Issue by Issue – Micronauts Annual #2

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – Rich Buckler, Steve Ditko
Inker – Steve Ditko
Colours – Carl Gafford
Letters – Mark Rogan

The Micronauts have hit the Big Apple, the one and only New York City and the first thing they notice about it all is the very unique smell about it all. Aside from that, it is the size that both impresses and intimidates the tiny heroes and as they make their way to the giant metropolis, Acroyear is attacked by something within himself. The Prince is in great pain and the Micronauts have no idea what is happening to the man and when they try to help him, he breaks free of the ship to seek out that which torments him. Having no other recourse, the Micronauts split up; Arcturus and Marionette go to follow Acroyear while Bug, Microtron and Biotron stay with the Endeavor to find out where the strange energy they detected is coming from and to see if it has anything to do with what is happening to their comrade. Bill Mantlo crafts a fine story and as a one-off tale, it is a lot of fun, but it is definitely not as good as the various storylines that would be taking place within the ongoing title. Pencilling this issue, at least for the majority of it, is the legendary Steve Ditko, aided by an artist just as good in Rich Buckler and the two do a great job at chronicling the action throughout, from Acroyear’s flight to the bad guy and eventual fight. Such as it is, all of the Micronauts eventually converge upon a department story which is selling Micronaut action figures, perfect in every detail to the originals. While all seems benign, they soon come to life thanks to the ray gun of a mysterious masked villain called the Toymaster. Said Toymaster obviously has a grudge against the heroes, Mantlo even making it look as if the man knows the Micronauts on a personal level. The remainder of the book finds Micronauts battling toy Micronauts and the action is intense. Behind it all, the Toymaster gloats and tries to fend off Bug who gets the better of the man at least once. When it is all said and done, the villain is unmasked to reveal someone from the book’s first year of stories and it is surprising to say the least as the last of the villain was thought seen long ago. While the man is defeated, it is hard to say if this will be the end of him or if one day, he makes yet another comeback to plague the heroes of the Microverse.

3.5 out of 5

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