Monday, March 19, 2018


Micronauts vol.1 No. 48
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Butch Guice / Danny Bulandi
Letterer: Jim Novak
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

Jackson "Butch" Guice. I'm not an unmitigated fan -- I find much of his art can be stiff, and while he's strong on composition he can also be very weak on narrative. But, boy, he's a pretty good fit here.

What's somewhat exciting to me about this particular issue -- almost fifty issues in -- is that we're finally starting to see the Micronauts I actually know, despite knowing very little about them at the time.

The premise of this series of posts is that I've always heard that The Micronauts was a great book, but I'd never read it. Collecting the series almost entirely from quarter bins and used book stores, I waited to read anything until I had a complete set, and even then to not read ahead. Week by week, you and I are enjoying my initial experience as it happens.

I hope Bioship means what I think he means...

I never mentioned it, but I had read a little Micronauts when I was younger. Thanks to someone in Tucson, ca. 1984, having dropped their entire collection of Marvel UK comics as a local used bookstore, I was in possession of approximately one-third of one issue of the Micronauts and X-Men crossover. And from that excerpt, I knew that -- among other things -- Biotron was very large, that Rann had a beard and was very depressed. AND HERE WE GET THAT!

Rann brings the badly enervated body of Devil aboard the Bioship, the enormous replica spaceship which the Soul Survivors had dropped in the ocean upon breaching the Spacewall. Like all roboids, Bioship is part organic -- in fact, he's got a huge gross brain in the middle of his bridge, and it's sucked up all of Nanotron's and Microtron's memories, leaving them well dead.

It was, however, deliberate. Resembling Biotron and possessing the potential to replace the Micronauts' much-missed original vessel, The Endeavor, Microtron and Nanotron donate their memories of Biotron to the Bioship, so that he may become more like the original roboid. With Rann's memories -- gleaned telepathically throughout a 1,000-year journey and as comprehensive as the deceased Biotron's own memories -- Bioship now lives, completely, effectively indistinguishable from the original roboid on whose likeness he was based. Except people live inside him now.

"It's just much grosser than you remember."

Even toys and accessories are recreated, all the little ships and cars and cute stuff that you'd bug your parents to buy from the Sears catalog are replicated from nothing and stored somewhere equivalent to one's nuts or pancreas or whatever. Things have gotten weird.

While Bioship uses his shrinking powers to bring what Rann believes are the only surviving Micronauts back to the Microverse, things are hectic back on Homeworld. Bug, Acroyear and Pharoid are still prisoners of DeGrayde and the Death Squad, but Slug and Belladonna have successfully used the Star Scepter to intimidate a bunch of Body Bank technicians into returning them to their rightful bodies. Let's see how that plays out.

Marionette, go on Chapo.

While the fellas get ready to compete for Argon's entertainment in the wedding day gladitorial games, Marionette is assaulting a nearby weather control tower. She's confronted there by Huntarr, the snot-in-boots which Argon occasionally sends to fight the good guys. Marionette not only just slays the twerp, she gives him revolutionary dogma with both barrels, confusing and possibly swaying the big ball of slime. I've seen the covers to Micronauts: The New Voyages, so I know how this ends, I just didn't know how we got there.

Devil is dying! Rann is returning to the Microverse! Biotron is back, sort of, and we're finally heading towards the climax of the battle with Force Commander! And issue 50 is just around the corner. Congratulations are in order.

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