Issue by Issue – Micronauts #15

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Howard Chaykin
Inker – Al Milgrom
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – John Costanza

For the past few issues of the series, there has been a secondary plot running through them that featured S.H.I.E.L.D. coming into H.E.L.L. labs and retrieving relics from the Microverse that had been left behind, whether it be ships or bodies or other things. Of late, those had been delivered to the Fantastic Four so that Reed Richards might be able to examine them in the hopes of telling S.H.I.E.L.D. just what they might be and what, if any, implications could be garnered from them. Reed, knowing that there is a good possibility that the interests of S.H.I.E.L.D. might run towards some sort of weaponisation and knows that he is going to have to hold some things back and to that effect, decides to head into the Microverse to do a little scientific reconnaissance. With a full complement aboard her, the Endeavor and the Micronauts are on their way to discover what they can discover, but it is not long before they run across a giant ship and they get an overwhelmingly bad feeling about it and it is not long before they are attacked by mindless androids that outnumber them greatly. Bill Mantlo and Howard Chaykin do not take it easy on the companions and the battle is intense. By the time it is all said and done, a Micronaut falls and Mari is devastated. While they make their escape, which remains to be seen if it is successful or not, they discover who the villain behind it all happens to be and that particular monster is what will pull the Fantastic Four and the Micronauts together, perhaps in the very next book. Back on Earth at the NASA labs, the Human Torch has been sent to see what he can discover and if the warp tunnel to the Microverse is still active. If it is, that means that S.H.I.E.L.D. or whoever wants to exploit it will be able to do so. Mantlo crafts a strong tale, one split between the Micronauts and the Fantastic Four, though it does not give any hints as to whether S.H.I.E.L.D. will factor into it any further and if so, what their intentions might be. Is Reed correct in his suspicions or will he be proven wrong? One also has to wonder if the Micronauts themselves will make a return to Earth at some point and if so, will it be to stay or just to defend what is theirs once again. Issue after issue, the book remains a good one with great artwork, and is one that continually draws readers back time and again.

4 out of 5

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