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X-Men and the Micronauts #1 (1984, January)

August 3, 2014

Tomorrow, I’ll be going to see Guardians of the Galaxy with my brother. So I probably won’t do a comic post. I may post a review of the movie when I get back. But for today, we have the first issue of another mini, one that teams the X-Men up with the toy tie-in comic, the Micronauts. The Micronauts comic lasted a lot longer than the toy line did. This 4-issue mini was written by Bill Mantlo and Chris Claremont, with pencils by Jackson Guice. The first issue is called “First Contact.”

First Contact

A very meh cover.

We start in the Microverse. A big fleet is over some planet, led by the Micronauts, in their sentient ship, Biotron, designed to look like one of their old robots. Frontier worlds near the Spacewall have been wrecked, and the fleet wants to find out how. They encounter another fleet, and battle starts. It turns out the Micronauts are working with Baron Karza, the Big Bad they spent the whole run trying to defeat. They want to kill him, but they figure the devil they know is better than the devil they don’t, and whoever’s been taking down Karza’s planets is too powerful and dangerous to take risks against.

In the midst of the battle, as asteroid starts glowing. And then the enemy appears, wearing some sort of gold armour. Then he blows up the planet they were all fighting over. Just snaps his finger, and boom. He keeps the Micronauts alive, but Biotron flees with Karza.

Now, to the Xavier School. Nightcrawler’s juggling, while Kitty and Illyana are studying. Xavier himself is training the New Mutants. Then they’re all blown out of the Danger Room control booth, by Baron Karza. Karza declares that Xavier has to die. He takes the Mutants apart. But the X-Men show up before he can finish Xavier. Fastball Special Tracker: 10! It’s been a while since one was seen, actually. Anyway, Wolverine cuts Karza, which pisses him off. He teleports over to where Nightcrawler’s guarding Xavier, but doesn’t spot Kitty. She phases through him, and things go nutty. She’s injured, and their minds are swapped.

Then Biotron comes in and explains what’s been happening in the Microverse. The X-Men decide to help. When Illyana comes in with Lockheed to wish Kitty good luck, Lockheed attacks Kitty. Storm is suspicious. Biotron reduces the X-Men in size, so they can fit inside him, and they head for the Microverse.

This is all right. I’m not a fan of Bill Mantlo’s writing. He had some good stuff, but he was never really a great writer. I’m not sure how this was split up between Mantlo and Claremont, but it all feels pretty even, and it’s evenly flat. The Micronaut portion is the weakest, and is pretty clearly by Mantlo. It has his standard overuse of exposition, and characters generally speaking in the most ridiculous ways imaginable. He makes Claremont’s dialogue look natural. His style often made it harder to really believe the characters. It’s not so bad here, but there’s still hints of it. And holy hell, was his writing ever melodramatic at times. The portion at Xavier’s works better, and I suspect that was mostly Claremont. While there’s certainly some exposition, and some silly dialogue, Claremont did generally trust his readers to follow what was going on.

Guice’s pencils are OK. Jackson Guice was one of those artists who never stood out, for good or for ill. It’s very conventional, very House Style. So reading his books, the expressions are good, the action is good, it’s all good. But it’s forgettable. This whole book is pretty much forgettable. I’m already having trouble remembering what happened, and I haven’t even finished writing about it. I think there were a bunch of cheap toys? And some dude? You know, a guy who did a thing?

Man. I have three more issues of this book, too. On the plus side, when I get back to these reviews on Thursday, I’ll have three straight Assistant Editor’s Month posts.

Song of the day: Welcome To the Church of Rock and Roll by Foxy Shazam.


One Comment
  1. Great review and great song of the day!

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