Monday, December 27, 2010

"The End" Week: Micronauts #59!

It's the last week of the year, and our second annual "The End" week! All this week, we'll be looking at a pile of last issues, further proof that I've ridden a lot of comics into the ground. (Seriously, if there's a mid-tier book that you like, you might want to avoid recommending it to me...)

Some of these are books that were cancelled, some may have merely run their course. Some may have come back or been relaunched, and some may be almost completely forgotten. First: Micronauts #59, "Homeworld" Written by Peter B. Gillis, pencils by Kelley Jones, inks by Bruce Patterson.

Now, this was the last issue of Micronauts as a direct market exclusive book, and it would be relaunched in short order as Micronauts: the New Voyages. (Which wasn't as good of a book, but that's another story...) But it was also the first issue with new writer Peter B. Gillis, and he was setting up a new direction for the characters. The war with Baron Karza, the Big Bad of the entire series to that point, ended with Karza's death, in creator Bill Mantlo's last issue, #58. Sure, Karza was dead, but so was the Micronauts' homeworld, and just about everyone they'd ever known or fought for.

(Strictly speaking, Homeworld wasn't Bug or Acroyear's home planet, but that's where the team was formed, and neither of them would be going back to their homes anyway.)

As they prepare to leave in their new ship, Endeavor II, they want to leave a memorial to Homeworld's people, and their new Biotron suggests a telepathic beacon. But none of them are sure what to say.

Biotron and Microtron were replacements for their previously lost roboids, and are trying to understand their masters. Watching a tape made by Commander Rann on his thousand-year voyage, they struggle with some of the terms; so they ask the Micronauts to define 'love,' 'fear,' 'beauty,' 'hope,' and 'death.' This gives the Micronauts the spark they needed, to leave their own tributes.
Marionette is awesome; and the one to land the deathblow on Karza the prior issue.
Although there's a few lighter moments in there (most of them, surprisingly, in Huntaar's story) this was a gloomy issue, and a pretty big change of pace from the action-adventure nature of the book up until then. It would be a little less bombastic from then on, a little more philosophical; perhaps a little too philosophical for a comic based off a bunch of toys. But not unlike ROM, once the Micronauts got rid of their main villain, the book never really recovered. (And Karza would return; the only thing that would finally kill him off for good was Marvel losing the rights to the Mego characters like Karza and Acroyear.)

The last week of the year is traditionally a down time for the comics blogosphere, but not here! We'll have at least two "The End" posts a day for the rest of the week! It's a festival of cancellation! Be here!

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