Monday, August 14, 2017


Micronauts vol.1 No.30 (June 1981)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Pat Broderick / Danny Bulandi
Letterer: Shelly Leferman
Colorist: ?
Editor: Louise Jones
EIC: Jim Shooter

Before the Micronauts make it back to the Microverse -- following their role in the battle between SHIELD and a Karza-led incarnation of Hydra -- the story begins in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, where a Dutch archaeologist named Martin Vandenburg (sic) has discovered a golden monolith, much like the one in Arcturus Rann's brain! Only it's large and not in Arcturus Rann's brain! Differences abound!

On The Endeavor, the Micronauts are discussing the very same monolith, and Rann reveals that it has been inscribed with an intolerable piece of doggerel outlining some sort of prophecy of destruction. Prophecies are almost always a bad sign in science fiction, and this awkward song-poem doesn't fill me with hope:

A time of darkness will there be;
Of great distress on land and sea!
Find thyselves, and thou wilt find me --
The secret lies in these keys three!
Whatever ancient alien wrote that is really into irregular punctuation.

Hope you enjoyed this, because it's not going away ...
Rann explains that this prophecy of the Enigma Force instructs them that they must find three ancient magical keys in order to save the Microverse from some horrible destruction. This absolutely sounds like the pitch for a really unremarkable video game. Still, without the keys and their nebulous purpose, the assorted individual molecules of Homeworld -- which are, themselves, small life-sustaining planets -- will 'splode.

At some point, a vagina
fwooshed into the book ...
As they prepare to take off for this journey, Acroyear folds. He's still bugged by having destroyed his home planet, watching his brother die, and getting told off by his old lady. It's time for him to return to Spartak, much to the consternation and despair of his teammates. They're good folks.

Back on Spartak, Acroyear is unsurprised to find the sphere a cold, lifeless hunk of rock. Having used the Worldmind to defeat Baron Karza, Ayo had destroyed his planet's living soul, sending his people off to find homes among the distant worlds. But not before they leave him a poison pen letter! The one source of light and heat on all of Spartak glows outside of the chamber which once housed the Worldmind, bearing a red-hot brand (declaring, we're told, "T" for "Traitor"). Ayo wastes no time in SLAMMING HIS FOREHEAD ON THE BRAND AND LETTING IT BURN HIM, which is pretty extreme, but that's my man Ayo.

With Acroyear's absence and Biotron's death, the Micronauts have room for some new members. While 'she' doesn't join right away, the golden cyclopean roboid Nanotron -- clearly on the horn for homeworld-famous roboid Microtron, even though they have the same last name and might be related, I guess -- shows up, boobily. This book went a long time without introducing a robot with tits, good for them and their restraint.

"Uh ... Can I call you
Steve for short?"
Pharoid also joins the Micronauts on their quest, if only to hitch a ride back to Aegyptia -- or so he says. In fact, he's been charged by Prince Argon to spy on the Micronauts, to ensure that their loyalties remain with Homeworld.

Speaking of Homeworld, its molecule is the first one to experience whatever the Great Cataclysm is. The entire capitol city is burning and broken after one tremendous earthquake, which is unnecessary because the Micronauts were gonna go on this dumb quest anyway. No need to kick their asses, they got it figured out ...

The crew of five -- Mari, Rann, Microtron, Bug and Pharoid -- head over to Seazone, seeking the city of Oceania, wherein they hope to find help on their quest. This part ... this part ... is boring. But bear with me.

Flying over the endless waters of Seazone, the Micronauts' Astrostation is attacked by "Leviathan," a very large fish. A brief scuffle separates the team -- Rann and Mari get eaten by a fish, the rest meet Lady Coral, heir to the throne of her addled father Tybaldt and carrying a major  mad-on for the merpeople jackasses of Seazone. This is because she believes that these creatures abducted and killed her brother, Prince Aquon, BUT ...

...Aquon is not dead! He's a goldfish! And he helps save Mari and Rann from being digested by a large fish, although he does that by trapping them in a much larger fish which will digest them more slowly. Can't ask for more, really. Aquon also happens to have the first key strapped to his chest. That was easy!

On the outro, Vandenburg has taken the monolith to an auction house in New York City, because fuck Pakistan's claim to artifacts found within its borders, I guess. What Vandenburg finds, however, is ... Doctor Strange! He's wearing a coat and saying ominous-sounding things! Where was he when everyone was fighting Nightmare, anyway...?

Life comes at you fast...

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