Micronauts vol.1 No.3 (Mar 1979)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Michael Golden / Josef Rubinstein
Letterer: John Costance
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter
Fuckers, now we're talking. A title like that promises big things, and Micronauts will deliver! PS Sorry I called you "fuckers." I meant it lovingly.
Before we launch into this, it's worth mentioning that Commander Arcturus Rann, effectively the de facto leader of The Micronauts, is introduced in this issue as the very Skywalker-esque "Space Glider." If this name catches on, I give up. Arcturus Rann is much more of an "enjoyable bullshit 1970s science fiction" name and any other choice is folly.
|I know, there was a toy called Space Glider, I still hate it.|
Back to issue 3: We pick up where we left off, plus or minus a few minutes. Shirtless tween Steve Coffin is joined by his sad, paunchy ex-astronaut dad Ray Coffin. Currently employed at Cape Canaveral, pop Coffin longs for a return to relevancy, and the miniature space-war recently concluded in his backyard might be the key. Also, Muffin the Cocker Spaniel is fine, just stunned. That's all I needed this issue to tell me.
While most of the issue is an extended dogfight between the Micronauts' ship The Endeavor and disgraced Prince Shaitan of the Acroyear Warriors, it combines comic book action with some entertaining real-world locations. The battle takes the tiny figures through the Daytona Speedway, Cape Canaveral, the eponymous beach and even a skate park -- described as a mountain range, and I don't know why I find that so charming but it's great and I do and you should too and it's also great, did I say that?
|Marionette, Princess of Thirst|
Belladonna has been promised Marionette's body as a replacement for her Estelle Getty-lookin' self, a transaction which seems to exist in this story mostly to underline the inherent evil of the Body Banks. The book has been vague about the operation and intent of the Body Banks, so it's nice to occasionally have a horrible crone show up and talk to the giant evil black fire hydrant about stealing the body of a girl dressed like a package of Fruit Stripe gum. Now I can align my moral compass correctly.
Rann acquires a curious but compelling bit of backstory. He and Mari share in common the loss of their parents at the hands of Karza and his squads of outer space mooks. The Princess' loss is more recent, if just by dint of Rann having spent a millennium in telepathic space hibernation (if those three words don't make sense at first glance, then you're on your own, I'm afraid).
But the pain of their loss nonetheless resonates with Rann, and it's interesting to try to understand the reasons. Surely, in his mind, he'd come to grips with the reality that his loved ones, parents and all, would be long dead by the time he returned to Homeworld. Still, he must have imagined the fullness of their lives preceding their eventual, inevitable deaths. To find instead that they'd been murdered by a power-mad former professor of his, ad have been elevated to the status of widely-worshiped deities, is stealing them from him multiple times.
Maybe he'd accepted that he had to lose them during the interim of his mission, but he not only had the fantasies of their happy, long lives taken from him, but the exclusivity of his memories robbed from him as well. If an entire world worships your parents as gods and rebels, if they've created mythologies about them which are appropriately epic in nature, then how does a child's individual memories compare? If you alone remembered your loved ones for their minor triumphs and occasional foibles, for their sense of humor and affection, for the shared moments of charm and warmth -- but billions more remembered them for being gods of freedom and revolt, then whose memories are real? Whose are more valid? Do individual, personal memories of someone long dead mean more than the collective imagination's recollection? Basically, this is a Berestein/Berenstain thing is what I'm saying.
Next issue, the Micronauts stop blowing up bits of Daytona Beach, more or less! Awww ...
This issue's bonus poster: