Monday, June 30, 2014

Micronauts Monday 6/30/2014

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! 

Ahhh…it’s all making sense now, denizens. Remember back when I first began my look at The Micronauts: The New Voyages? How I mentioned the series befuddled poor Young Donist’s mind? Not only that, after decades of not revisiting what is considered the second volume of The Micronauts series, it’s safe to say Current Donist could not remember 95% of what happened in the book… but now it’s all kinda-sorta coming back to me. Where as on the series proper, I distinctly remember where I bought practically each issue, my state of mind at the time, my state of mind after reading the issue, where I was when I first read it, and where I hid my books so my little brother wouldn’t get his grubby mitts all over my treasures of all treasures; I can’t say the same for the second volume. Yeah, The Micronauts: The New Voyages is not my favorite, but there are still interesting concepts, and moments of great art, and any The Micronauts completists out ther should seek them out. That said, after today’s post, we only have five more issues, so who knows, maybe something crazy will happen to make reevaluate my thoughts. We’ll find out soon enough…

Micronauts Monday

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #13
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #13 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Kelley Jones, inked by Bruce Patterson and Kelley Jones, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Devil is in pain. He is victim to the Scream, he is the Scream, and his pain resides in Biotron’s chest. Huntarr tries to understand Devil’s pain, but the Scream hurts him, too. Bug challenges Scion, and is made to understand pain. Other than that, some worms, spiders and tubes form into beings that fight the Micronauts after the team invades their ship, and Scion takes control of the Zodiac Keys with a declaration that they can now face their enemy. … … … Other than that, I have no idea what the heck is going on.

Young Donist - “Other than the spider-tube-worm monsters and Solitaire walking around in her sexy Playboy Mansion getup — I hope to marry her someday — I hate this issue so hard. Arrrrrgggghhh?!?!?!” Not a snowball’s chance in hell that Young Donist would recommend this.

Current Donist - Ooooookay…while Young Donist collects himself and I take away his Atari 2600 for one week because of his outburst, let’s see what’s going on. Okay, yeah, the summary above is pretty much what we have to go on. I have no idea why my favorite heroes are following this Scion chump, or why they haven’t made any further attempts to remove him from duty, or for that matter remove his head from his body. Look, the guy is a total dick with no history with the Micronauts. Sure he “saved” them from radiation poisoning, but he’s been an emotionally and physically abusive bully who refuses to directly say why he wants to lead the Micronauts, and what his intentions are. What’s even worse is that Scion acts all holly-jolly around them, smiling wide, and leaping into the fray one moment, and dishing out horrendous pain and speaking in riddles the next. “Yeah, sure, bro, I’ll follow you into whatever-the-heck-it-is-you-aren’t-telling-me. Sure thing. Oopps! I’m sorry! Did my photon blaster enhanced by a stray piece of Enigma Force accidentally bust a cap in your a$$? My bad.” C’mon! Ugh.

Jones’s art is cool, but I did notice the style changes from page to page. On the opening splash, we have a more realistic looking image of Devil in pain, then four pages later we have a cartoony-looking Huntarr in pain, followed by heavily shadowed individuals in pain, followed by characters in the same environment with nary a shadow to be found…who are also in pain. Still, I like the visuals quite a bit and the storytelling is strong, as are Sharen’s colors, which go a long way in setting the mood of each scene. Unfortunately, not even the art is enough for Current Donist to recommend this issue.

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #14
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #14 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Kelley Jones, inked by Danny Bulanadi, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Bob Sharen, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Scion is now in possession of the Zodiac Keys, devices used to bring multitudes of races from both Earth (see volume one #34 for a version of this) and the scattered universes abound to colonize the Microverse after the Makers created the Spiral Path (I think that’s the ticket). Anyhow, the Pain is going to unravel the DNA of the Microverse and end all life. Something about a trillion refugees…more talk of the pain…old man Rann trips out at the Dreaming Star, and sees the Makers…Scion, because he is a monumental a$$, teaches Bug another lesson in pain. Oh, and Mari has a secret, which causes her pain.

Young Donist - “Why?!”

Current Donist - The bit with the 1 trillion people on the planet reminds me of a mix of Star Trek and Soylent Green, but I don’t know what to think about this the Pain stuff. I will commend the creators for trying something different, but the story is just not working for me. I was fine just accepting that Wayfinder created the Microverse in order to escape a bunch of demons (again, issue #34 of volume one), but some of the greater mysteries of the universe are best left a mystery…or not even acknowledged at all in favor of other stories. I don’t need to know exactly who made the Microverse, I would rather spend time exploring the Microverse as it is, seeing worlds untouched by Baron Karza’s iron fist, or seeing Oceania restored to its rightful glory. Taking away the mystery, as opposed to just accepting the Microverse, diminishes the power of this fantastic universe existing at all. It’s like when we learned from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that Jedi received their powers from midi-chlorians, which are actually a type of microorganism. Part of the magic of someone being a Jedi was diminished since the explanation essentially amounts to all the Jedi having bad bacterial infections. Why couldn’t the Jedi just be the bada$$es for the sake of being the bada$$es we all believed them to be? The bada$$es we all dreamt we could one day become?

I guess the other way to look at it is the creators are trying to establish a creation myth for the Microverse, when there has never been one before. Yes, I’m vastly interested in the history of Homeworld and seeing what Dallan and Sepsis’s rule with Karza as their advisor was like, but knowing that some rainbow-hued Galactus-type guy was responsible for creating everything in the first place? Again, it takes away the magic of this fantasy world, as it answers a question that was never on my mind to begin with. Let’s see alien races, let’s see cosmic threats, heck throw in some zealotry conflict if you want to have “Makers” enter the picture. Why not have a religion revolving around the deceased Karza rise from Homeworld’s ashes and attempt to return the Microverse to Karza’s vision as supposedly told to him by the mysterious Makers? That would have roped me in completely, reminding me of the FANTASTIC Warlock run (another book that rocked my world as a kid, and that still rocks my world with each annual reread) by the phenomenal Jim Starlin. Sometimes the why did this ultimately come to be? is best ignored for the let’s see what actually is.

More than anything, I want one of my heroes to punch Scion in the face. The only time I would ever allow another adult to “teach me a lesson” would be when I paid that adult to “teach me a lesson”; interpret that how you wish. Current Donist does not recommend this one either.

The Micronauts:
The New Voyages #15
The Micronauts: The New Voyages #15 - Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Kelley Jones, inked by Danny Bulanadi, lettered by Janice Chiang, colored by Ken Feduniewicz, edited by Ralph Macchio, published by Marvel Comics. Psyche! Karza ain’t in this book! Well, that’s not true, he is, but only in a brief flashback where he wears red thigh-high boots for a fancy-pants party. This issue is another one-off tale by Princess Mari where she tells of a time past and explains exactly why she hates the body banks with every fiber of her being.

Young Donist - “Leave me alone.”

Current Donist - This is actually more in-line with the history lessons I was talking about for issue 14. I have enjoyed the various flashback or one-off issues throughout both volumes, and this one is no exception. Although I am unsure of the decision to have Mari be paralyzed, I do like the deeply personal reason for her hatred of Karza’s body banks; it’s all rather harsh, but works well with this established character. I also liked Jones’s Kirby homage page, and was glad to get a break from Makers and Pain and that Chumpasaurus Rex, Scion. RECOMMENDED!

Five issues left. That’s it, which means two more “Micronaut Monday” posts, which is totally weird. Right? Time flies, denizens. Time flies. Yes, both Young and Current Donist are flummoxed by what has been going on, but I still have faith that these next five issues will make…oh no. Oh no! Next issue is a dreaded “crossover event” for Secret Wars II, so I can only guess what my reaction is going to be for that one. Criminy. Well, uh, we then have FOUR issues left to turn things around before the end. Fingers crossed. 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 the soundtrack for “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which I watched last week and simply fell in love with that franchise all over again. Check out this thunderous soundtrack if you have a chance, and I strongly encourage anyone who loves fun to see both the first incredible movie and the equally awesome second. So very, very good.


No comments:

Post a Comment