Robot 6

Dave Johnson’s designs from unproduced Micronauts cartoon

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Loath as I am to go back to the well that is Dave Johnson’s social-media output so soon again after last week, he’s been celebrating reaching 10,000 followers on Twitter by sharing art from an undeveloped Micronauts animated television series, and it’s pretty special work.

Of course, anyone producing any sort of Micronauts license these days does so without the characters originated for the 1979 Marvel comic, which is why that line-up above doesn’t feature Bug or Marionette. The Bug role went to a new character called Dit-Dat (third from left, the most Ben 10-ish looking design there). The solution to losing Princess Mari was to make the Time Traveler female.

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Johnson explained the project’s demise on Facebook as “Here’s the Micronauts pitch that ALMOST made it to TV. But then Hasbro bought the rights and basically killed the show. It was gonna be sooooo sweet. The story was great, and it would have been a childhood dream come true. Oh well.” The “childhood dream come true” aspect included the intention of hiring Micronauts co-creator Michael Golden to work on the series as a designer.

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I’ve a certain nostalgia for these characters myself: When I was a kid, Marvel UK ran the Bill Mantlo/Golden issues alongside Roger Mackenzie and Walter Simonson’s Battlestar Galactica in the Star Heroes digests. I’ve long been of an opinion that that first dozen or so issues of Micronauts represent the high-water mark for Mantlo’s writing. He brought the toys to Marvel’s then-Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter in 1977 and campaigned for them to go after the license. Once obtained, he fashioned a rich sub-space opera around the often-primitive toy designs that was easily the equal of any of Marvel’s other more lauded “cosmic” sagas of previous years. It’s a shame that rights issues and corporate politics mean these comics will probably never receive a fittingly deluxe archival edition.

Last I heard, Hasbro had sold J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot the rights to develop a Micronauts movie. Perhaps if that goes ahead at some point, there might be more incentive or momentum for all involved to figure out a way to make reprinting that classic run possible.

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Comments

7 Comments

Now you’re just being cruel.

sadly even if the movie does become a reality don’t see the comic ever reprinted. for doubtful disney will be interested in talking to hasbro about a property they only own two characters too through marvel. pity the comic deserves to be discovered by new fans. and the toys rereleased again. done by the four horseman

Night Swordsman

July 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

Actually, Hasbro is the official maker of Marvel Action Figures, and it would not be impossible for Marvel/Disney to seek the license to the Micronauts. It would be a matter of whomever is responsible for marketing and licensing of toys to see if they would want to do it, on both ends.

This original series is one of the gems in my collection! Great story and great art! By Rann what a series!!

Darth Eradicus

July 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I had the Micronauts toys as a kid. The Time Traveler figure was my favorite because there were different versions of him in different colors and they were insanely poseable. The very last one I had was Baron Karza,

Man, it was cool being a kid in the ’80s.

Kinetic Underground’s designs for the Emmett/Furla Films, and Gale Anne Hurd The Micronauts movie and toys.
https://twitter.com/comiccasts/status/358681366403088385

I got the whole original series (including the X-men mini series) and New Voyages. Pffffft! Took a long time of bin diving but I did it.

AND YOU CAN TOO!

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