Issue by Issue – Micronauts #12

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Michael Golden
Inker – Al Milgrom
Colours – Carl Gafford
Letters – Diana Albers

The Micronauts have won the day against Baron Karza, his Body Banks are no more and his armour an empty husk. Arcturus Rann, the saviour of Homeworld along with Prince Argon who has become the new Force Commander, not to mention Slug, the rebels and the rest of the Micronauts have fought a hard battle and not all of them have escaped unscathed. Not only do the people look to Commander Rann, but to Acroyear as well, for if his forces had not arrived, things could have turned out quite different. Be that as it may, all is well that ends well except that is for poor Bug who seemingly perished in space. Bill Mantlo lays the drama down pretty hard, but it reads exactly as if one were there after such a large battle as emotions like happiness, sorrow, weariness and hope all play out among the cast. Michael Golden continues to bring this story to life, the man making Mantlo’s tale look as fresh as it did in the very first issue of the series. That being said, there is still one thing that remains to be done in the aftermath of the war and that is dealing with the traitor Shaitan, brother of Acroyear. Though they hold a trial, Shaitan invokes the right to a blood duel and as prince of his people, Acroyear must abide by it. Shaitan for his part is more than angry and it is not simply for the fact that he was caught and judged a traitor; it is a long-standing hatred that came about at a very young age due to his albinism. Shaitan assumes that Acroyear hates him, that everybody hates him because he is different, that nature essentially cast him a bum lot in life and those acrimonious feelings grew and festered until he did what he did and cast his lot with Baron Karza. When the battle comes upon the two, it is fierce as one fights to live and punish his brother while the other looks to spare his sibling and merely banish him. Golden’s pencils are fantastic as they chronicle the action and when all is said and done, there is only one that remains standing, despite doing his best to make sure there were two. Mantlo and Golden’s story convey a ton of emotion and this book ends up being one of the best issues yet. All of it ends with both a note of tragedy and one of hope as one Micronaut who was thought dead, just so happens to still be alive, merely lost and waiting to be found.

4 out of 5

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