Issue by Issue – Micronauts #21

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Pat Broderick
Inker – Armando Gil
Colours – Barry Grossman
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

Having been separated from the rest of the Micronauts, Mari and Rann are finding themselves in a bit of trouble courtesy of Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick. Now knowing that they are on Earth, Mari needs to find someplace safe until Rann comes to, the man having been knocked unconscious in a previous issue and to that effect, she discovers a flower shop that looks promising. Suffice it to say, things are not all they are cracked up to be as the owner leaves and her boyfriend takes over, a man who also happens to be a supervillain by the name of Plant Man and is only in the relationship so that he might case and rob the bank next door. Eventually coming to, Rann and Mari need to stop the villain before he hurts the returning owner and any other innocent being that might be in the vicinity. It is, when all is said and done, easier to say than do as the man is a formidable foe. Broderick’s pencils are fantastic, both detailed and expressive and the book crackles with energy as he puts the Micronauts in peril. As for Mantlo, he continues to chronicle the adventures of these intrepid heroes and it makes for exceptional reading much like every previous issue. This particular book also begins a series of back-up tales entitled Tales from the Microverse and the first one is a doozy. While the Micronauts might be trapped upon the Earth, the rest of the Microverse continues on and this first tale takes readers to Spartak and more specifically, the ancient temple within the planet where Acroyear gained the help of the planet in defeating Baron Karza’s forces. It is there that a strange ritual is taking place and the royal guard who are in charge while Acroyear is off-planet, know that nothing good can come of what is taking place. Though they do try to put stop to it once they take stock of it all, it is all for naught as they are soon defeated and when the book finally cuts away, it leaves off on a cliff-hanger with Prince Shaitan standing tall, resurrected from the dead. If there was ever a bad omen about the future of the Micronauts and what might be in store for them, it is definitely this and Mantlo could not have written it better. As it is, while both stores were quite good, the second one wins out as the better of the two simply for the shock factor and it is the second one that will draw readers back to see what happens next.

4 out of 5

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