REVIEW: Micronauts #1

Back when I was I kid, I wasn’t that bothered by the Micronauts toy line.  For me, it was all Star Wars, Star Wars and just for a change, The Empire Strikes Back.  Still, Micronauts were massively popular elsewhere and when Bill Mantlo saw the toys at Christmas 1979, he was inspired enough to petition Jim Shooter to go out and get the licence.  That led to the first Marvel Comics run, written by Mantlo which featured art from amongst others, Michael Golden, Howard Chaykin, Steve Ditko, Rich Buckler and Kelley Jones.  The series was so popular that it outlasted the toy line by at least six years.

Fast forward 30 odd years and IDW have gone back to the microverse, with their new book  featuring new adventures of new characters mixed with some, I am presuming here, good old favourites.  Issue one sets the tone of the book, introducing the new cast along with a nod towards their personalities and potentially their interactions, which pretty much cover the gauntlet from friend, colleague to barely tolerated partner in crime.

Cullen Bunn has written a number of diverse books, with his The Shadow work and more recently, working on a X-book for Marvel.  Bunn is a writer whose star is on the rise, with an easy-going style that pretty much covers the bases.  What may be lacking, at least on his X-book, is the ability to drive long-standing characters with a huge history, forward to the next level.  Here, that isn’t a problem as Bunn gets to set the parameters of his version of microspace.  True, there are the hold over characters, but this serves to ground the series, giving older fans a moment of familiarity.  The writing has an easy flow; it can get a little preachy as the characters take the time to tell us about how warp drives work, for example.  Reading the book, I am reminded, in the tone of the book, of the Star Wars Rebels cartoon show.

Whilst the original run had a number of artists over its publication history, IDW seemed to have taken a unique step in having a gallery of artists work on a single book.  The inside cover cites a total of four artists and four colorists.  As such its hard to give credit (or lay blame) at  anyone’s feet.  I will say that looking through the book, there is a chaos look to the first few pages, which thankfully calms down for a bit before the action heats up again.  That feel of Star Wars Rebels is further cemented with the design of Oz, who bears a resemblance to Kannan Jarrus.  Whoever is responsible for the colors does a decent job giving the microverse environment a different type of look than most books.

This book is just too loud and chaotic for me, despite the calming influence of Bunn.  Unless you are a major Micronauts fan, this book may not appeal, especially when you consider there are better books out there like Overrun by Andi Ewington, which cover the world within a world story with a lot more charm.

Writing – 3 Stars
Art -3 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars

Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING
(W) Cullen Bunn (A) David Baldeon (CA) J. H. Williams
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