Issue by Issue – Micronauts #13

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Howard Chaykin
Inker – Al Milgrom
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Joe Rosen

During the battle against Baron Karza and his forces, it had looked as if Bug had perished as no sign of him dead or alive could be found. As it just so happens, Bug did survive and of all things, was thrown back to his home planet of Kaliklak. He of course believes it too good to be true, but it is and then he remembers how he was exiled and banished. That will not keep him down though and he goes to see how his old gang is doing, to see if they carried on without him. Bill Mantlo continues to chronicle the aftermath of Karza’s reign and joining him is Howard Chaykin on pencils making for a very suitable replacement for Michael Golden. Two things are discovered by Bug in no short order, the first being that his mortal enemy who also happens to be his father has taken over as leader of the gang and was also the man responsible for him being thrown off of Kaliklak and the second, that Karza’s men still own the planet, possibly not knowing that their leader has been defeated and their forces dispersed. As for the former, Bug is not going to just accept that Warstaff can take his place, especially not after learning of his betrayal. That of course means a fight breaks out and as readers can probably guess, there is only one outcome to all of this. What follows though is a little unexpected and that is Bug wanting to free his home planet from Karza’s Dog soldiers, he too being unaware of Karza’s defeat. This first storyline takes up the bulk of the book, but Mantlo still manages to take a few pages to look in on Commander Arcturus Rann and the rest of the remaining Micronauts. Rann is restless, tired of being laid up while his body heals from his battle with Karza and he also does not want to be looked upon as some kind of god-like saviour or leader. That can be left to Prince Argon, for what Rann wants is to head off to the stars again, to be a Micronaut once more. Marionette, who just so happens to be in love with Rann, is willing to go with him and forgo the throne she has just reclaimed and so too is Biotron and Microtron. So where it looked as if the Micronauts were no more, Mantlo has brought them together, those that remain, though it is only a matter of time that Bug and Acroyear return to the fold, at least readers can assume. There is one more plot thread running in the book, one which takes place on Earth and one that will involve the Micronauts whether they wish to be or not. Fun, thrilling and mysterious, Mantlo and company know how to keep readers hooked from one issue to the next.

4 out of 5

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