IDW Publishing announced, last October, that they would be adding two more beloved toy properties to their stable, pulling both Mego’s Micronauts and Parker Brothers’ ROM out of limbo and onto the comic book shelves. Or, to be fair, back onto the comic book shelves. Like IDW’s G.I. Joe and Transformers properties, both Micronauts and ROM: Spaceknight were fan-favorite Marvel comic books in the late 70’s and early 80’s. And, as opposed to some of the lesser-known action figure lines that earned shoddy cross-promotional series (think Sectaurs or Crystar), the Micronauts and ROM books were as fun, if not as successful, as their Hasbro brethren.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have any of those sweet “plastic and die-cast metal” toys of my own, being a little too young when they were popular, but I loved the comic book, and especially loved when my favorite Marvel heroes crossed over into the Microverse and vice-versa. Some of those original comic book Micronauts, not under the toy license, have remained in Marvel’s ownership and have survived into modern continuity, like the Guardian of Galaxy, Bug. The rest of those stalwart defenders of the sub-atomic realm, as well as the tyrant Baron Karza and his evil minions, would need to wait years to see their adventures continue in a monthly series.
From reading the afterword, it’s clear that if anyone other than Cullen Bunn was tapped to write this series, we may have had a problem. His lifelong passion for the Micronauts will, we hope, save the IDW series from being the third stalled attempt at rekindling that Micromagic. Bunn’s words are paired with the crisp, vibrant art of David Baldeón, and the whole package is a characteristically beautiful IDW release. I can only imagine how excited the bloggers of the excellently named Blog for ROM Fans Who Aren’t Dicks are for the Free Comic Book Day premiere of that new book. Now if only they could get cracking on Shogun Warriors.
This first issue gives us an introduction to the status quo, which involves a world-crushing entropy wave competing with Baron Karza for top menace billing. We also get a look at slight redesigns to Acroyear and Karza, bigger (or maybe more retro?) redesigns to Biotron and the Space Glider, and a few new characters to complete the party of innerspace adventurers. The table is set, and I’m looking forward to how well this series comes together. Microfans like myself will buy in, but it goes without saying that appealing to an audience who has never heard of Arcturus Rann or held a Time Traveler action figure is going to be essential to the series success.
While we say good-bye to a few titles in Marvel’s All New All Different relaunch (Weirdworld, we hardly knew ye; good riddance, Black Knight), Week 30 helps set the stage for more “phase 2” premieres. Avengers Standoff: Omega wraps up the little mini-event that criss-crossed through several titles over the last few months, but it also opens the door for some new Avengers books and storylines. See! the formation of the new Thunderbolts! Wonder! at the unnerving foreshadowing taking place between the TWO Captain Americas! Marvel! at the debut of the new Quasar (and Be Curious! at why the old Quasar looks so much like John Constantine).
Those subversive anti-establishment rabble-rousers over at Black Mask Comics have debuted a new gem of a crime caper. Part 1 of 4 Kids Walk into a Bank is everything an old punk who grew up on Goonies and roleplaying games could have wanted in a comic book. The kids in question are a misfit quartet of junior-high schoolers who find themselves in conflict with a far more dangerous misfit gang of murdering ex-cons. And when this gang of villains shows up at Paige’s house, it becomes clear that her dad knows more than he’s letting on. These kids, with their ham radio protocols, crippling shyness, and torrential potty mouths, defy the new freaks-and-geeks archetypes to feel as real and fully-formed as any cast of characters in comics.