Monday, April 9, 2018


Micronauts vol.1 No.51
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Butch Guice / Danny Bulandi
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Al Milgrom
EIC: Jim Shooter

Although I'd never read Micronauts before I started this project, I did have one or two passing encounters with them prior to now. When I was still a kid, I stumbled across what must have been someone's complete collection of 1980s British comics weeklies at a local used bookstore. I walked out of there with a full set of Warrior, a bunch of 2000ADs and an assortment of Captain Britain comics, including the anthologies in which he starred like Marvel Super Heroes and Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain (what a title, I love it).

Bioship's mouth bugs me.
And in ONE of those issues, there was about a third of the first issue of the upcoming Micronauts and X-Men miniseries (which I'll be covering when it comes around in the chronology). And in that issue was the Micronauts I know now, and who we're getting starting with this issue.

A huge Biotron! A depressed Rann with a messiah complex. Angry Marionette! No Devil! None! Not a whit! A dream team!

After the wholesale slaughter of last issue, the Micronauts continue their retreat from Homeworld. Followed by Karza's dog soldiers, the Bioship is taking damage and the surviving 'Nauts are itching for a fight -- except for Rann. Disconnected and depressed, he chooses to continue running, even though the skeleton crew feels (correctly) that they could easily dispose of their pursuers.

Marionette's spent the last several months murdering cops and priests, while Rann's been wrestling with failure and solitude. It's made them very different people, and Mantlo does a wonderful job in finally giving their relationship something apparently insurmountable to overcome. Specifically, what they're overcoming is that everyone thinks Rann is being a coward and he just wants to hang out in his room and get high and listen to Slow Ride.

Marionette, Hunatrr, Acroyear and Bug take to the Bioship's defense while Rann meditates on the bigger picture, involving Karza's resurrection and the refusal of the Time Travelers to assist in his overthrow. He probably should have joined in the fight, because it seemed pretty easy and might have been kind of cathartic. Anyway.

These spacesuits are so ugly.

The second half of the issue involves the crew accidentally stumbling into the path of the Acroyear fleet (how do you not SEE a whole planet's worth of spaceships?). An Acroyear boarding party takes everyone except Rann and Fireflyte prisoner (they're rocking out so hard that they've become invisible!), which results in our Acroyear being required by custom to face off in deadly battle against his former lover, Cilicia, the only girlfriend in the whole show besides Marionette to survive this far! It's a hell of a cliffhanger, but man is this book ever gruesome sometimes.

Speaking of which.

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