Thursday, February 16, 2017


MICRONAUTS No. 1 (2016)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Cullen Bunn
ARTIST – Breakdowns: David Baldeón
ARTISTS – Finishes: Fico Ossio; Max Dunbar; Jack Lawrence; David Baldeón
COLORS: David Garcia Cruz; Joana Lafuente, Thomas Deer; John-Paul Bove
LETTERS: Tom B. Long
COVER: J.H. Williams III
VARIANT COVERS: David Baldeón with David Garcia Cruz; Gabriel Rodriguez with Nelson Daniel; Jack Rivera (photographer); Casey W. Coller with John-Paul Bove; Butch Guice with Joana Lafuente; Michael Golden; Darick Robertson with Joana Lafuente; Adam Hughes; Stuart Sayger; Rob Liefeld with Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
40pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (April 2016)

Micronauts was a toy line that now-defunct toy company Mego manufactured and marketed, beginning in the mid-1970s and ending in 1980.  This science fiction-themed line was based on Japanese toy company Takara's “Microman” toy line.  Mego licensed Microman and other similar toys to create the Micronauts, which were both repackaged Microman toys and also modified and reconfigured versions of both Microman and other Takara toys.

In 1979, Marvel Comics began publishing The Micronauts, a comic book featuring a group of characters based on Mego's Micronauts toy line and also a few original characters Marvel created to appear in The Micronauts.  Marvel ceased publishing comic books based on the Micronauts in 1986.  In the 21st century, Image Comics and Devil's Due Publishing each published its own Micronauts comics for a short period of time.

Last year, IDW Publishing, which seems to specialize in publishing comic books based on licensed properties, announced that it had obtained the license to publish Micronauts comic books.  IDW recently published the first issue of Micronauts.  This series is written (and apparently conceptualized) by Cullen Bunn.  Artist David Baldeón provides the character designs and conceptual art, and draws the breakdowns from which several illustrators provide the finished art.

Micronauts #1 opens on the planet Saqqura where five Biotrons face the wrath of the “entropy storm” that rages against the planet.  Later, on Micropolis-12, Oziron “Oz” Rael and the crew of the “Heliopolis” find themselves tempted by a local crime boss.  Soon, Oz is leading Phenolo-Phi (Space Glider), Acroyear, and their guest, an “orbital defender,” named Larissa into what is either a big score or a big trap.

From its snazzy J.H. Williams III cover to its colorful interiors, Micronauts #1 sure is a pretty comic book.  It was hard to miss it on the shelf of a local comic book shop; to me, it stood out like a pretty candle on Bay Street.  The spiffy new character designs by David Baldeón are eye-candy and are obviously influenced by animation and anime.  I like them; these designs would make cool toys.

This first issue gives the reader just a taste of the opening story line, but I'm betting that the cliffhanger ending will make a large percentage of people who bought this first issue come back for more.  [In fact, I have already obtained a copy of the recently released second issue.]  For the time being, I believe in Cullen Bunn.  I am also somewhat enamored with the art, from page layout and composition to color and graphic design, this looks to be an exciting read.

There are also “extras” and back matter in this first issue, which include a page from Bunn's notebook, 10 pages of character designs, and also a script to inked art comparison.  Yeah, the $4.99 cover price is on the expensive side, but this first issue goes far in giving readers their money's worth.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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