Issue by Issue – Micronauts #18

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Howard Chaykin
Inker – Al Milgrom
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Irving Watanbe

Having broken through the space barrier, the Micronauts have landed on a green and fertile planet. Where this is, they have no idea as their navigation systems were out and the Endeavor is running on fumes. Brought to readers by Bill Mantlo and Howard Chaykin, the latest tale to feature the intrepid heroes of the Microverse finds them on familiar ground, or is it? Though they have no idea where they are, it all seems a little familiar and they hope that they are not back on Earth. Tragedy and sadness enter the picture when the crew decide to hold a funeral for Jasmine and Bug is nearly inconsolable. The last place one would expect to find compassion is Acroyear as his race are hard and emotionless, but during his time among the Micronauts, he has found himself changing and he cares for his friend Bug and for what he feels. After Jasmine is laid to rest, the group decide to head out and explore while repairs are made to ship and they come across a house, much like those they saw on Earth and yet this one is tiny, far smaller than what they are used to. Heading in to explore, Rann and Mari encounter all sorts of weird dolls, lifeless it seems and yet there comes a point when Marionette gets abducted by what was previously static and unmoving. All of this comes about because the Micronauts are being watched by a giant creature out in the grasses. Said monster turns out to be a little girl and the house is in fact her doll house where what she commands takes place like bringing her dolls to life when she chooses and can fire beams from her eyes meaning she has to be a mutant of some sort, but that alas, is never solved in this issue. So it is that the Micronauts must now battle for their lives as Acroyear and Cilicia bust in to find their comrades and to make sure they are all right. What is most fascinating about this tale compared to others in the series is that this is the first one where Mantlo has introduced elements of horror and along with that is some palpable tension. It makes for a very compelling read and watching Acroyear destroy everything in his way is exciting to say the least. When all is said and done, the heroes have been rescued and they are left wondering just what was going on and where in the universe they are.

4 out of 5

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