The Micronauts: The New Voyages (1984) #16


People actually read this comic? I mean, I couldn’t understand a single word of it. It’s got an insane continuity to follow, but you also have to be able to translate Gillis’s writing into narrative. It’s just a bunch of events, without any connecting scenes, over and over again. All in one comic book. It’s nuts.

In fact, it’s so confounding, I don’t even know how to talk about it. What do they call those issues now? “Jumping on points”? Micronauts–even with the Secret Wars II crossover–clearly did not care about new readers or even casual readers (I thought I had some idea who the Micronauts were–still don’t know if it’s correct, but was that Ambush Bug in the issue?).

But it does have Kelley Jones on–not just mainstream art–but Marvel art. It’s crazy; almost worth looking at for his contribution alone.

I said “almost.”


  1. microbry

    Just a Micro-fan passing through. Not going to disagree here. You picked the lowest point in the entire two runs of the comic to come in. Micronauts: New Voyages is the second series, and less traditional than the original Micronauts comic, which was written by Bill Mantlo. Mantlo’s Micronauts was more a traditional 70’s Marvel book and made entry easy at any point in the series with lots of over-the-top old school exposition narration. When Gillis took over with the New Voyages, he tried to change it into more of a stand-alone SF story that was mostly removed from the Marvel verse, removed all the heavy narration, and expected anyone still reading the book to either know the characters by now or to keep up with the new story reading from issue 1–then Marvel imposed the Secret Wars thing onto it, even though Gillis had made every effort to keep things self-contained up to that point, and it turned into a total mess from which it never recovered. The series was cancelled four issues later, and Gillis somewhat vindictively killed all the characters off at the end. A shame as I thought his new story had been good up to the Secret Wars crossover nonsense that had nothing to do with what he was trying to tell. Most old Micronauts fans can’t stand New Voyages, though. It was too different.

    Of course, Mantlo’s Micronauts was filled with crossovers and even spawned Captain Universe in the early issues, but his narrative was structured around that and making the mag easy to pick up.

    If you want to see Micronauts in a better light, I’d suggest picking up either an issue from the first 12 issues of the original 60 issue long series (some of the best work in the run with art by then new talent Michael Golden), or at least start New Voyages closer to the beginning.

  2. microbry

    Oh, forgot to mention, it’s not Ambush Bug (isn’t he a DC character?), it’s simply “Bug”, who if I recall predates Ambush Bug and is original to the Micronauts comic. He’s been appearing again lately in Guardians of the Galaxy, IIRC.