Issue by Issue – Micronauts #1

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Michael Golden
Inker – Josef Rubinstein
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

The first issue of the Micronauts begins with a bang and it sees a kingdom overthrown, its prince and princess on the run for their very lives and all of it thanks to Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden. Though everything had seemed fine, Baron Karza had been stirring up the population, promising them eternal life among other things and it was just enough that Prince Argon and Princess Mari became royalty without subjects. The story told in this book is absolutely thrilling from the outset and Mantlo knows exactly how to capture the reader’s attention and when factoring in Golden’s exceptional artwork and it reads incredibly well. So it is that after the land has come under new rule, there is that period of adjustment where insurgents and rebels are rounded up and either jailed or killed, among other things. Commander Rann, a man having just come back from a one thousand year exploratory mission is just such a person, though he knows it not and he finds himself not welcomed home, but captured and thrown in a gladiator pit, forced to defend himself and his new found friends, Bug and Acroyear, against various opponents. Mantlo also introduces another new character at this point when the battle is going their way and escape is looking possible, a being simply called Time Traveler – a factor that Baron Karza had not foreseen when sentencing these people to the pit. As they escape, they do so with a dancer named Marionette who is really the Princess Mari in disguise, her robot Microtron and last but not least, Rann’s robot friend Biotron. Bringing this to incredible life is Golden whose pencils are both smooth and detailed, painting this new world and these characters as only he can and it not only reads well, but looks fantastic too. Of course, now that Rann, Mari and the rest of the rebels are on the run from Karza, it remains to be seen as to what they are going to do next. The world that Commander Rann left was far different than the one he returned to and the fact that his teacher and mentor in Karza is now a despot is something he finds hard to comprehend. Mantlo also introduces a further bit of mystery with Acroyear, brother of Shaitan and servant of Karza, another one of those who must flee from their home in the hopes of surviving. What began with a kingdom falling ends almost as it began with a group of desperate people on the run and for a first issue, readers could not have asked for more as it grabs hold and refuses to let go.

4.5 out of 5

5 replies »

  1. What a fantastic stat to this classic Marvel series from Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden. The Micronauts are one of my all time favourite comics. I loved these early issue, they were so well written, and the art was great. So exciting to see you review this series 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great series, I remember loving it back in 1979/80. It’s also a cautionary tale for comics collectors who get caught up in paying big $$ for what dealers deem are “hot” comics. This book commanded very high prices back in the day, it’s now not particularly expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

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