Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1984 – The X-Men and the Micronauts

X-Men and the Micronauts miniseries- #1-4
Writer(s): Chris Claremont and Bill Mantlo
Artists: Butch Guice/Bob Wiacek/Kelly Jones

This miniseries, which is actually more of a crossover since it features two teams that each had their own titles at the time, was collaboratively written by regular series writers Chris Claremont and Bill Mantlo. I wasn’t a big Micronauts fan, but I had enjoyed a few issues of the original series, particularly the ones featuring the Michael Golden art. However, I was an X-Men fanatic, so I had no choice but to pick up this miniseries.

This limited series was targeted at your typical X-Men fan with an angle to try and sell you on the Micronauts. A disproportionate amount of time is spent on the Micronauts, their characteristics and origins, which is clearly intended to try and hook the X-Men reader. It was also nice to see the New Mutants used in such a prominent role. Butch (Jackson) Guice and Bob Wiacek, with some help from by Kelly Jones, provide some great and versatile artwork that captured the look and feel of both teams.

The Microverse is threatened by a formidable enemy that has the Micronauts and their archenemy Baron Karza fight side-by-side. The Micronauts are defeated by the Entity, but Karza and the Bioship escape and end up at the X-Men’s mansion. Karza convinces the X-Men to return with him to face the Entity. The Entity, however, is ready for them and defeats them using the mind- controlled Micronauts. Professor X is drawn into the battle only to discover that his emotions and rage are actually powering the Entity. Together with Professor X, the X-Men and Micronauts destroy the Entity.

The X-Men and the Micronauts was a refreshing twist on the typical super hero team-up which usually began with a senseless battle over some kind of misunderstanding. Claremont and Mantlo cleverly send one team’s archenemy, Baron Karza in this case, against the other super hero team. The Baron Karza and Kitty Pride mind switch worked well as a plot device. I found it odd that Professor X would just have shrugged off the irreparable damage his dark side had done to the Microverse. If there had been an attempt made by the X-Men to help rebuild, I might have been a bit more satisfied. Keep in mind that none of the events that take place here have ever been brought up again in any X-Men title. And that’s probably due to the Mircronauts licensing. It would have been interesting to have Kitty being haunted by her experiences as Baron Karza or at least express some discomfort at having her body taken over by him.

Nevertheless, as a standalone miniseries, it's rather solid and stands the test of time well.

1 comment:

  1. i haven't read this one in ages, but i recall it being pretty fun, if somewhat inconsequential. i've never entirely warmed to guice's art.



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