiDio finally get fed up with his depiction?

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