Monday, February 13, 2017


Micronauts vol.1 No.6 (Jun 1979)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Michael Golden / Bob McLeod
Letterer: Diana Albers
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

Miserable astronaut dad Ray Coffin and evil robot jerk Dr.Phil Prometheus have fallen down the Prometheus Pit into the Microverse -- a journey which has been fatal to everyone who's ever attempted it before! Steve, the Micronauts and Muffin have rescued Bug and are now running for their lives through the halls of H.E.L.L. to escape Prometheus' cyborg security force! And Biotron is back in the Coffin's garage, trying to repair the Endeavor and not get killed by the Coffin's pet cat! It's action-packed!

Biotron had stayed behind to effect repairs on the Micronauts' ship, the Endeavor, but piqued the interest of the Coffin's hungry pet cat. Steve didn't feed the little furball before rushing off the NASA two issues ago and, having read ahead, that cat ain't getting fed anytime soon. There's also something ominous about a scene where Biotron circles around a box to out-maneuver the cat, but the box bears the label of its ownder -- COFFIN -- and, well, be safe Biotron.

Prometheus and Coffin -- comedy darlings of Vaudeville -- tumble through the corridor to the Microverse, shrinking and passing through increasingly weirder environments. The strain of it is too much for Phil Prometheus, who promptly loses his mind, while Ray vanishes in a blink of light. Where does he reappear? Well, it's somewhere in the middle of Microspace and there's a Time Traveller leering over his shoulder, and it frankly looked like a scene from an intergalactic episode of OZ.

Prometheus -- reduced in scale by his trip through dimensions but still a giant compared to any denizen of the Microverse --  causes a real shake-up in Baron Karza's citadel. While he and his army respond to the incursion of a giant, unknown entity, rebelllion leader Slug effects an escape from the Body Bank prisons for herself and the recently centaured Prince Argon.

This issue feels mostly like a place setting episode, with the heroes being suddenly reunited, the villains receiving their ultimate weapon, and the deus ex machina being set up in the background.

Having stolen his father's truck (or, borrowed, to be generous), Steve and the team make it back to the Coffin house, from which Biotron has just violently flung Steve's cat. He's got those Super Powers arms that spin when you squeeze his legs, I think. Slug and Argon get to the Resistance, Duchess Belladonna still sits around waiting for a new body, and everything is basically placed in a nice, quiet place so that, next issue, we can start bringing in mainstream Marvel characters! Hoorah!

I'm including a two-page spread from this issue because something which I think might be fairly obvious had never occurred to me before seeing these two pages: There are a lot of similarities between Michael Golden's and British artist Alan Davis' styles. I've been following Davis' work since I was a kid, and was lucky enough to stumble on some ex-pat's enormous collection of British comics at the local used bookstore for a quarter-each. Pretty much the only kid in America with a complete Marvel Super Heroes Weekly collection, I presume. The two of them are relatively contemporaries, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Golden was some influence on Davis.

Is it just me or ...

Anyway, next issue, whoever knows fear knows what comes next!

Letters page bonus! Kurt Busiek (Age 18 at the time of this issue's release) writes a largely glowing review of the second issue, with his only complaints being admirably concise criticisms of lettering and coloring specifics. Below that, it's thanks to Danny M.Davids of Colorado Springs, CO, that we know "Acroyear" is pronounced "Ak-ROY-er," LIKE I LONG SUSPECTED!

Bonus scan - the language of Homeworld!


rnigma said...

Wow, Sanskrit came from the Homeworld - who'da thunk?

Oh, and Florida state trooper cars are tan and black.

karinations said...

Ray Coffin is the worst.

Calamity Jon said...

Agreed and endorsed.

Unknown said...

I remember being annoyed by the Biotron vs. Cat scenario. She's a cat, he's a robot---albeit a tiny one. What were the odds that he'd sustain any serious damage here?

Calamity Jon said...

It's a very tired trope of any shrinking-person story, but I think, too, that this gets it out of the way rather quickly. We see Biotron get cornered, then we'll see him swat the cat for miles. Hey, SWAT KAT!

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