O' Glory be....can it be yet another unabashed smattering of old comics that Delightful Dann is recommending that you all rush out in groves to comic book stores or conventions and snap up as many back issues your greedy little paws can manage?
Yup, I sure am!
This time around we're going back to that year of all years...1978. To get a four color wonder at this time would mean you had to shell out .35 cents of that hard earned allowance. Personally, I had to watch my budget in those halcyon days, but getting the latest copy of Marvel Comics' MICRONAUTS was an 11 year olds comic dream come true.
Now, the Micronauts was a toy line owned in the states by a company called MEGO. I collected the toys 'till my bedroom was overflowing. They're toys I wish I still had, considering they could put my kids though college now. Any one that's ever had any of the toys from this collection can state how much fun they were. Missles detachable parts, interchangeable parts, a multitude of characters....these toys had it all!
Now, the comic itself? Let's just say that this is a comic that few can find a fault with. Written by boisterous Bill Mantlo, Drawn by Michael Golden and inked by Josef Rubenstein, this comic swelled with greatness! On top of all that.....Issue #1 boasted a cover by one of the all time greats in comic art, Dave Cockrum!
The story of the Micronauts went like this:
In the subatomic universe, there was a planet named Homeworld. 1000 years ago, they sent an astronaut by the name of Arturus Rann (Space Glider) to explore the universe with his trusted robotic ship mate, Biotron. Rann was in suspended animation most of the time, but while they were busy exploring the universe, Homeworld's technology advanced during that 1000 year time and space exploration was already beyond what Arcturus had accomplished. Now, the trouble starts when Rann returns home. He thinks he's getting a hero's welcome, but instead, he faces a firing squad.
Over the years, a rather nasty guy by the name Baron Karza, overthrew Homeworld and now rules with an iron fist. He originally had Rann's parents killed (cause they were the King and Queen), and now he wanted Arcturus out of the way as well.
Without ruining any part of the storyline, Arcturus eventually meets up with his new band of rebels that include:
The fierce warrior ACROYEAR, named after his people.
BUG, a wisecracking insectivorid that reminded me of an alien Spider-Man.
Princess Mari (Marionette) A refuge from the most current ruling class of Homeworld.
Microtron, Mari's roboid servant.
and the afore mentioned Biotron.
Eventually we meet Mari's brother Prince Argon.
Baron Karza has what he calls, "the Body Banks". If you're rich enough, you can buy body parts (or whole bodies) so you can essentially live forever. Of course, the body parts came from the poor, or the rebels that were trying to overthrow Karza. Karza captures Prince Argon and decides to do some "body management experiments"....like this:
Argon got the raw end of that deal!
Eventually, the Micronauts make their way to Earth and meet up with little known Marvel characters such as Man-Thing. Issue #8 also introduced a character that's running around with the Avengers at the moment...Captain Universe.
After a little time on our old blue marble, the Micronauts travel back to their own system to rid the Microverse of the nasty bad rule of Baron Karza and his allies.
This story arc winds up being big, epic and cosmic! With tons of fantastic character development and eye popping artwork, a reader can't put down even one chapter before he's finished with it.
Now here's the kicker...
The Micronauts lasted as a series for quite a few years, well into the '80's.
For many tho, myself included, it's the fist 12 issues that most have fond memories of. Not saying issues 13 up weren't good, heck, with art by guys like Pat Broderick and Steve Ditko, things weren't horrible.
But, the team of Mantlo and Golden (along with inker Rubinstein and later Bob Mcleod and Al Milgrom) only stayed on till ish #12, which spotlighted one of the coolest Micronauts, Acroyear.
The dynamics...the intricate artwork...everything about those first 12 issues screamed "Perfect!"
It was a good time to be a kid in those days.
I had the toys, I read of their adventures, I was pretty thrilled to read comics back in those days.
Some of the dialoque may seem slightly stilted in these comics, but nothing can take away the wonder and excitement these books brought to Marvelites across the globe!
Go buy these 12 issues....
You can thank me later!
Welcome friends and fanatics, to my first ever unabashed blog of news, notes and nostalgic musings!