Micronauts #55. So heavy we barely know what to say about it. It has a familiar theme: you can’t go home again. Huntarr, the main focus of this issue, returns to his home planet to find his mother. In a tragic twist, he finds her involved in something far more horrible than he could ever imagine.
If this was the first comic book someone ever read, we would point out a few things to give them a foothold in this story. The evil Baron Karza has assumed brutal control of many of the planets the adventurers known as the Micronauts call home. His most insidious contribution to suffering, the body banks, store people for use as involuntary organ donors. Karza and his soldiers just take a liver, eye, or arm as needed. They also create experimental forms, everything from science fiction centaurs to unique freaks like Huntarr.
Except in this story, Huntarr learns he is not as unique as he thought.
Bill Mantlo and Jackson “Butch” Guice put together one hell of a trippy ride for this issue of the first Micronauts series. Commander Arcturus Rann and his living robotic ship Biotron need to get back to the Microverse from Earth. To do that, they have to shrink past the submolecular level and break through the Spacewall. It separates the Microverse from Earth. But the pages we share with you today depict a lot more than just “getting small.” Don’t believe us? Then get ready to rock! We suggest you crank up Supernaut by Black Sabbath for the occasion.
We couldn’t help but snag this one from the back issue bin. With the title on the cover “The Rage of the Reptile,” it seemed right up our alley. Here, Spider-man meets up with his pal Dr. Curt Connors, better (or worse?) known as The Lizard. Something’s not right about Dr. Connors and a little iguana he’s got in his lab. Well, guess what? The cute little vegetarian reptile turns into a hideous villain ready to kick Spidey’s butt! Not the greatest Spidey issue ever produced, but you can’t argue with this splash panel at the end. They even used Spider-man’s often-forgotten Spidey spotlight in his utility belt!
Collector’s Guide: From Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #32; Marvel Comics, July 1979. Script by Bill Mantlo, art by Jim Mooney and Frank Springer.
If you’d have asked us in 1980 what we wanted to be when we grow up, we’d have told you, “The Human Fly!” Here’s a cat who rides a motorcycle over the St. Louis Arch – and then rocks the house with a guitar! Plus, the Human Fly has multi-cultural friends and donates all the profits from his wild stunts to handicapped kids.
Sure, when we read some of his adventures now, they seem like a poorly drawn 1970s TV show. WHATEVER! For sparking a sense of adventure and positive values, you’ll have to look pretty hard to beat The Human Fly.
Here’s one of our favorite issues from Bill Mantlo and Lee Elias: Silver Charity, Sudden Death!
– From The Human Fly #11; 1979, Marvel Comics.
Today we welcome back Paul O’Connor from the Longbox Graveyard. Paul has teamed up with us before for Godzilla Week, and we have some scans from one of his original works called Paranoia. After your head stops spinning from the awesomeness of Super-Villain Team-Up #13, check out his review of the complete series at LongBox Graveyard. Take it away, Paul!
Thanks, Mars, for an opportunity to present Super-Villain Team-Up #13, one of the best issues of this star-crossed series. As I detailed in my full review of the series over at Longbox Graveyard, Super-Villain Team-Up was a dynamite concept: an anti-hero starring vehicle for Dr. Doom and the baddest bad guys of the Marvel Universe. But, the series got derailed time and again by rotating creative teams and confusion over the direction and tone of the book.
By issue #13, the always-dependable Bill Mantlo was aboard. In this issue, along with issues #12 and #14, the series finally comes into its own. When Walks the Warlord features high drama beneath the waves as plot lines running for several years in this bi-monthly book come to a head at last. You’ll watch the Sub-Mariner fight to recover his lost kingdom of Atlantis. You’ll see Doom fulfill his vow to return Namor’s subjects from their nerve-gas induced slumber. Along the way, you’ll see all the stuff that made this series sing: Dr. Doom talking about himself in the third person, evil and noble at the same time! The Sub-Mariner being an Avenging Son and shouting Imperious Rex! A swordfight beneath the sea! A blasphemous horror from the bottomless depths!
If every issue of Super-Villain Team-Up had been this good, the book might still be with us. Alas, years of long neglect would shortly take their toll, and this potentially ground-breaking book would soon succumb to cancellation. But, we will always have that brief, shining moment, when super-villains teamed up to conquer the world (and each other), in a comic that wasn’t afraid to be fun, action-packed, and over-the-top with 1970s-style Marvel goodness. Enjoy!
Let’s take a look at all of the The Tales of the Microverse, originally presented as back up stories in the original 1970s Micronauts series.
If you missed a post, don’t mutate into an superhuman fascist who grows bodies in laboratories – Just activate your subatomic universe by clicking Micronauts Gallery.
Here we have a tale of the first spectacular meeting of Bug and Acroyear. This story by Bill Mantlo and Gil Kane is so long we are going to break it into two parts for you – so check back tomorrow or fire up your time machine – you won’t want to miss it!
Hats off to Marvel for finding fresh ways to sell a gazillion Wolverine stories to today’s newer fans. We’re glad our favorite mutant can keep the lights on at the House of Ideas! But things were simpler before all this “Wolverine Origins” explosion. Part of Wolverine’s appeal was that we did not know all of his past! Bill Mantlo (with artist Sal Buscema) pulled back the veil ever-so-slightly in the first volume of Alpha Flight. We learned a little bit more about how Wolvie got his adamantium skeleton.
For those without photographic recollection of the plot lines, all you need to know is this: James MacDonald “Mac” Hudson was the founder of Alpha Flight. Alpha Flight was the name of a government project to create a Canadian super-team. Logan and Mac were buddies back when the team was coming together. Mac’s wife Heather donned Mac’s costume following his death in Alpha Flight #12. Here, Wolverine and Heather have a heart-to-heart in the forest before they get jumped by a horde of pissed-off samurai/ninja creeps.