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Marvel reunites with the Micronauts, bringing back those classic Bill Mantlo stories

The Marvel/Micronauts news follows the announcement of an omnibus of Mantlo's ROM: Spaceknight

Micronauts by Dave Cockrum
Image credit: Marvel Entertainment/Hasbro

Following this week’s earlier announcement of a new omnibus arriving in early 2024 collecting the first two years’ worth of Marvel’s 1970s and ‘80s ROM: Spaceknight series, Marvel has announced plans to publish a collected edition of its original Micronauts comics.

Like ROM, Micronauts is currently a Hasbro-owned property that ran as a monthly Marvel title launching in 1979, written by Bill Mantlo. Mantlo led the series through its first run, which ended in 1984 after 59 issues, two annuals, and an upscale reprint series featuring work from the first year of the series illustrated by Michael Golden. (Other artists on that first series included Steve Ditko, Pat Broderick, Gil Kane, and Jackson Guice.) The second series, titled Micronauts: The New Voyages, lasted 20 issues from 1984 through 1986, with the creative team of Peter B. Gillis and Kelley Jones.

Again similarly to ROM, Marvel’s Micronauts was a toy tie-in series inexorably linked to the Marvel Universe. It was set in the Microverse, which had been originally introduced in the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era of Fantastic Four, and featured a mix of Marvel Universe characters and concepts alongside ideas and characters from the toy line; there was even a four-issue spin-off series, The X-Men and the Micronauts, co-written by Mantlo and Chris Claremont.

Unusually, the titular Micronauts team of the series’ title was a combination of toy characters and Marvel creations, meaning that some of the team has appeared in the years since Marvel lost the Micronauts license; Bug, for example, showed up in the Guardians of the Galaxy run that introduced Star-Lord, Rocket, and Groot to the team. As such, no other publisher that has been granted the comic book license to Micronauts since Marvel has been able to reprint the original runs. Most recently, IDW Publishing had the rights to Micronauts, with the characters appearing in their own series as well as the short-lived Revolution crossover line with Transformers, G.I. Joe, and MASK.

Marvel will release Micronauts: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus in April 2024, collecting the first 29 issues of the 1979 series, as well as the two annuals and material from the Micronauts Special Edition reprint series of 1983. Additionally, Marvel promises that the omnibus will include letters pages from, and house ads for, the original run. The omnibus will be released with a collection of variant covers repurposing artwork from Steve Ditko, Jackson "Butch" Guice, and Michael Golden, with the main cover reprinting the cover to Micronauts #1 by Dave Cockrum. All covers can be seen below.

Additionally, Marvel will release a fascimile edition reprint of the first issue in September, according to the publisher. Who says this isn't the Mighty Marvel Age of Unexpected Reprints?

The Micronauts were an unacknowledged influence on this year's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.