Review by Paul Bowler
The explosive action continues in Micronauts #2 as Oziron “Oz” Rael and the crew of the star ship Heliopolis’ mission to retrieve medical supplies from a space station that’s been cut off by Baron Karza’s forces runs into trouble. Based on the iconic toy line and the original Marvel comic book series, this new Micronaut series from IDW Publishing, written by Cullen Bunn and featuring artwork by Max Dunbar, entwines science and mysticism in a universe torn apart by conflict where Baron Karza power is unlimited. Now, in Micronauts 2, Oz and his band of renegades encounter new dangers as opposing factions begin to close in…
After commandeering a Biotron, rogue space pirate Oziron Rael narrowly escaped from the Valtricos Research Station, along with danger-loving Space Glider Phenelo-Phi, space-warrior Acroyear, and orbital defender Larissa, together they must evade the automated Phobos Units while Oz’s first mate, the small robot Microtron, attempt to reach them in the Heliopolis. The pace builds quickly as writer Cullen Bunn piles on the frenetic action, with deadly Phobos Units closing in for the kill in space and a dangerous freefall to the planets surface, that ultimately leaves the Heliopolis badly damaged and the crew marooned on an outback world.
From here the issue slows down somewhat, as the crew make a parts run to a nearby settlement. I like how David Baldeon uses this opportunity to showcase the different characters, we get to know more about the political situation and conflict in this universe, and discover why Oz chose the path he has taken in life. Its not long before their peaceful stay is interrupted by the arrival of a deadly automated biological weapon and the incursion of hostile forces, this highlights how well the group bands together as a team, and really showcases their abilities in a tense combat situation – particularly when it comes to Larissa’s energy shields.
The art by Max Dunbar elevates this issue even further. There are some really striking action set-pieces, with the dramatic escape from the space station and the battle with the Acroyear Swarm delivering impressive visuals. I especially like Microtron, the quirky robot first mate of the Heliopolis gets all the best lines, Acroyear’s and Space Glider’s banter is also a lot of fun, and the characters and settings are all well realized by Dunbar’s highly detailed artwork. David Garcia-Cruz’s colors are rich mix of bold shades for the characters and robots, while more subtle tones define the planets surface and the settlement, and the combat situations are awash with dramatic fiery explosions that accentuate the pace of the action perfectly.
This is a very modern reimagining of the Micronauts, although there are still plenty of classic elements for long-term fans to enjoy. Cullen Bunn and Max Dunbar have done a good job of establishing and refining the premise of this new series with Micronauts #2, the team of characters is shaping up nicely, and the issue closes with the surprise arrival of another very familiar looking character. This new Micronaut series from IDW has got off to a strong start, sure, there are a few niggles that need ironing out, but overall I’ve been impressed with the story and art so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Cullen Bunn has in store for this series.
Publisher: IDW Publishing / Writer: Cullen Bunn / Art: Max Dunbar
Colors: David Garcia-Cruz / Letters: Tom B. Long