Issue by Issue – Micronauts #38

Writer – Bill Mantlo
Artist – John Garcia, Gil Kane
Inker – Danny Bulanadi, Gil Kane
Colours – Bob Sharen, Christie Scheele
Letters – Jim Novak, Diana Albers

Still on Earth, the Micronauts face danger unlike any they have faced before – a mother hawk looking to protect her eggs after Bug decided to inadvertently ‘see what kind of bugs would hatch out of them’. It is a fairly routine story of no consequence until writer Bill Mantlo takes readers on a trip to the past where he provides details on the past of Arcturus Rann and it features the return of Baron Karza, though not to the land of the living but as a memory. Said memory is one that shows how Rann came by the rank of Space Glider and it was none other than Karza that trained him as a young man. What this recollection also shows is Karza’s treachery in its infancy as he tries to sabotage Rann’s training, thinking that he would be sending the young man to his death, but it would not be a memory if that had come true. It continues on with Rann discovering all of this and foiling an assassination plot against himself, making his father proud and him being given Micronaut training by who else, but Baron Karza. It is a fascinating tale, especially as it all led up to the eventual deaths of his parents and provides a bit of context as to why Rann disliked Karza so much. In a secondary tale which treats readers to another Tales of the Microverse story, Bill Mantlo and Gil Kane tell of how Bug and Acroyear first met during the time of Karza’s rule. Both would be prisoners and both would help the other make it through their respective ordeals while taking the fight to the enemy. Some of the better stories that Mantlo writes are those that detail untold chapters from the lives of the Micronauts before they all came together and it is interesting to see more on the relationship between Acroyear and Bug, two friends who always have each other’s confidence. With fantastic pencils from John Garcia in the first portion of the book and the legendary Gil Kane in the latter, what seemed like a fill-in turned out to be a very enlightening read.

4 out of 5

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