Monday, June 23, 2014

Micronauts Monday 6/23/2014

Hey there, Donist World denizens. Welcome back to Micronauts Monday, where I talk about my longtime favorite comic book series The MicronautsYou'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! 

Today we pass the halfway point of The Micronauts: The New Voyages. Over the past week I read issues 10–12 and I can definitely say I really don’t know what to think. I must have missed something within the previous nine issues that I hope one of the more astute denizens would be kind enough to explain to me. But you know what? Although I was confused, I just shook the matter off and went with it — we’ll get into what it is in issue ten below. As I mentioned last week, both Young Donist and Current Donist were kind of eyeing the door on this title, and I will say that issues ten and eleven did not help matters, which is baffling, as issue eight had me cheering and excited for what was to come. Then issue nine slowed the pace back to what it was, although it did bring Devil back —sort or — and some of the cosmic imagery of Rann’s thoughts touching the cosmos was groovy, I none the less found my thoughts drifting as I read. I will say that issues eleven and twelve introduce something that makes little sense to me, but my interest has definitely spiked. How’s THAT for creating curiosity as to what happened to renew the series for me? All I will say here is Scion…read on to find out about this cat who changes things up for the Micronauts team.

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Micronauts
The New Voyages #10
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #10 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Rod Whigham, inked by Bruce Patterson, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. The Micronauts are leading an armada of the pink, goofy-looking aliens across the cosmos on a trip to bypass the Space Wall that surrounds the Microverse in an effort to rescue the reincarnated form of their former teammate, Devil. Solitaire changes shape to no longer look like Rann’s hot mom, and chooses to look like a smiling, hot Disney villain instead. As with anything involving the Space Wall, the Enigma Force gets involved, and they aren’t happy.

Young Donist - What the heck is this?! Words, lots of words, the pink alien idiots get a critical beat down, and some things happen that I just can’t pay attention to. Not only that, Rann now has white hair — and after he finally ditched that stupid beard, no less — and Mari can't walk?! The only thing I do like is that Solitaire looks REALLY pretty, and I hope to someday marry someone like her — except for the fact that in reality she actually looks like a goofy, pink alien and is a total liar, of course. Young Donist was so irked by this issue that he would have been beside himself, if he had not fallen asleep after putting it down. He would not recommend this issue.

Current Donist - Okay, I’m confused. In issue one, the Micronauts took off to explore the Microverse to find a peaceful place to settle down — keyword being Microverse. Then they found the goofy, pink alien dudes in their travels, followed by Devil needing their help on homeworld, so they head back to homeworld. Got it. Question: if they travel through the Microverse, go to a rest stop, and decide to go back home, then why the heck do they need to go through the dang Space Wall? The way I see it, if I set off on a trip up north from Santa Barbara, reach Lompoc and realize I forgot my blanky and have to go back to get it so I can sleep at night, I turn the dang car around and go home. I do not leave the country in some roundabout nonsensical journey to get it. Why the heck do the Micronauts — and their soon-to-be-deceased goofy, pink alien armada — have to go through the Space Wall at all?! I must have missed something.

I don’t know what to think of Commander Rann’s white hair — grey/white hair can look mighty fine on a person…I’m just sayin’ — or Mari losing the use of her legs. I do agree with Young Donist that Solitaire looks pretty dang fine, but I need to warn him, and Bug for that matter, that just because she is hot and dresses awesome, it doesn’t make her a nice person…she is still a goofy, pink alien at heart who refuses to tell the Micronauts anything about herself. To quote Public Enemy, “Can’t Truss it.” Current Donist would not recommend this issue, either.

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #11
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #11 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Rod Whigham, inked by Danny Bulanadi, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Mari can no longer walk, Commander Rann has white hair, and Solitaire ups her hotness as she ditches her regicidized-Rann’s-mom look that only lasted one issue. After 1000 years of space exploration, and sporting a horrendous beard, Commander Rann sees some white in his hair and quits the Micronauts so he can commune (i.e. trip out) with the will or the universe or somethin’. The Micronauts — minus the geezer Rann – stumble upon a dead alien in a chair — no, this is not taken from the amazing film Alien — whose race found a way through the Space Wall. Then the Acroyears show up on the other side of the Space Wall, and Acroyear pisses them off all over again. Oh yeah, some guy called Scion appears.

Young Donist - Why?! What the heck is going on?! Argggh! Scion looks cool…who the heck is he other than a Colossus-meets-Angel lookalike mixed with a vampire who wears yellow booties and a yellow speedo? Although Young Donist didn’t care about 99% of this issue, he was intrigued by Scion, but not enough for him to give a recommendation.

Current Donist - Okay, as you can tell by my summary above, Current Donist didn’t really jive with this issue either, but I will say that I found it infinitely more interesting than my younger self. Still...

I don’t buy that after over 1000 years of consciousness, thought, exploration, the murder of his parents, touching the Enigma Force, fighting against the Enigma Force, Baron Karza, spending most of volume one unconscious, the loss of Biotron more times than I can remember, losing his girl to Bug while he tripped balls communing with the Enigma Force, growing a gawd-awful beard, seeing countless Micronauts die or leave in anger, and finally going grey after a millennia, that Commander Rann would decide to effectively head into the opium den that is the consciousness of the universe or whatever and…huh, now that I think about it, maybe tapping the cosmos would be better than continuing along the path Rann was on. Heck, if I stubbed my toe, I’d consider tossing in the towel and taking up a seat at the cosmos, so never mind. Still, when you are thinking about heroes, having them bail after getting older, makes them kind of unheroic. C’mon! Who cares if Rann has some grey (or total white in his case) hair? He’s a dang silver fox! He should watch Mad Men and groove on Roger Sterling…that cat knows where it’s at, denizens!

I DO like how crazy Huntarr is looking, and Kelley’s style on the armored Cilicia and Acroyear is cool, as are his depictions of alien tech, which are stunning. As for Scion…all I remember is that Young Donist was intrigued by this character, but I seem to remember this guy being a point of frustration for him for some reason, but I don’t remember why. I am interested, though, and I want to find out more, but I still cannot recommend this issue.

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #12
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #12 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Rod Whigham, inked by Danny Bulanadi, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Scion is here and he has taken command of both the Endeavor II and of the Micronauts whether they like it or not. In fact, Acroyear doesn’t like it. Not one little bit. The two fight, but when all are at risk of dying in the shadow of the mighty Space Wall, Scion might be the only one who can save the Micronauts and help them pass through. Finally, how do Solitaire and Scion know one another?

Young Donist - Young Donist liked this new character, with the exception of the yellow booties, gloves, and speedo, but he was something new, and he made something finally happen: a fight. I liked seeing Scion jump into the ship’s thruster and take on its energy to open a door through the Space Wall, and although everything else happening in the story confused the bejesus out of me, I was thrilled to see my favorite characters doing…something. I will say that although I liked Scion, I felt that he didn’t fit design-wise with the rest of the characters. I also felt he did not fit in storywise either, and the fact that Scion was the cool, white, alien monster that fought Huntarr in issue eight was weird, but what mattered is my interest in The Micronauts had been renewed, and I was eager to see what happened next. RECOMMENDED!

Current Donist - Kelley’s art is great in this issue, especially during Acroyear and Scion’s fight and the awesome page of Scion manipulating the Space Wall. There are a couple instances where the character proportions are slightly off, but it is totally not a big deal, especially when Sharen’s colors give the book the look I loved so much in volume one.

Storywise, I’m following what is going on better. I accept this Scion guy as being part of the Microverse more than I did as a kid, but my biggest problem is that I don’t trust either Scion or Solitaire and no matter how skimpy you make their clothing, if I were one of the Micronauts, I wouldn’t do anything until they both provided some answers about all this crap they supposedly know about. I find it hard to believe that the Micronauts would be all “So, Solitaire, you know all this crazy information, much more than you EVER let us know about, you come on our ship, you know this speedo weirdo who just handed Acroyear his ass, you speak in cryptic, baiting statements, and you refuse to expand on your portents of doom or your true motivations…Nah, son, get off the dang ship…you do look hot, btw.” C’mon. The greed-ridden corporation I used to work for pulled that kind of junk and I, along with many others, quit. Still, this issue pulled me back in and I want to know what is going to happen next, primarily to see if someone actually calls these two mysteriosos on all their cryptic nonsense. RECOMMENDED!

Crazy. I have zero idea where this series is going. I do not remember anything about who Solitaire or Scion are, or how Mari gets the use of her legs back, or if Commander Rann will enter a cosmic consciousness 12-step program, or if Bug will get a real girlfriend or not, but my interest has been piqued. So…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 a whole host of Tom Wait albums that I had on shuffle. If you need an entry point to this amazingly unique and talented artist, then you can’t go wrong with Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years, but if you have TONS of cash, then just go buy everything the man has done…you can’t go wrong. Check out this amazing performer  when you have a chance.


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