|MICRONAUTS No. 3, June 2016|
Considering that this particular comic book title depicting “the Micronauts’ far out world” was advertised by “IDW Publishing” as “a fresh series that captures the property’s magical nostalgia and meshes it with modern twenty-first century storytelling”, the vast majority of its 9,715 fans in June 2016 surely must have anticipated a fair amount of exposition within its opening narrative. However, having previously penned two action-packed monthlies which genuinely immersed its audience “into the doomed microscopic realms of the Micronauts”, Cullen Bunn’s storyline for this particular twenty-page long periodical disconcertingly contains an incredible amount of discussion and dialogue.
Indeed, whether it be during his incarceration at the hands of Baron Daigon, the mistreatment of his robotic comrades by their captors, or the space pirate’s lengthy confinement within a prison cell which skirts the Entropy Storm, all central character Oziron Rael does is relentlessly talk about how he's descended from a race of long-forgotten time travellers who “crafted vessels to help them cross space and time” and his special relationship with the Ministry of Science's white-armoured leader. Such dedication to ‘scene setting’ is arguably a laudable attempt by the “dream come true” writer to firmly establish Pharoid’s prominence within the plot, yet going so far as to have Oz continue to just chat with the Force Commander right up until the comic’s cliff-hanger hardly seems like the sort of thing that will “make sure readers have the time of their lives reading this series!”
Fortunately at least this magazine’s despotic ruler of the Microverse, Baron Karza, provides a fleeting moment of pulse-pounding entertainment by foiling an assassination attempt. Sudden as it is savage, the brief sequence ably demonstrates just how viciously dangerous an existence the former Chief Scientist and Overseer of the Body Banks leads, with Shazrella’s husband not only needing to strafe the cybernetically-enhanced assassin with his ruby red chest lasers, but incapacitate the would-be executioner with his remote-controlled detachable hands; “I say burn.”
This comic’s heavy reliance upon seemingly endless panels populated with speech balloons would also appear to have been somewhat detrimental to Max Dunbar’s breakdowns. Flat and distinctly tired-looking, the Canadian’s lifeless pencils fail to do anything other than simply show just which figure is talking with whom; a lack-lustre art-style that proves all the more frustrating when used to depict Rael’s supposedly cataclysmic confrontation with a partially unarmoured and seemingly elderly Baron Daigon.
|The regular cover art of "MICRONAUTS" No. 3 by J.H. Williams III|