Issue by Issue – Micronauts #23

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Pat Broderick
Inker – Danny Bulanadi
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

Biotron is in need of parts to fix the Endeavor and as the rest of the Micronauts are elsewhere, it is up to him to acquire them. Heading out on his lonesome, the robot named Biotron discovers a junkyard, one filled with all manner of things, pieces and parts which he hopes he will be able to use so that at some point, the Micronauts might return home to the Microverse. While he does nothing that outwardly disturbs anything or anyone, something strange takes pace as a homeless man comes into contact with a mysterious rod, an object of power which transforms him into the Molecule Man. Glad to be free of his prison and noticing Biotron, the Molecule Man decides to use the Micronaut as practice for his returning powers, something which Biotron is not very keen on. Surprisingly, Bill Mantlo and Pat Broderick set up a really fun story that sees the highly outmatched Biotron do his best to outwit and even give back in return, that which the Molecule Man does to him. It is not easy and Biotron must bring all of his skills to bear, but eventually when it is all said and done, he has somehow bested the super-villain, trapping him once more inside of that rod which started all of this business. That is not all to the book though as readers are treated to a behind-the-scenes look at what happens on the Endeavor during their downtime courtesy of Microtron, some things which he is a little embarrassed by and a look at what makes up the ship as well. Last but not least, there is a final story in another instalment from the Tales of the Microverse series which started shortly ago and it finds Slug in a position of being a prisoner. To make matters worse, it is Prince Argon who has done the kidnapping and when she comes to and the Prince and his men finally arrive where they were headed, she makes a most startling discovery – Prince Shaitan of Spartak is alive and well. How this came to be, she knows not, but what she does know is that it can mean nothing good, especially if Argon is on Shaitan’s side, not to mention the ever-present thought of Baron Karza also returning from the dead. For readers, Mantlo has sprung a most incredible surprise and it is both thrilling and exciting at the same time for while it has only been a short time since the Baron’s defeat, the possibility of his return will definitely make things interesting.

4 out of 5

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