Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Comics Ever: the Micronauts (Marvel)

Micronauts are one of my oldest comic book memories.

This comic almost out Star Wars'ed Star Wars.

Hard to believe I know. But there was something magical about the Micronauts from the giddy up. Balls out Sci-Fi fantasy action, amazing characterizations, wonderfully designs that took from the toy line and some that departed from them completely, and you had Baron Karza.

I don’t know a lot of people that read Micronauts. But it came out in the late 70’s, a time when the toys were selling hotcakes(I had them all and still have a lot of them boxed up in storage), and Marvel was doing a great job with other toy properties like Shogun Warriors and Godzilla (and ROM too!). It was Written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by a virtual who’s who of Marvel artists, but to me the most memorable stories and covers were drawn by the legendary Michael Golden, Pat Broderick and Butch Guice.

The book followed Marionette, Acturus Ran(Space Glider), Bug, Microtron, Biotron, Acroyer and eventually expanded to Huntarr and Devil as they Rebel against the power hungry Tyrant Baron Karza who’s lust for control of the Enigma Force (a version of the Uni-power that exists in the Marvel Universe and is employed by Captain Universe.) and the rest of the universe is all consuming it leads them through many perils and adventures that play out through the series.

What was amazing about the book was that the subject matter was really taken seriously and the universe and the stories were brilliant. The book also intersected with the Marvel Universe cast of characters in interesting ways when the characters break through the Microverse in the Marvel world were they have great adventures. The meta plot of freeing the homeworld and disposing Karza is peppered with great side stories like Bug getting mutated into some sort of monster insectoid by Plantman. Coming up against Molecule man, getting involved with SHIELD and HYDRA. It was brilliant stuff. Acroyer was an inch tall and could flip a truck. And I can’t think of a character anywhere that looked cooler then he does.

But the absolute best part of Micronauts was the epic scale of it. In possibly the best issue ever Acroyer uses the power of the Worldmind, where he can absorb the power of the Acroyer homeworld to defeat the Karza and his fleet. In the process he destroys the Planet he rules. He is so grief stricken that he brands himself and his people are left homeless and his evil brother Shaitan calls him a traitor. The stuff is EPIC I tell you. And Force Commander(Prince Argon(?)) sacrificing his humanity for the power to lead his people battle against Karza(The bastard never stays down long). In the end there huge losses as the team finally defeats Karza.

I also loved the relationships and interactions between the characters. Bug and Acroyers friendship, Huntarr turning from assassin to hero, Devil struggling with his bestial nature, Ran and Karza’s philosophical battles and discussions of the Enigma Force. Karza is a great villain and certainly up there with Darkseid and Thanos. Believe that.

It’s funny the characters were popular enough to warrant a mini in which they teamed up with the X-men, and Bug managed to make his way to the Marvel Universe as member of Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you haven’t read these books before, please go find them, This was a great series. (The Marvel one.) and tons of fun for the comic and Sci-fi fan. I have so many great memories of this book and the toys. To this day the complete series is the gem of my collection. :)

If you never heard of or ever read these comics, chances are you can find them on the cheap, in dollar bins at your LCS(Local Comic Shop). Read them and join the cult of Micronauts.


  1. I will always cherish the first 12 Golden issues. They rule.

  2. Yes they indeed rule. It was beautiful and epic. And Karza...Karza is up there with Darkseid and Thanos as mt top 3 villains. He just looks imposing. A comic book version of Vader.

  3. Does anyone have a really high quality scan of the #12 cover? I need a big high quality one because I want to make a t-shirt with Acroyear on it.


  4. I recently re-read my entire run of Mantlo-written issues and they still stand the test of time. Great stuff.