Following the announcement of ROM’s return to the world outside your window, Marvel has revealed the return of the Micronauts, with classic omnibus collections arriving beginning in April 2024.
The Micronauts were a team of heroes (based on the Hasbro toys of the same name) charting the Microverse, a microscopic universe existing at a much smaller scale than our own, only accessible through shrinking. Featuring the Micronauts battles with Baron Karza and his evil forces, the series lasted for 80 issues over two volumes, with the majority of the work penned by Bill Mantlo, and pencils largely by Michael Golden, Howard Chaykin, and Pat Broderick.
Once again announced by Omar of Near Mint Condition, Micronauts: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1 includes the first two years worth of the original series, along with two annuals and the Micronauts Special Edition mini-series. The omnibus will feature a main cover by Dave Cockrum and a series of Direct Market Exclusive covers by Steve Ditko, Butch Guice, and Michael Golden.
Here’s Marvel’s official description of the omnibus:
MICRONAUTS: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 1 will collect THE MICRONAUTS (1979) #1-29 & ANNUAL (1979) #1-2 and material from MICRONAUTS SPECIAL EDITION (1983) #1-5. Helmed by writer Bill Mantlo, the Micronauts brought together the subatomic heroes of Homeworld and the Marvel Universe. Mantlo’s rich character mythology and groundbreaking artwork by Michael Golden made the series an instant classic. In Micronauts, Commander Rann, Princess Mari, Biotron, Acroyear and Bug traverse the universe aboard the microship Endeavor as they struggle to free Homeworld from the tyrannical Baron Karza. Their exploits also bring them to Earth where our micro-sized heroes encounter big-time heroes and villains including the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain Universe and Man-Thing. This Omnibus edition presents a stunning restoration, complete with letters pages and a host of bonus material, including house ads, original artwork and more.
A facsimile edition of the first issue will also arrive in September 2023, reprinting Micronauts #1 from 1979:
MICRONAUTS #1 FACSIMILE EDITION boldly re-presents MICRONAUTS (1979) #1, one of the all-time great Marvel comic books, in its original form, ads and all! They came from inner space! Explorer Arcturus Rann! Freedom-fighting princess Marionette! The armored warrior Acroyear! Fun-loving thief Bug! The robots Microton and Biotron! They are the greatest heroes of the Microverse! But after 1,000 years in suspended animation, Rann has returned to a Homeworld vastly changed from the one he knew — and Mari’s family was killed in the coup d’état that saw Baron Karza rise to power. Now, together with their allies, they begin their epic quest to free Homeworld from the tyrannical Karza’s iron grip in the first chapter of an acclaimed comic-book space opera from the legendary creative pairing of Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden!
After Marvel’s Micronauts license expired in 1986 (along with the Rom agreement), the characters and settings largely disappeared. However, due to distinct differences between their action figures and comic book depictions, Marionette, Rann, and Bug the Galactic Warrior remained, with Bug even going on to appear as a founding member of the precursor to the modern Guardians of the Galaxy formed in Annihilation: Conquest.
The Microverse itself has also lasted, albeit with different names over the years, including ‘the Quantum Realm,’ a key location in the recent Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
The Micronauts license jumped from publisher to publisher post-Marvel, with new short-lived series from Image, Devil’s Due, and IDW in the 35 years since the final issue under the original agreement.
Can we expect more Marvel and Hasbro partnerships down the line? There are a couple of rather large licenses, both of which have been with Marvel in the past, that still haven’t been tied to any publisher, and you know the Beat team will keep an eye on the future of these licensed comics.