1983 · The 80s

October 1983: X-Men and the Micronauts 1 – Or, how embarassing, beaten by a six inch tall action figure.

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Synopsis: X-Men and the Micronauts 1 was written by Chris Claremont & Bill Mantlo with Butch Guice on pencils and Bob Wiacek on inks and opens with the Micronauts arriving at the wall separating the Microverse and the Macroverse at the head of a large space fleet. The Micronauts (Acturus Rann, Marionette, Bug, Huntaar, Fireflyte and Acroyear) are investigating a new threat to the Microverse, which has taken out whole worlds. One such world is the agrarian world of the D’Arnellians who attack the Microverse fleet, seemingly at odd with D’arnel’s peaceful history. We then find that the Micronauts are allied with the despotic Baron Karza in an effort to save the lives of all who live in the Microverse.

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The battle doesn’t go well, their enemy, a masked warrior, states how he is doing all of this for no reason beyond fun and to illustrate his point, destroys D’arnel itself. This unknown adversary captures the Micronauts and decides to play with them for his own amusement, while Baron Karza flees in the Micronauts BioShip and quickly arrives in the Macroverse.

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There we find the students and staff at Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters enjoying a somewhat easy time compared to how they usually have it. The BioShip and Karza arrive in the Danger Room control booth and cause a small explosion, when Professor X is safe, Baron Karza takes on the New Mutants, who are there training. Sunspot, Cannonball, Mirage and Wolfsbane are beaten well by Karza, who in the Macroverse is only six inches tall. When the X-Men arrive, they do just as well.

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Mid-battle Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde phases through the 6 inch tall Baron Karza and ends up swapping minds with him, leaving an unconscious Kitty in the armour and Karza in Kitty’s body, able to operate the armour, so no one beyond Kitty’s pet Dragon notices. The battle ends, when BioShip arrives, and talks everyone down and he and Karza explain that the threat in the Microverse has a connection to the Macroverse in general and Professor X in particular, so the X-Men are volunteered. The team is shrunk down, board BioShip and then BioShip returns to the Microverse.

Notes: I liked the Micronauts, I like the X-Men, this was written by the brains behind both, this should have been really good, or at least entertaining. But it was neither to be honest. The art is messy and at times unclear, the plot makes some sense, but offers no insight into the nature of the threat beyond the need to team Karza and the Micronauts up. There is the core of a decent idea here, but I don’t think that the full potential is realised. I left this feeling rather disappointed and unlikely to re-read this mini series.

Next Time: Captain America and a big bird or two.

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