Monday, July 17, 2017


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.
In this case, we find Shield's orbital Helicarrier (they have one of those?) under assault by HYDRA agents in space gear. As the Micronauts approach, most of SHIELD's space vehicles have been destroyed by HYDRA's superior numbers, so the Endeavor and its loaded weapons bay are a welcome relief on behalf of the good guys.

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.
Tales of the Microverse! This backup has slowly been aligning with the main story, and Mari provides the concrete link between them. Reduced in size rather than destroyed by Karza's blast, Marionette crashes to Homeworld in the most ironic of places -- the now-cooled heart of the volcano where her brother Argon's shattered armor lies strewn, on the stage of Karza's resurrection.

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!


Jonathan Hendry said...

Damn the bastard driver who hit Mantlo.

Ted Craig said...

"they have one of those?"

Neal Adams created it during the Kree-Skrull War in the Avengers. It was one of those classic throwaways.

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