Issue(s): Micronauts #30, Micronauts #31,Micronauts #32, Micronauts #33, Micronauts #34, Micronauts #35
The plot is that when the Enigma Force was expelled from Arcturus Rann's brain during the last big battle with Baron Karza, it also affected the barrier between the Microverse and the dimension that houses Earth. So in order to restore the Enigma Force, the Micronauts have to go to various parts of their strange Homeworld planet and find three keys. The keys unlock a tomb that houses the Sword in the Star, which is the origin and source of the Enigma Force. And with that, the Micronauts also learn the origin of the Microverse, which is that a group of multi-racial aliens landed on primordial Earth, where they were attacked by demons. And the Sword helped the aliens shrink to inner space to escape the demons, founding the Microverse.
Dr. Strange was alerted to the Enigma Force problem independently of the Micronauts, and he also investigates and joins up with the Micronauts at the end. He and Commander Rann briefly merge to form Captain Universe and restore the Enigma Force. The Micronauts and Strange also have to fight the demons, which were released thanks to the weakening of the Enigma Force, and the soldiers of Prince Argon (aka Force Commander, Homeworld's leader and Marionette's brother), who becomes more and more evil and Baron Karza-like as the story goes on.
So that's the story. I was expecting a tie-in with the Scorpio Key, but there's nothing in this story that does that.
On to the various call-outs.
A love interest for Microtron named Nanotron:
Acroyear literally branding himself a traitor for destroying his people's planet:
The fish-man Aquon, keeper of one of the keys:
A flashback with the Sword in the Star, getting ready to send the aliens into the Microverse for the first time:
Bug riding a giant goldfish:
Bug (and other Micronauts) temporarily turned into Mer-cronauts.
The first key:
Prince Peacock, whose "skis are of the finest Vindawood imported from the zone of Tropica. Many careful hours have been devoted to their care and maintenance":
The Snowbear, keeper of the second key, and Prince Peacock's girlfriend:
Dr. Strange investigating the Enigma Force on his own:
Devil. His people (who are all called Devil) held the third key. They were told that whoever claimed it would become the happiest being in the universe, and since the Devils all love each other, no one would claim it because they couldn't be happy unless all their brethren were.
I can't get enough of Devil. He later joins the main group. The little fairy that flitters around him is Fireflyte, an agent of the Enigma Force.
The Pharaoh Tombs, which are said to be giant and are presumably where the aliens from Earth were buried. Like nearly everything, the Sarcophagi were part of the Micronauts toy line. While in Aegyptia, we see the culmination of an uninteresting plotline where the uninteresting Prince Pharoid briefly betrays the Micronauts at Prince Argon's request and then changes his mind.
From here down it's all from the final double-sized issue, which is by Val Mayerik, unlike the rest of the arc. I like Pat Broderick's art, but Mayerik's is much cleaner and was a refreshing change for the final part of this.
Prince Agron completing his transformation into a Baron Karza lookalike.
Agron's "Death Squad", featuring the awesome Lobros and the awesomely named Ampzilla. All of these guys were toys:
Ampzilla vs. Devil:
Prince Pharoid on an "Ostra":
Two droids rolling through the desert and discovering a "sand-skimmer". Mantlo denies any Star Wars influences in an earlier lettercol.
Dr. Strange fighting a demon:
The clearest explanation of the colonization of the Microverse by the "Wayfinder" thanks to the Sword in the Star:
As Dan notes in the comments, Prince Wayfinder and the Sword in the Star are from a story that ran in the Marvel Preview magazine. The story also happened to feature the first sort-of appearance of Rocket Raccoon. It takes place in an alternate future, so it's not part of my project, but i do have a few scans here.
Dr. Strange and Arcturus Rand opening the Wayfinder's tomb.
Strange and Rand becoming Captain Universe and repairing the Spacewall:
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: These issues occur concurrently with Defenders #102, since Dr. Strange is said to not be available in that story because he is here. The arc ends with the Micronauts flying away from Argon, not directly pursued by Argon's forces. Next issue begins with the Micronauts having fled back to Earth with Argon's forces directly on their heels. So i'm allowing some space between the end of this arc and next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
I had the Lobros figure way back when, and I found it weird that he had a face added here. Strangely, Membros never showed up in the comic(unless it was after #35).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 13, 2013 3:27 PM
I didn't see a mention of this in the article, but Prince Wayfinder had appeared in two stories in Marvel Preview before this (#4 and #7). That series, titled "The Sword in the Star," was originally planned as a 10 or 12 chapter backup for a Star-Lord magazine, but when that book was cancelled before launch, the existing chapters of "Sword in the Star" were eventually published in Marvel Preview and the series put on the shelf.
As with your note regarding Rocket Raccoon (who appears in the second chapter), it's debatable that these are the same characters. However, there is dialog in #31 that attempts to leave that door open (references to "haamins" and that his father's realm was a different place). Then in #35 there seems to be even more attempt to link the two stories, including completely getting rid of Wayfinder's blindness and his Hindu garb from #31 so that he looked like an older version of the character from Marvel Preview (and it can easily be inferred that they had travelled back in time from the far future setting of "The Sword in the Star").
For something as important as "the origin of the microverse," it was pretty clunky to just plug Wayfinder and the Sword in for just this arc, especially in conjunction with his cast of "Lord of Light" ripoffs in issue #31. It's like Mantlo just had to scramble to meet a deadline in #31 and then decided to attempt to do justice to the idea in #35, but was still constrained by what he'd set up in the earlier issue.
Posted by: Dan H. | November 9, 2014 7:24 PM
Thanks for pointing this out, Dan. As you probably saw on the Rocket Raccoon entry, i do have a couple scans up of the Sword and the Star story here. But yeah, i didn't actually make the connection to the story here.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 9, 2014 9:28 PM
That first key looks a lot like the Scorpio key from Nick Fury. Anything ever come of that?
Posted by: Andrew | January 4, 2015 9:16 PM
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