Rating: 4/5 – The Micronauts are Back, but Not Smaller than Ever.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
I love the Micronauts! The series hit such a sweet spot in my childhood years and I remember those early issues from Marvel as though I just read them yesterday. In fact, when reviewing Marvel’s original series’ first issue a couple years ago, I argued that the series could be considered the best toy inspired comic ever, although I recognize that ROM is also in contention. Since then, there have been a couple of Micronauts series from other publishers including Image in the early 2000s and a very short stint from Devil’s Due which I never had the chance to read. Those series never quite caught on but now IDW has acquired the license and has released their first issue. I’m happy to say that there’s quite a bit to like in this premiere, but at the same time I do have a few concerns.
Writer Cullen Bunn puts a lot into this first issue. We’re introduced to the team after we see what looks to be a sentient cloud of destruction ravaging an alien planet. That team includes team leader Oz, a young female named Phenolo-Phi and some characters from the 1980s series that are able to be carried over into this new one, Acroyear and Biotron. Bunn does a nice job of allowing the characters to be introduced to new readers without having any previous knowledge of their histories. We’re also introduced to the iconic looking Baron Karza who gets his spotlight, but hasn’t shown his capacity for evil quite just yet. It’s a fast moving story that I found to be quite enjoyable.
On the art side, David Baldeon provides some beautiful layouts. I really enjoyed his slightly cartoon-like style on Web Warriors and that same style can be found here. The opening pages with the sentient cloud were a visual treat and while the majority of the book looks great, three different finish artists working over Baldeon’s layouts gave the book some visual inconsistency. It was a little disappointing to see that a return to a beloved franchise couldn’t get one single art team, but the art is still solid despite the differences in appearance. Hopefully we can get one singular look in future issues but if the first issue can’t deliver it, it lessens my hopes for future issues.
My other concern is definitely personal, but one of the things I loved about the early issues of Marvel’s Micronauts was the characters interacting with the world around them, specifically their small and micro stature compared to the normal human world. Bunn has introduced us to these characters in a large space-opera sort of way and doesn’t show their scale against the normal sized universe. We never get to see their true size which was such a memorable part of the first series. I’m expecting to see this addressed in future issues, but missing that hook in this first issue doesn’t give this book that distinct feel that would differentiate it from a Guardians of the Galaxy type book. I enjoyed this first issue quite a bit and although I have my concerns about the art team inconsistency and lack of “micro” in the “nauts”, I’m confident that this book will get better and I’ll definitely be back for more.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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