Monday, June 16, 2014

Micronauts Monday 6/16/2014

Hey there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back to Micronauts Monday, where I talk about my longtime favorite comic book series The Micronauts. You'll get a summary of the issue, my remembered reaction/experience with the comic book as a kid, and my thoughts as an adult after rereading the issues over the past week. The Micronauts is the book that introduced me to the wonderful world of comic book addiction. The sad thing about this amazing series is--as I explained in the first post here--is that if you haven't read the comics, doing so is going to be a bit of a hunt, since reprinting rights are firmly wedged into a Prometheus Pit of a printing-rights purgatory. But don't despair, it can be done, you can find them. has most of the main series for a fairly inexpensive price. If you want to dip your toe into the glory that is the Microverse before committing to a hunt for individual issues, then you could also check out the five "Special Editions," which I believe had two or three issues included in each. Or, better yet, if you have an opportunity to do some longbox diving into the $.50-$1.00 bins at your LCS, then I'm sure you can find many issues there. My only caution here is that the story has a tremendous narrative that builds over the course of the series, one that deserves to be read in order, but that said, any Micronauts is good Micronauts! 

Thus far, we have looked at The Micronauts: The New Voyages 1–6 and although I am interested in where things are going, it still is not the The Micronauts series I loved with all my heart since I was a wee, little Donist. That’s okay, taking chances and experimenting has brought some pretty, dare I say say, “heavenly” comics that fans revisit often — just take a peeper at that barely-known Wolverine guy. My primary criticisms thus far of volume two have been that the characters have not quite rang true to what has already been established, the characters are more reactive than proactive as they wait around for things to happen to them, character design choices with Huntarr (again with the experimentation, though), and Commander Rann’s dawg-awful beard (which is honestly the fault of volume one’s creative team). Despite those quibbles, we still have 14 issues remaining in the second volume, and who knows where those might take us. Today, let’s check under the hood of issues 7–9 in…

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #7
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #7 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Rod Whigham, inked by Akin and Garvey, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Last issue, we got a look into Bug’s private thoughts and wildest dreams, so it’s only fair that we take a moment to look into Acroyear’s past. Acroyear has never really gotten over the fact that the woman who was once his wife, Cilicia, is pregnant with his child, yet wants nothing to do with him. As he imagines talking to the woman who was once his love, he recounts a tale of the time before they met, when a certain warrior maiden professed her love for him, and the tragedy that followed under Baron Karza’s shadow.

Young Donist - “What is going on? Okay, first Huntarr was his old, cool Silly-Putty looking self, then he became doofy looking, then he had teeth and looked better – but not as cool as his Silly-Putty days. Now we have Acroyear, who we had no idea what he looked like for something like ten issues, then we saw and it was cool, then he doubled in size, then he grew some tremendously boney brows to make him look like an old fogey, and now he's back to normal. I don’t get it. Anyhow, the story is weird. Amidst all of the MANY words, there’s something about some ruler guy, and his dad who is younger than the ruler guy…or something. Some new acroyear woman digs Acroyear — who wouldn’t? — and Acroyear is talking to Cilicia, who is there, but she really isn’t? I think I’ll go outside and play…I haven’t done that for a long time.” Young Donist would not recommend this issue.

Current Donist - Yup, like the Bug issue, this is another filler. Having two out of seven of the thus far published issues being filler does not bode well for this series. I definitely liked this story more than my younger self, but it would seem to be better suited as a back up tale, or possibly used — once shortened — in an annual. I definitely like Whigham’s less-lumpy looking take on Acroyear, but I absolutely LOVE Whigham’s space battles, ships, and cityscapes; they’re all quite beautiful. The story itself is fine, and one that would fit in better with volume one of The Micronauts since it deals with Baron Karza’s diabolical body banks. Aside from one panel, this story might very well have been from volume one, and the story tweaked to fit in with volume two. I liked the love and tragedy aspect, but it is primarily those lovely space battle scenes that allow me to say RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #8
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #8 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Kelley Jones, inked by Bruce Patterson, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. The Micronauts are dying! Or rather, all except for Huntarr, whose mutated form has resisted the radiation poisoning that is killing his friends. But when the cosmic egg that powers the Endeavor II hatches a hideous creature, what secrets does the monster hold, and can Huntarr prevent it from killing his friends?

Young Donist - “Well it’s about dang time.” This is what Young Donist was waiting for, an actual threat. My heroes were sick and dying, and Huntarr was looking better than he ever had, and then a really cool monster arrives to cause havoc…or does he? I loved the awesome fight, and when the monster launches that horn into Huntarr’s body — again transforming him —the result was so gross and weird, that I could not help but be pulled back into the story; before this, I was nearly out the door. Not only that, Commander Rann loses that stupid beard!!! Victory!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Current Donist - I agree completely with my younger self on this one. Jones’s storytelling takes giant leaps forward and kept me transfixed and totally feeling for that big lug Huntarr. The white alien monster is really groovy looking, and the battle between it and Huntarr is great, especially given the entire confrontation is a huge misunderstanding. I also love how bizarre the sci-fi gets once Huntarr is pierced and allowed to heal his comrades. We then see Mari sans clothing (whoa), Rann sans the beard (finally), and Bug in his relaxin’ outfit, but best of all is the touching second-to-the-last panel of Huntarr shedding a tear.

The exposition is not as brutal as it has been, either, and the story flow gives the impression that things are about to get moving, that there is a plan, and that the second volume of The Micronauts is finally about to start. I hope this trend continues, but for this issue, everything is working better than it has, and I can honestly say I’m excited to see what comes next. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #9
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #9 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Kelley Jones, inked by Bruce Patterson, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. At the end of the first volume, the Micronaut Fireflyte had died and spun herself into a cocoon from which a new Devil emerged. Now, trapped alone on a devastated Homeworld, he takes a chance on a teleportation tube. That’s when things go wrong. Commander Rann telepathically picks up on Devil and his immense pain as it streams across the Microverse. Through the help of the Children of the Dreaming Star (the goofy pink aliens) and Solitaire — who is something more than she lets on — The Micronauts head to the Dreaming Star to find Devil’s rampant, pain-filled consciousness and hopefully restore their friend to normal.

Young Donist - “Well…that was short-lived. I am glad to see Devil back in the book, but dog doo if  Devil just never catches a break!” I was bummed to see the momentum from last issue stumble, but some of the cosmic imagery of Rann touching the conscious of the stars — or whatever was going on — was cool to see. Even though some of the pages looked cool, it wasn’t enough for Young Donist to stay awake as…<zzzzzzzzz> Young Donist would barely classify this as RECOMMENDED!

Current Donist - As usual, I liked this issue a little more than my younger self, but not by much. I greatly appreciate the crazy cosmic stuff, especially with Sharen’s colors returning to a style he used on the first ten issues of volume one. Jones’s art also looks pretty darn incredible during the cosmic-powered scenes as well. I mostly had trouble keeping up with the tons of words — don’t try to read this one if you are on the verge of exhaustion - but I do like Gillis’s decision to have Solitaire change shape into that of Rann’s mother, Sepsis, which is rather creepy in a cool way. Again, this is a dense read, and one you best be prepared for, but ultimately it is worth checking out. RECOMMENDED!

There you go. I’m immensely thankful for issue eight, without which I would have been inclined to drop the series. The Micronauts: The New Voyages looks to have hit its stride with both that issue and the heavy issue nine, and I hope the trend continues through to the end. I do know that the comic falls victim to the event that was “Secret Wars II,” but I promise to do my best to remain openminded for when that happens. Aside from that, the only thing I remember now is the coming of a new character, so rereading should be an interesting experience. I will say that I am looking forward to reading issue ten this evening. Anyhow…Did any of you denizens read this follow-up to one of the greatest comic series of all time? If so, what did you think of it? I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

While writing this entry, I listened to the ever-lovely Julie London. I could honestly listen to her sing the ingredients list for a box of Wheaties and close my eyes to be wrapped in the heavenly bliss of her gorgeous voice. Of special note is her song “Cry Me A River” which appeared in the V For Vendetta movie. Check out her beautiful music when you have a chance.


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