Monday, January 30, 2017


Micronauts vol.1 No.4 (Apr 1979)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Michael Golden / Josef Rubinstein
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

We return to Homeworld where we find that rebellion against the extremist rule of Baron Karza is alive and well, despite the absence of the Micronauts.

Every rebellion needs a leader -- mostly to ultimately become as sick with power as the tyrant they've overthrown and to adopt the same brutal tactics in order to maintain an empire, but I digress with my trading card-sized knowledge of world history -- and this one has Slug. Hey, Slug AND Bug! Get 'em together and it's the game where you get pounded in the shoulder on road trips!

A seemingly young, dark-haired living symbol of rebellion, Slug and her cohorts are nonetheless collected by Karza's right-hand man, Major D'Ark. I assume that's pronounced Duh-Ark, which is sure intimidating, you betcha you. The masses of rebels are culled during an "I am Spartacus" moment during a search for Slug, although she manages to survive in hopes of reaching the imprisoned Prince Argon, noble gas.

Sad astronaut dad Ray Coffin.
It's worth taking a moment to mention, once again, how Michael Golden is capable of making actual Micronauts toys look menacing. Swear to god there's a cannon in these scenes and it shoots suction darts but it still looks like you'd hate to see it come rumbling over the hill towards your house.

Steve Coffin and his universally-pitied former astronaut dad enter Cape Canaveral, bearing evidence of the tiny alien invasion force AND a hitchhiking Bug on the back bumper. Usually they're smooshed against the windshield, but our guy is wily.

Dad Coffin isn't, unfortunately, and is pretty much openly pitied by every single employee at the Human Engineering Life Laboratories, from gate guards to ranking officials. Also, Mantlo wants you to believe that no one involved with this project noticed that Human Engineering Life Laboratories spells "HELL" but then again the Washington Post recently used the wrong gender symbol to advertise a Woman's March so I guess there's no such thing as proofredaign any more.

I guess coming back from space to a desk job on Earth is a little disappointing, but I have to imagine you can still get laid like crazy for just having been in a rocket that didn't blow up. Blown-up rockets really hurt your dating options. Still, the evidence of the recent pint-sized apocalypse in his backyard is enough to raise his market value in NASA/HELL/Whatevs, and things are really looking up for ol' Gil/Ray Coffin, astronaut.

Us? Look how you're dressed!
This is pretty much a cooldown issue after three episodes of death, explosions and dogfights. I mean, a lot of rebels died, but that's literally like a fifth of the usual casualties of one of these comics.

So, with that in mind, it seems almost relaxed when a disappointed Baron Karza teleports onto Prince Shaitan's ship, calls him a useless prole, sabotages the whole shmear and fucks off to nowhere, leaving his former military commander to get lost in nowheresville. In addition, he removes a previously unmentioned (I think) mental command which swayed the loyalty of the Acroyear people towards the usurper prince.

Now, of course, the Acroyears are also Karza's blitzkrieg squad, so suddenly liberating them to turn on his former No.2 is, um, it ... it's going to hurt your chances, Karz. You might've miscalculated that particular transaction.

Lastly, as Marionette and Commander Rann are the Leia and Han of this group, and Biotron and Microtron are the bickering C-3PO and R2-D2, naturally the first two have to fall in love and the other two have to comment on it. This is how we leave the story at this point, underlining the fact that the only two human-looking peeps in this whole affair have formed an attraction to one another. Kind of went without saying, really ...

Next issue, it's something called The Prometheus Pit, which is where I get my oil changed for $19.99!

This issue's badass Pin-Up Page:


wordsmith said...

This may not be the place to say it, CJM, but I'm really enjoying your Chronological Superman, especially since you're covering the Silver Age now, an era I developed a taste for from reading the DC Showcase Presents series several years ago.

Calamity Jon said...

Aw, thanks, and this is a fine place to say it. I'm glad you're enjoying it and, yeah, the Silver Age is exceptionally palatable. I'm sad to say it'll be coming to a close soon, leaving Superman stranded in a somewhat mirthless period before Julie Schwartz comes in ...

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