I often let the issue number dictate the reading order of my weekly purchases, but seldom do I have six sequential numbers with no gaps or duplication. To commemorate this occasion, I will post my reactions to the following seven comics “by the numbers.”
LOST IN SPACE #2
STRANGE FRUIT #3
DARK KNIGHT III #4
SQUADRON SUPREME #6
AVENGERS STAND-OFF Ω
The most difficult thing for me about reading licensed Micronauts comics (such as the ones produced by Image a couple of years ago) is disassociating them from the long-running Marvel series which I consider “canon.” But because of the nature of this series, of course, it should be completely different. Bill Mantlo was inspired by the toys themselves, and it’s hard for me to envision the set of circumstance which would lead a creator today to become similarly inspired, but reportedly new series writer Cullen Bunn is such a person. Let’s look at the characters from issue #1.
OZIRON RAEL: Described as a “roguish space pirate,” “Oz” commands the Heliopolis, a “pieced-together research vessel turned battle cruiser.”(I’m not too familiar with the original set of toys, but I think the Endeavor (from the original Marvel series) is based on a toy, and I think the Heliopolis is not.) Oz is going to become “Pharoid” (one of the original toys), but there’s no indication of this in the story or issue one (apart from a false beard he wears on his chin), so I’ve listed him by his character name rather than his toy name.
ACROYEAR: A genetically engineered super-warrior. Part of Oziron’s crew.
SPACE GLIDER: Phenolo-Phi, a female rebel. Also part of Oziron’s crew.
ORBITAL DEFENDER: Larissa, a female warrior attached to Oziron’s crew against his wishes. (Was “Obital Defender” part of the original Micronauts toy line? I don’t remember, but it sounds like it might have been.)
BIOTRON: In this version, a large battlesuit.
MICROTRON: Ozirion’s first mate.
And, last but certainly not least…
BARON KARZA: As big and bad as ever, introduced in a three-page sequence including one full-page panel. He has a wife named Shazraella.
What I want to know is this…
Is anyone else reading this series (or planning to)?
Would anyone be interested in an ongoing discussion of the series?
I read it but I'm afraid I don't have anything positive to contribute.
I also read Squadron Supreme and Standoff so I may have something to add when you get to those.
You should have read them out of order, to increase chaos in the universe.
I considered the Micronauts book, but the brief glimpse I took didn't inspire me to actually buy it.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
The most difficult thing for me about reading licensed Micronauts comics (such as the ones produced by Image a couple of years ago) is disassociating them from the long-running Marvel series which I consider “canon.”
Would it help to regard them as like the Golden Age and Silver Age versions? An even better comparison might be the Gleason Daredevil and the Marvel Daredevil.
“I read it but I'm afraid I don't have anything positive to contribute.”
Positive comments are not requisite for this discussion.
“You should have read them out of order, to increase chaos in the universe.”
Sometimes I read them alphabetically. Sometime I read them by the length of the title. Sometimes I read them most anticipated to least, and sometimes the opposite.
“An even better comparison might be the Gleason Daredevil and the Marvel Daredevil.”
Hmm… No, that’s no quite it.
“I also read Squadron Supreme and Standoff so I may have something to add when you get to those.”
I find myself unexpectedly busy today, and too hungry to work through lunch. I know you have discussions of your own for both those series. Don’t wait on me if you have something to say about either. I’ve got everything read, I just can’t find time to post.
Oh, never mind. I’ll just skip lunch today.
LOST IN SPACE #2:
This three-part story is adapted from two unproduced teleplays written by Carey Wilbur, a prolific television writer who wrote episodes for many 1960s TV shows, notably the “Space Seed” episode of Star Trek. The original teleplay was written for the third season of the show, but had it aired, I imagine it would have been re-written extensively because it doesn’t resemble the typical “Will, Dr. Smith and the Robot” focus of the final season. Professor Robinson, Major West, Will and the Robot are being manipulated by alien scientists like rats in a maze. It’s a good middle chapter that progresses the plot, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion next issue.
STRANGE FRUIT #3:
Good story, but one they don’t seem particularly concerned with publishing on a timely schedule. Worth reading, but at this point you might as well wait for the trade.
DARK KNIGHT III #4:
This series’ tag-line ought to be “Not Frank Miller, but an incredible simulation!” His name is in the credits, but I gather her didn’t have a lot of input to the writing process. At least it inspired him to return to the “Dark Knight” milieu in the near future. In this issue, Superman’s daughter beats him from Washington, D.C. to the Fortress of Solitude. The Kandorian Kryptonians then encase him in inescapable black matter, sink him into the molten ground with their heat vision, then freeze him under it with their super breath. And it’s not even Superman’s book!
I don’t know why I like this title so much, but I just do (especially now that they started drawing the web pattern on the back of his mask). I guess because it’s so light and fun. It’s not strictly in continuity (my continuity… our continuity), but it gives a nod to it. These aren’t strictly interstitial tales (not true “retroactive continuity”) as Kurt Buseik’s Untold Tales of Spider-Man was. (Were. Whatever.) This issue shows flashbacks to Amazing Spider-Man #14 (or what in our continuity would be Amazing Spider-Man #14) and the Crime-Master. This issue marks the Spidey debut of the Green Goblin.
Marvel had solicited a “treasury edition” of the first five issues of this title. I was very excited about that and planned to buy three for gifts. Then they changed the contents to include three issues of Spidey and two of Ultimate Spider-Man. Personally, I’d like to see individual volumes of both. The end of #5 would have made a good ending to a five-issue collection.
SQUADRON SUPREME #6:
This issue begins a three-part story. This series still hasn’t really clicked with me. Toro will be featured next issue, and I like what’s been done with him in recent years.
AVENGERS STAND-OFF Ω :
This comic is by far the best of the lot and my “Pick of the Week.” I had every intention of buying the plain blue cover (since I started with the “Alpha” yellow cover), but I couldn’t pass up the Arthur Adams variant. Surprisingly (or maybe not), there were several characters on the cover I couldn’t identify. I don’t know what was in the other crossovers, but Alpha, Captain America #7-8 and Omega told a complete story, one of the most entertaining superhero stories I’ve read in quite some time. I find myself really liking Anita Hill (as a fictional character). I’m not at all interested in Civil War II, but I followed Marvel’s first “Civil War” from the POV of Captain America only, and I expect that’s how I’ll experience this one, too.
Okay, I know those weren’t the most insightful reviews I’ve ever written, but I didn’t want to leave it over the weekend. Back to work!