Micronauts #4 (April 1979)

Micronauts vol 1 #4

April 1979
“A Hunting We Will Go!”
Bill Mantlo (writer), Michael Golden (artist) and Joe Rubenstein (embellisher)

Karza facing the reader, blasting rebels. In the background dog soldiers are shooting down unarmed people who are running from them

PAGES 1-6 (1-3, 6-7, 10): Dog soldiers raid the underground and round up the survivors as resources for the Body Banks. One of the rebel leaders, Slug, is taken to the Body Banks.

  • The underground resistance to Karza is supplying rebels with LASER-SONICS, according to a dog soldier. The dog soldiers are under orders to kill anyone carrying a weapon and secure the rest for use in the body banks.
  • On page 2 there are two PHOBOS, evil versions of Biotron.
  • One of the rebels is riding an ULTRASONIC SCOOTER.
  • Slug is an “ex-royalist”, not necessarily a royal herself but a supporter of the former aristocracy. She changes clothes to hide from Karza’s troops.
  • The poor of Homeworld live underground in the SEWER SECTORS (so they literally are an underground).
  • Homeworld itself is described as “a planet where no blade of grass, no tree, no flower grows… a world of cold steel”.
  • The military commander in charge of the raid is Major D’ark.
  • Karza is able to fire his hands and use them remotely, in this case to strangle Tril, one of the rebels, who poses as Slug in order for the real Slug to escape.

PAGES 6-7 (10-11): On Earth, the damaged Endeavor flies back to Steven Coffin’s house in search of Bug. Aboard, Marionette and Rann argue.

  • Microtron is used to point out to the readers that Marionette’s and Rann’s argument is a “lover’s quarrel”.
  • The Endeavor’s SOLAR COLLECTORS aren’t working properly.

PAGES 8-12 (14-17, 19): Ray and Steve take the wreckage of a wing-fighter to Professor Prometheus at H.E.L.L. Bug follows.

  • Muffin the dog, seemingly dead last issue, is alive and well. Because she was “zapped”, Ray’s taking Muffin with them for examination.
  • Bug thinks that the WING-FIGHTER in the shoebox carried by Ray Coffin could be used to return him to the Microverse.
  • Bug is surprised that Earth has water.
  • Ray’s wife’s name was Elaine. Ray was known as “Orbiting Coffin” and a security guard suggests that Ray is an ex-astronaut who “misses the excitement of the early days”.
  • The Institute is actually named Human Engineering Life Laboratories (H.E.L.L.).
  • Professor Phillip Prometheus, the head of H.E.L.L. was Ray’s co-pilot on the first Adelphi Mission. His subsequent mission was aboard Starlab and there was an accident which caused him to be posted to administrative duties. (We’ll find out next issue why! Though Ray should have noticed Prometheus’ pupil-less eyes.)

PAGES 13-15 (22-23, 26): The Endeavor returns to Ray Coffin’s house and makes a crash landing.

  • Biotron scans for Bug’s brainwaves to locate him.
  • The Endeavor’s GYRO-STABILISERS continue to deteriorate rapidly. They have something to do with the vessel’s GUIDANCE SYSTEMS. THRUST UNITS are also used.
  • Abner Jenkins, Ray Coffin’s neighbour, sees the Endeavor attempting to get inside the house.
  • Biotron is capable of a miscalculation (certainly in piloting the damaged Endeavor).

PAGE 16 (27): Shaitan’s battle cruiser returns to the Microverse. An angry Karza removes the Thoughtwash from the Acroyears.

  • Karza is able to project an energy image of himself through micro-space to Shaitan’s battle cruiser.
  • Karza has used a THOUGHTWASH on the Acroyears, a form of brainwashing, where they believed that Acroyear was dead and that Shaitan was their prince. Shaitan’s failure in issue #3 causes Karza to remove the Thoughtwash and then remotely pilot the battle-cruiser to their homeworld.

PAGE 17 (30): While the Endeavor is repaired, the Micronauts leave to find Bug.

  • The Micronauts use the ASTRO STATION aboard Endeavor to search for Bug.
  • Just to emphasise the point for readers who missed it the first time it was said this issue, Biotron explain that his sensors reveal that Marionette and Rann are in love.

Next issue: “The Prometheus Pit!”

Additionally: on page 31 there’s a schematic of the Endeavor, the sort of thing Kirby would present at the back of issues of Fantastic Four. It identifies:

  • The BRIDGE detaches and becomes an ASTRO STATION.
  • POWER ARMS on each side.
  • The POD BAY stores a HYDRO-COPTOR.
  • The SUSPENDED ANIMATION CHAMBER has been converted to living quarters, library, sick bay, rec room and galley.

We’re also informed that the consciousness of Rann and Biotron have have been made inseparable over the 1000 years that Rann was in suspended animation: “They had become two coequal, coexistent entities!” There’s an explanation of Rann’s mysterious link to the Time Travelers and the Enigma Force and that Karza had allowed the Micronauts to escape so that Rann might lead Karza to the Enigma Force. It’s mentioned that Rann’s return to Homeworld caused ripples of chaos/uncertainty in the cosmos that even the Shadow Priests couldn’t explain.