Micronauts vol.1 No.26 (Feb 1981)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Pat Broderick / Armando Gil
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Louise Jones
EIC: Jim Shooter
I have to imagine that Bill Mantlo's mind is so constantly buzzing with ideas and the execution of those ideas that he just has to start stories in the middle of the action. There's nowhere else to find the space ...
|Spoilt for Acroyears.|
Compared to the final battle of the first Micronauts arc, the fight with HYDRA is pretty chaste. No babies are being murdered in these pages, and there's plenty of wisecracking when HYDRA agents are put down. Bug shooting two slogan-spouting HYDRA agents in the back and telling them to shut up is ... it's pure antifa, is what it is. This insectivorid kills fascists.
If you're like me, the combination of Micronauts and SHIELD regular Dum Dum Dugan is too good to pass up. I only wish they coulda managed a Godzilla crossover. Ooh, and ROM. And Team America and US1. I have a pretty good idea for a maxi-series, here...
During the battle, there are two major revelations. First, Bug stumbles across Phillip Prometheus' collection of dead Micronauts, now in the possession of SHIELD technicians. Surprisingly, though, one of them -- an Acroyear warrior of Spartak -- is still alive!
Rann, however, uncovers the big one. The secret head of HYDRA is exposed, and it is ... oh shit, it's Baron Karza! Oh fuck! Shit! That's no good! Fuck!
Karza christens his return to power with a chest-blast of immeasurable power, despite how much it looks like his nipples are exploding. The targets are a pair of SHIELD Espers who are immediately atomized. Also in the line of fire is Marionette, who seems to also be dissolved into vapor upon contact with the deadly ray! What's happened to our brave heroine? Well, let's check in on ...
|Always with this stuff.|
The princess is brought by Pharoid and his Desert Demons to safety and then, after some travel, to the Royal City of Homeworld. There, she oversees a tribunal of the heads of Microverse states, including the Insectivorid empress, Pharoid, a Spartak emissary, and a bunch of messed-up sunflowers calling themselves The Knights of Neep. We have got to keep comics writers away from the Monty Python.
The plan of action decided upon by the microscopic bigwigs involves summoning the Shadow Priests -- revealed earlier to be the Enigma Force-laden alternate selves of Arcturus Rann, the Time Traveler(s) -- only to find that they've been conquered by Karza! The Time Traveler(s) are imprisoned in a HYDRA stronghold! And Karza ... Karza's just larfin'! Larfin', I tell you!