Monday, July 9, 2018


The X-Men and the Micronauts vol.1 No.2
Writer: Bill Mantlo/Chris Claremont
Artist: Butch Guice / Bob Wiacek & Kelley Jones
Letterer: Michael Higgins
Colorist: Julianna Ferriter
Editor: Bob Budiansky
EIC: Jim Shooter

Mantlo's 11-and-one-half pages of scripting launches this issue, with the Micronauts awakening into a "realm of nightmare." Excepting Karza and Bioship -- who had escaped to Earth in the previous issue -- the remaining Micronauts find themselves subjected to torments created by the seemingly all-powerful Entity, who is evil Professor X even though they haven't said as much yet. I've admittedly read ahead, but it wasn't exactly subtle ...

"No -- not cucking!"
In the "realm of nightmare," the 'Nauts are being put through a reality-bending wringer. Bug is transformed into an actual bug-like creature which, for all I know, is actually good for his people. That might be what they're hoping for. "Even MORE of a bug? I'll TAKE it!" Acroyear discovers that the child carried by his former lover Cilicia was actually fathered by his albino usurper brother Shaitan (in the hallucination, anyway). I kind of think it's heavily implied that Fireflyte is raped by zombies (!!), Huntarr just cries about it, and Marionette is turned into a real marionette except a person, like how Kim Cattrall was a mannequin in that one movie, Porky's. Oh, and Rann just fails everyone again which is a harsh thing to say but I'm right.

The Micronauts bow and break under the pressure, becoming the Entity's devoted servants. Of course, he has all the power in the universe, so he could have just made them do that at first. I guess he had evil Professor X stuff to do before all of that.

(Speaking of which -- and I suppose I'll have a better opportunity to discuss this with the next issue, since I read ahead even though I know I'm not supposed to do that -- but Professor X has some deeeeeeeeply disturbing proclivities lurking around the cesspools of his mind. I know the contrivance in comics is that EVERYONE harbors ALL the evils known to mankind in the backs of their skulls but, here's a counter-argument: Maybe actually not? Maybe it's insane to suggest that, had they access to all the power in the universe, that one would destroy lives and planets for amusement? Maybe Professor X needs to step down, is what I'm saying, in favor of another leader who doesn't want to do what the Entity tries to do to Kitty Pryde next issue or so ...)

Not that picky, all things being equal ...
The Entity decks his enslaved Micronauts out in X-Men uniforms, and they'll come back around to fight Karza and the X-Men in a few pages. In the interim, this unhappy alliance has arrived on Homeworld, where the X-Men somehow just begin to figure out that Karza's a steel-plated shitheel.

Nonetheless, they Dr.Doom around with him, as you have to do when you're a superhero in the Marvel Universe. Yes, all of the bad guys are insanely bad and evil, but also we have to compromise our ethics and work with them. We gotta hang out with Magneto here, grab-ass with Namor there, mom says we gotta take Loki with us to the mall, etc etc.

Karza is perhaps a little over the edge, because the character from the git-go was a venal, power-mad brute who has literally ended worlds' worth of populations, and recently he'd dedicated himself to the very creed embraced by The Entity -- cruelty for the sake of proving that you have the power to be cruel. Perhaps I'm over-influenced by the current political climate, but it's hard to get around the scene where the X-Men reluctantly align with Karza. Surely there'd be a natural boundary of ideology too onerous to cross -- they don't team up with the Hate Monger, do they?

Anyway, Karza is still trapped in Kitty Pryde's body and Pryde in Karza's, although she's mentally dominated while she's trapped in his armor. Karza makes a play for the X-Men to leave Kitty behind, which is exactly the point I'm trying to make about how he's too evil to team up with -- "Tell you what, you've just learned that I took this universe by force and killed millions, how about you leave your fourteen year-old pal with me while you're in another dimension, okay?"

Keeping up appearances, Karza must teleport his body and armor back to his stronghold on Homeworld. You might think this would have led to Kitty Pryde having cool adventures as death-emperor of a twilight universe, but Karza uses his mental powers to make her shut up and stay still. So that's fun.

I forgot to mention that Bioship died. Heroically.
Bioship brings the X-Men to the Entity's realm, where they discover a recreation of their home at the School for Gifted Youngsters -- only much bigger! So, inside, it becomes a fight between the large Micronauts dressed as X-Men and tiny X-Men dressed as themselves. They naturally lose to the Entity, leading Butch to drop a masterful splash page outta nowhere, and Karza is shocked back to his body and armor - or is he!? He is not, I don't know why I led you on like that -- but it appears that he has, anyway.

Next issue: I am somewhat despairing of how this series is going. Let's see what the next issue does for me! And here's Guice killin' it ...

Damn, Butch...

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