Issue by Issue – X-Men and the Micronauts #2

Writer – Chris Claremont, Bill Mantlo
Artist – Butch Guice
Inker – Bob Wiacek, Kelley Jones
Colours – Julianna Ferriter
Letters – Michael Higgins

Into the Abyss is the title of this second chapter featuring both the X-Men and the Micronauts and it finds the latter in some kind of strange hell where they are forced to confront events or people from their past, made out to be a weakness on their part. Orchestrated by The Entity, that being introduced in the previous issue, he does as such so that when he repairs them and makes them whole once more, they will serve him with unswerving loyalty. For the Micronauts, seeing their lives reflected back at them so twisted is more than unnerving, but there is little they can do about it as The Entity is more powerful than all of them combined. Bill Mantlo and Chris Claremont then cut away to the X-Men who ride aboard Bioship with Baron Karza, arguably the most powerful man in the Microverse and its greatest villain. There is nothing to do but talk at the moment and what the mutants hear does not put them at ease, but as they gave their word, they will team up with the man for now, at least until something changes. Storm has her suspicions about Karza, not knowing exactly just what it is about the man that makes her doubt him, but so too does she think Kitty is acting strangely, not knowing that the pair had their minds switched into each other’s bodies with Karza’s will dominating that of the young Kitty Pryde. Eventually a bit of action comes into play as Bioship, whose telepathic connection with Commander Rann is established once more, leads the X-Men to the planet where The Entity holds them. It is there that they are confronted by a new team of X-Men, being the Micronauts in new costumes and led by what seems to be Professor X. These new ‘X-Men’ make short work of the real ones and when it is all said and done, the Professor is revealed to be The Entity with the only person left standing at the end being Baron Karza. What makes this issue exceptionally good, aside from the artwork from Butch Guice and the writing by two of the industry’s biggest names, would be the machinations of Karza, working things on multiple fronts and managing to stand where others had fallen until he himself is eventually dispatched, his mind still in Kitty’s body. There have been many fantastic issues featuring the villain, but this one is a perfect example of just how smart and how maniacal the man can be.

4 out of 5

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