Retro Review: Micronauts #s 1 & 2

Howdy friends and neighbors!  I’m back with a new RETRO REVIEW this week.  I’ve dug out Marvel Comics’ Micronauts #s 1 & 2, cover dated; January 1979 and February 1979.  This comic book was based on an actual toy line by Mego Corporation.  So, like the question; which came first, the chicken or the egg?  In this instance, the toy line came first.  Here is an ad for those toys circa 1977:

Micronaut toys

Mego Micronauts Toy Line

And then in the fall of 1978, the Marvel comic followed, with the first issue cover dated January, 1979.  That issue introduced to the readers the the god guys; Princess Mari (Marionette) and her brother, Prince Argon and their Star Wars like droid Microtron!  Then the readers were quickly introduced to Commander Arcturus Rann (who has been away for a thousand years exploring innerspace) and his droid, Biotron.  Next up were Acroyear, a Prince of Acroyear and Bug!  Actually Prince Acroyear isn’t named Acroyear, but as his name is unpronounceable he goes by Acroyear!

Next up are the protagonists, or bad guys; Baron Karza, formerly Doctor Karza, Homeworld’s chief scientist, creator of the Body Banks and conveyor of immortality for the citizens of Homeworld.  But at what a price!  And also Prince Shaitan (boy that name sure conveys his alignment, doesn’t it?), the turncoat brother of Acroyear!

Also introduced in the first issue are the Shadow Priests, whose side are they on?  And the Time Traveler or Enigma Force, who clearly is on the side of the angels!  At least he helps our heroes escape from Baron Karza, and Homeworld, and enables them to flee to Earth, across the dimensional barriers!

Micronauts # 1

Micronauts # 1 January 1979

The first issue cover is drawn by the art team of Michael Golden on pencils and Josef Rubinstein on inks.  The comic’s first issue is entitled; “Homeworld” and is written by Bill Mantlo and is drawn by the aforementioned Michael Golden and Josef Rubinstein!

The second issue picks up immediately from where issue one left off, with the Micronauts crash landing on Earth in Commander Rann’s ship, the HMS Endeavor!  This issue is simple entitled; “Earth” and is brought to us by the same exact men that brought us issue number one; Bill Mantlo, Michael Golden and Josef Rubinstein.  Here’s the cover to issue number two”

Micronauts # 2

Micronauts # 2 February 1979

Oh, the cover is also drawn by Misters Golden and Rubinstein, for those that keep track of such things.  And the issue starts off with a bang!  The Micronauts crash land on Earth and set out to explore their surroundings.  They first encounter a large “man-made” object, which they have no idea what it is.  Acroyear surmises that it perhaps has some religious importance, when in actuality it’s a simple swing-set!  And they simple very small in comparison!

Before they can get any further they are set upon by a large creature!  It turns out it’s a small puppy and also by a giant boy (who we learn is Steve Coffin) pushing a lawn mower!  The droids manage to trip up the dog, allowing Rann and Marionette to escape.  And Acroyear and Bug stay alive by overturning the lawnmower!  It’s at this moment that the forces of Baron Karza break through the dimensional barriers and attack!

With the help of Steve, who makes contact with Rann and Marionette, who tells him of their plight, Baron Karza’s ships are destroyed!  Though one does manage to warp out of the Earth dimension right before crashing.  All of the Micronauts, with the exception of Bug, make it back to their ship and manage to escape.  Leaving Steve to explain to his father just what the heck has happened to their backyard!

Not a bad beginning to a new series.  The first issue was the introduction to all these new characters, then the second issue puts them safely on Earth, in our world, where they begin to interact with us!

The artwork is excellent, though printed a little “muddy” in the actual comic book, and the story is compelling, therefore the reader. wants to come back for more!  What more could you ask from a first and second issue!  I highly recommend the series, or at least the early Golden drawn issues!

About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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