Thursday, 28 December 2017

Micronauts First Strike #1 - IDW Publishing

Publicised by “IDW Publishing” as a “cosmic alliance” between the “Earth’s smallest heroes” and “Rom”, this “Hasbro comic book event” must have proved a bitter disappointment to its readership, not least of which because the Knight of the Solstar Order doesn’t even make an actual appearance in this twenty-page periodical until its very ending. Indeed, the cosmic superhero originally created for “Parker Brothers” as an action figure only appears in the magazine’s final four frames, yet still just long enough to disconcertingly transform from being the Micronauts’ much-sought after benefactor in their fight against Wraith “magic”, into an unforgiving killing machine who alarmingly misanalyses his tiny allies as his deadliest foes?

Christos Gage’s script for Issue One of “Micronauts First Strike” also suffers from containing some marked similarities to the 1989 motion picture “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, by depicting Microtron and Biotron narrowly avoiding the scything blades of a motorised lawnmower. It even includes a somewhat shrinking scene where one of the robots attempts to communicate with a garden invertebrate and then later, depicts Acroyear wrenching loose a (giant) daisy and unromantically offering it to space glider Phenolo-Phi in order to help the “rebel” feel better after Oziron Rael’s departure to become “a time traveller.” 

Admittedly, the American screenwriter’s narrative contains some elements to enjoy, such as the Dire Wraiths’ attempt to mutate “common Earth insects” into “biological weapons designed to infect native humans by a form of energy unknown in Microspace”, and the Micronauts’ subsequently bloody battle with a small coven of extra-terrestrial sorcerers. But even these pleasurable passages of action-packed fisticuffs are ultimately underwhelming due to some truly stilted dialogue and an ultimately illogical, yet all-pervading lack of menace towards the miniscule lead characters; “No time! Save yourself! And avenge me.” In fact, rather than squash their opponents when they have them at the mercy of the Dark Arts, the Dire Wraiths somewhat inexplicably release their foes so that their “enemies will take care of themselves.”

Sadly, this publication’s biggest hindrance however, is Chris Panda’s less than impressive artwork. The French pinup illustrator’s drawing style, which sports thick black lines that run around the entirety of his figures, doesn’t really suit the technologically advanced look of the titular team and definitely provides a great disservice to the look of the Dire Wraiths, which at times appear as if they’ve been sketched by an overenthusiastic amateur adolescent.
Written by: Christos Gage, Art by: Chris Panda, and Colors by: David Garcia Cruz

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