Monday, March 12, 2018


Micronauts vol.1 No. 47
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Mike Vosburg / Danny Bulandi
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

Mike Vosburg is your guest penciler for this issue, but Bulandi doesn't do much for these lines and forms either. Vosburg has never been a great artist, but he's a clean and unambiguous artists, and none of that survives Bulandi's inks. I hate to keep making mention of this, because it almost feels like this is becoming a hit blog on Danny Bulandi, but he's not landing his inks for the most part. Or maybe I am just being fussy, on account of both Devil and the Death Squad are back in this issue. Aw boogers.

When we last saw Microtron and Nanotron, they were plummeting into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. "They can drown!" reminds the caption, "They can die!" It's a convenient reminder, inasmuch as the last Roboid we saw die was Biotron, and his sacrifice is gonna be sort-of important RIGHT NOW.  This is because the two diminutive roboids find, at the bottom of their descent, a giant replica of their dead friend Biotron! Weird!
"How could this POSSIBLY go wrong, Commander?"

It makes a little more sense as we return to the island from last issue and discover why the gummy orange weirdos who live there worship Rann and the Time Travellers as gods. The short and very predictable version is that one of the thousands of alien races visited by Rann and Biotron during their expedition of the farthest reaches of the Microverse, that race, turns out they weren't ready for a telepathic robot and a floaty hologram of a guy whose every atom was just rattling with the Enigma Force to show up and introduce them to the idea of space gods. WHOOPS. It broke them.

The beings of Sylos VII end up forming a Cargo Cult, except that theirs pays dividends. Over a startlingly brief period -- less than a thousand years, of course -- the Sylosians go from squatting in thatched huts to building a dimension-piercing spaceship in the form of their demigod, Biotron. Attempting to break the Spacewall, the whole race is turned into novelty erasers, and discover that they can suck the living energy out of any being! Well, neat! Dubbing themselves, for no reason I can discern, "The Soul Survivors," they continue the gospel of Arcturus Rann on a deserted island of wrecked planes. This seems symbolic.

Back on Homeworld: Acroyear, Bug and the enervated Prince Pharoid are cornered by the Death Squad. Frankly, Pharoid -- even half-dead and wielding a depleted Star Sceptre -- is so much more useful than Devil. And yet we never get him stuffed down our throats. Anyway, unfortunately, a platoon of Dog Soldiers tips the scales significantly enough that the trio surrenders, giving the Death Squad a completely unearned "W." As our heroes are hauled off, though, Slug and Belladonna (who seem to have spent the last five episodes aimlessly wandering the corridors of Argon's palace) find the Star Scepter -- it might be their last chance to return to their original bodies!

I honestly feel like Pharoid could take down the worst of 'em.

Marionette is elsewhere, literally stabbing priests and cops to death, reminding me of why she is increasingly becoming my favorite character in this book. Marionette does not fuck around. So when she confronts Huntarr, the weird "living weapon" from Argon's Body Banks, it promises to be an engaging battle. Next issue, though.

On Earth, Devil is messing up the Soul Survivors' origin story, leaping at them from trees and yelling and basically just making party fouls across the board. Amazingly, the Soul Survivors know just how to handle him:

(A) They link hands and reproduce Fireflyte's music, calming the stupid beast.
(B) They use their psionic vampirism to kill him, mostly.

I choose B!

Rann rushes to defend his tempestuous ally, but it's an unexpected ally who saves the day -- it's the big ship that looks like Biotron, shooting missiles and stuff rather needlessly at the Soul Survivors! Dang! Next month: Resurrection! How promising!

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