Monday, January 22, 2018


Micronauts vol.1 No.40 (Apr 1982)
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artists: Gil Kane and Danny Bulandi
Letterer: Novak & Albers
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

The legendary Gil Kane picks up penciling duties but the un-nuanced hand of Danny Bulandi is still inking, and – to be frank – you are fucking kidding me. Kane’s art is famously dynamic and bold, but Bulandi’s lines literally enervate them. I will tell you that, every now and again, some of Kane’s original pencils shine through Bulandi’s heavy handedness, and it’s heartbreaking.

Anyway. Last issue, the damaged Endeavor was washed into the New York City sewer system, providing a momentary distraction for thousands of alligators and underground mole bums. Bug is victim of a dumb little accident – Mari sees a rat lurking towards Bug, shoots the rat, the rat falls on Bug and knocks him into the sewer. Nice shot, Mari! Two for one!

Devil leaps into the water, leaving Acroyear – as the only other unnaturally strong member of the team – to hold onto the Endeavor’s line. As if that weren’t dumb enough, Devil goes on to complain about how much he hates water. THAT IS LITERALLY BUG’S DEAL. That is not your bit, Devil. Also, Devil failed to save Bug (he’s fine now), so he continues to be a useless magenta Pokemon.

Speaking of Devil, the constant attempts to get him to bond with Acroyear is getting embarrassing. “We’ve made quite a team since the day I first met you in Tropica, Acroyear” he says at one point. If that was a pick-up line, sure, yeah, I like it. If it’s what passes for Devil’s dialogue, no. No thank you.

While Ayo and Devil play Abbot and Costello in the sewers, Bug develops some leadership skills, although he kills a telephone operator to do it. More to the point, he figures out how to use a pay phone to dial information and uses it to get directions to The Baxter Building. Along the way he shoots his rocket-lance into the receiver and I think deafens an operator? Anyway, beside the point – they’re going to see Reed Richards because they can’t go home with the Endeavor wrecked unless he helps them!

But Reed and the family are out tonight, only Uncle Benjy and his nephew Franklin happen to be home. And Uncle Benjy’s drunk! Well, he’s asleep anyway, leaving Franklin to welcome the Micronauts and show them his collection of Micronaut toys A-GAAAAIIIINNN aw it’s fine. Bug kills one of them and it’s cool.

Franklin knows od a tiny ship of his father’s which the Micronauts could use, but they discover that the ship is being attacked by Antrons! Last seen when battling the Psycho-Man a billion issues ago, these Antrons are Body Bank productions, courtesy of Argon – and they’re eating the ship! Well heck!

There’s a fight scene which is good but not particularly awesome. Well, I say that, but there is a whole page where Bug sings a gross song about murdering Antrons set to the tune of Johnny Comes Marching Home Again:

The Antrons came marching ten by ten, hurrah *tik* hurrah!
The Antrons came marching ten by ten, hurrah *tik* hurrah!
The Antrons came marching *tik* ten by ten, til my rocket-lance brough their march to an end
An’ they all fell *tik* dyin’ down on the ground when I scrambled their *tik* brains!

Bug is dark.

While everyone is doing their part – Franklin wipes out a platoon of Antrons by shooting them with a fire extinguisher – Rann begins to realize that his telepathic powers seem to be coming back. As those had previously been the product of his psionic relationship with his long-deceased roboid pal Biotron, the returning skills bear the mark of MYSTERY!

Eventually, they get some help from The Thing, who cleans up the invading Antrons but can’t save the ship. Instead, he gives the Micronauts incredibly bad advice in the form of flying over to Dr.Doom’s castle in Latveria, breaking in, and hanging out in the very tiny town he’d built with which to trap the Fantastic Four. I can see no way that wouldn’t work out and also understand completely how that would help the Micronauts (I do not actually).

Over in the lettercolumn, someone’s got rave reviews for the Death Squad and – I think – Fan Art! Oh my god, that can’t be for real. And if it is, jeez, how bad I feel for that kid.

Plus ... bonus pinup!


Jonathan Hendry said...

No way is that fan art. It's too good.

Matthew Johnson said...

I'm pretty sure it's by Keith Giffen -- the one at top right looks like one of the random background aliens from his Legion run.

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