Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Peter B Gillis
Artist: Kelley Jones

Like Rom #72, this Secret Wars II crossover's now a bit of a rarity.

In the 1980s Marvel had a nice little earner going in producing comicbooks based upon toy ranges. I would have said 'popular toy ranges', but both the Rom and Micronauts comic-series impressively outlasted the original product. This issue is even from a sequel-series, hence the 'New Voyages' subtitle.

What the Marvel versions of Rom, The Micronauts and initially The Transformers all really had to their advantage was the ability to interact with the larger Marvel universe. Hence, when Secret Wars II was launched to crossover into pretty well each and every Marvel title, the Beyonder got the chance to well and truly prove his multiversal capabilities.

Now, if he'd actually made the journey over to the DC universe too, then that really would have cemented his credentials.

For my money, there are three things that both these Rom and Micronauts SWII crossovers have in common:

1. Both series were cancelled a few months later, at around the same time as Secret Wars II itself ended. (Yes I know it was only a nine-issue limited series, but I enjoy the argument that it took the others down with it)

2. They both feature the Beyonder granting some of the characters' greatest desires.

3. They are both unlikely to get reprinted, due to rights issues concerning the original toy lines. (neither strip appears in the Marvel UK reprint series, or the Secret Wars II Omnibus)

That last point is a real shame, because these crossover episodes actually do contain an undercurrent of character-development for the Beyonder. In this issue of Micronauts, he's still plodding through trying to do good in the universe, but now warily seeking to understand the nature of good and evil better, lest he screw things up again.

Others are wary of him, too...

Beyonder: "It seems they find favour with the changes. It -- pleases me! And yet I sense disapproval in your thoughts, Acroyear. Isn't this doing good? Isn't it beneficial?"

Acroyear: "Of course, Beyonder -- but even an evil being is capable of momentary acts of kindness. It is no guarantee."

Beyonder: "I see. Then a continuity of acts is proper. Then I will continue."

As things progress, it looks as though he's been duped by one of the bad guys. The Beyonder willingly destroys three inhabited planets, instantly wiping-out a hundred billion beings.

It's mass-murder on a Microversal scale.

The final panels contain possibly the most fascinating portrait yet of the Beyonder's developing humanity, and humility.

Scion: "You played your part to perfection."

Beyonder: "Little about me is perfect, Scion -- but it was properly done."

Scion: "Indeed, through Huntarr's stimulus. The Micronauts are now fully activated! The destroyed planets will give the Micronauts enough time, thanks to you. And though you could remake the entire cosmos with but a thought, by you refraining from doing more, the Microverse may be healed as LIFE is healed -- by its own forces."

Beyonder: "So what may be good on one scale may be evil on another -- and out of the most violent mixture of those goods and evils, good may at last arise. It's a lesson I'll remember. Now go, Scion: and see to it that life -- and the Microverse -- endures."


3 comment(s):

At 1:45 pm, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

"Now, if he'd actually made the journey over to the DC universe too, then that really would have cemented his credentials."


Dear Gabbo,

I love your show, it's almost as good as what's on the other channel at the same time. Who would win if the Beyonder fought Superman?

Your pal,

- Krusty.

At 2:12 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

1. Yes, but I can't tell whether that's actually the Beyonder, or just you trying very hard to get me to read it.

2. If I knew anyone called Gabbo, then both the Beyonder and Superman™ (shame on you) would win, because they would only be up against reruns.

Your pal,

At 6:55 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Okay I have reviewed that issue now here.


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