Mountain Comics #5 – Micronauts #35


Shag makes a return visit to Rob's Mountain Comics series to talk about "The Origin of the Microverse" by Bill Mantlo, Val Mayerik, and Danny Bulandi from MICRONAUTS #35!

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17 responses to “Mountain Comics #5 – Micronauts #35

  1. I’m into Shag’s Micronauts info dump, as I never got into the title so it’s a huge blind spot. It just never clicked with me. Even the issues beautifully drawn by Kane and Ditko, they were impenetrable; similarly to Rob, I couldn’t make heads nor tails. But yeah, people swear by those first 22 Golden issues. Apparently it even surpassed X-Men in sales, confusing Claremont & Byrne… “it’s only a toy book!”

    Digging these episodes, btw, Rob.

  2. My first issue of Micronauts was a coverless copy of #3, which I’ve since lost because it was a “mountain comic”, i.e. something I got while on “vacation” (shared custody). It was not a book I ever saw on the stands in my home town. The height of my Micronauts reading at the time was the Micronauts/X-Men mini-series.

    I’ve since picked up a lot of Micronaut comics. As with Rom, a toy tie-in that has no business being as good as it is. May the Comics Gods bless Mantlo.

  3. I never had Micronaut toys but a buddy did and I loved the aesthetic. There were a ton of Earth references from names like Aegypta (complete with pharaoh like toys) and Spartak (like Sparta, a warrior nation). But the armor and weapons and ships just clicked.

    I liked Acroyear (I pronounce like Rob), Bug, and Marionette but had little use for the rest. I only occasionally picked up this title. But this issue was one of them and I loved it. Like you, I dropped into this storyline at this issue and had to put the pieces together. And let’s face it, this one had it all .. action, pathos, origins, a multiverse threat, and Captain Universe!

    But the thing that really struck me as a kid was the dialogue. No line sounds like something anyone would say naturally. It really sounds like a Shakespearean play, especially Force Commander’s lines. Ask me and I’ll do a dramatic reading.

    I liked the book enough that when IDW announced a new book was coming out I was stoked. But comics these days better grab me quickly. I read the first issue and it didn’t grab me. I was out.

  4. Even though I’m a huge Mego guy, Micronauts is also a blindspot for me. I never had any as a child, and I sitll don’t own a single one. What I know I learned from The Mego Museum ( I also never picked up the comic. It looked too…”old” for me. Too mature. Maybe it was the Golden art? The high concept sci-fi? Either way, it didn’t hook me at that young age.

    It has always sounded interesting, and this episode has made me fell like I really missed out. Even more fascinating is the backstory Shag related. If i remember right, Microman was a shrunk down version of a figure Takara had made based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe. Then of course Mego rebranded them as Micronauts. When Mego went belly-up in 1983, another company took the same molds and re-released them as “The Interchangeables”. And of course, Takara’s Microman line was ONE of their lines Hasbro cherry-picked to create Rob’s favorite, the Transformers! Many people speculate that if Mego had stayed in business, eventually THEY may have released Transformers on the western world, not Hasbro. And now somehow, Micronauts is owned by Hasbro. My head hurts.

    Oh, and according to old Mego commercials our pal Brian Heiler has on, Rob’s pronunciation of “Acroyear” is correct. I had always said it Shag’s way.


    1. Thanks, Chris. Glad I’m not the only one to recognize the rightful place of the Transformers in this discussion.

      Speaking of which, Bill Mantlo did the plots for both of the first two issues of Marvel’s Transformers comic (other writers did the scripts, themselves), the first pieces of Transformers fiction ever released! Truly, Mantlo’s influence reached far and wide.

  5. I had several of the toys as a kid, but I seem to remember them coming out after Star Wars figures in Australia. Never read a Micronauts comic, pretty sure I never will, but definitely happy to hear about them from you two.

  6. One of my favorite outlets for new toys was at the local mall. I don’t remember what it was initially called, but when I was still buying action figures to play with, it became a Circus World and later a Kay-Bee Toys. Anyway, my main toy haunt was K-Mart, so it was nice to get different oddball options elsewhere. The mall was where I got the Micronauts I owned, one or two different colors of Time Traveler. They were the cheapest and most common of the lot, and this store always had a batch of them on a low dark shelf on clearance. They were extremely spindly and the hands especially felt cheap, like one of those flexible little spoons they package with salads. They kind of looked like X-Ray Man/Woman from my Fisher-Price Adventure People, so that may have played a role in my buying the crappy things, but probably the low price point was the main draw. I never had much use for them beyond cannon fodder. I may have also had some of the aliens like Repto or Baron Karza, but I don’t have strong memories of them. Maybe one of my friends had some, or maybe they were just options available at the store that I never partook of?

    The Micronauts comic was not big in my neighborhood. I think I vaguely recall seeing a few of the later issues on the newsstand at 7-11, but I don’t think I bought or read any until Micronauts: The New Voyages #1. The captain character Arcturus Rann lost his hand in a very unusual and disquieting way that stuck with me as one of my first exposures to body horror. I remember really enjoying the unusual art by a young Kelley Jones, and the story was interesting, but for some reason I refused to buy any more for the few months it remained available on neighborhood stands. I did read a friends’ copies of The X-Men and The Micronauts mini-series and some odd back issues that came my way.

    Micronauts looks like something I’d dig, but in the absence of a cheap reprint volume, I’ll probably never take the plunge. I had a similar limited exposure to ROM, but it had a stronger hook for me. I bought and enjoyed the first volume of the IDW reboot of ROM, but have never made it that far with any of the non-Marvel attempts at Micronauts. They’re currently teaming up with ROM though, so if I stick with that title it might prompt giving Micronauts another

  7. …try. If nothing else, I really enjoy looking at the art on the Marvel series, and it looks like the right kind of weird.

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