Monday, August 6, 2018


Micronauts vol.1 No.58
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Butch Guice / Kelley Jones
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Editor: Ralph Macchio
EIC: Jim Shooter

Well, here we are. Technically speaking, there's one more issue of the first volume of Micronauts yet to come -- and I'll be sure to include it in these write-ups -- but this is the big finish. Macchio comes back as editor, Kelley Jones continues to feel his way around the look-and-feel of the book he'll soon be penciling, but the big news is --- this is Bill Mantlo's last go-around with the Micronauts.

(It's really only occurred to me at this point -- probably owing to the fact that I have been comfortably up to my chin in Mantlo's Micronauts for the last year-and-a-half, and I've never known a Micronauts without their nominal creator -- but Mantlo probably would have been brought on as writer for the new IDW franchise, wouldn't he? Even as just a guest writer. There's no end of tragedy involved in the hit-and-run which has left Mantlo hospitalized for these last couple of decades, but that he's alive at a time when his (semi)creations have been revived and he's incapable of contributing to them is wildly sad. PS Glad to start this one off on a happy note).

The Micronauts are returning from Earth, possibly for the last time. With Bioship having died on Earth and probably on eBay as we speak, the team must rely on Fireflyte to provide them with protection from the elements, air, and thrust sufficient to take them home. The complication here is that the Time Travelers have grown super-huge and reactionary, and have decided to BUILD ... THAT ... WALL in order to prevent Earth from sending any more dangerous criminals past Microversian borders. There have only been two that I recall -- Phillip Prometheus and The Entity -- but in this instance, I see their point.

With the Enigma Force folding in on itself, Fireflyte's power wanes quickly. Thus it relies on Huntarr turning himself into a giant scrotum to protect all of his friends from a rapid planetfall!

At'sa a spicy meatball!

On Homeworld, they find nothing but destruction. The planet, as a whole ... a graveyard. Not that Homeworld died at once, they discover as they pass through the wreckage. Some small clues make themselves known here and there as they survey the damage -- smoldering infernos, flattened cities, twisted rejects littering the floor of the Body Banks, the unsuccessful experiments left to rot on the ground while more bodies are pumped through the vicious machinery.

They spend several  pages passing through the gruesome finale of their war with Karza, impractically piecing together the unthinkable events which occurred during the brief period when Karza had returned to the Microverse but the Micronauts were still in transit.

Lady Coral survives yet another apocalypse, but barely -- her sword lays by her side and her wounds are those gained in battle. A trident .. A FREAKING TRIDENT ... sticks out of her side. She's dying, but lives long enough to introduce this badass pinup ...


The battle that follows is filthy -- just ugly as sin. Dirty, cheap, and a slugfest, and it's the inevitable conclusion to all of the other battles they've ever had. No Enigma Force, no Time Traveler, no aid from Earth's superheroes or distractions from its suckiest super-villains. No Captain Universe. Let me say that again ... no Captain Universe. Ah. Nice.

You've been tagging along for this whole series of inane write-ups so far, I think you should share in this too:

When the Micronauts next awaken, it's in a healing place. Mari awakens last, although Huntarr has suffered the greatest injuries -- I don't know why it's so funny to see "A LIVING WEAPON!!!" with cartoon bandages on, but it is. The Micronauts, during Marionette's slumber, have learned to embrace peace. Acroyear has surrendered his armor and sword, and choose a penitent path. Rann can barely comprehend the sacrifices involved in this war, and is desperate to start over in some new place. Bug is up for anything. 

And Mari suddenly realizes that she has come to know nothing but war and hate. Her allies promise to help her find peace again. I HOPE YOU HAVE GOOSEBUMPS BECAUSE I DO.

Not only is Karza beaten and slain in this story, he's humiliated. Left crouching by the edge of the pit which once powered the Body Banks, Mari's sword still implanted in his chest, Karza's corpse sits unmoving. As if on some unspoken cue, the sky fills with the ships representing the hundreds of worlds of the Microverse. Representatives disembark in the thousands --- to verify Karza's death. They poke and prod, take readings, a few guys just want to shoot the body until it's ash, but are restrained by hands tired of slaughter. Goddamn.

A revived Biotron and Microtron, thankfully unattended by the still-presumably-dead Nanotron, join the Micronauts on a new Endeavor, seeking a well-deserved world of peace and rest. 

I'd say it's a very sweet wrap-up to Mantlo's Micronauts run except I was cleaning up after the party and found this upper-decker


Last issue gets reviewed next week, but here's something to hold you over til then:

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