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Monday, July 2, 2018

Comic Review - Retro Marvel Titles

Back in the late 70s/early 80s, Marvel had some really interesting comic titles that were actually from toy-lines. I found them to be really interesting titles and if not for the licensing restrictions & tussles (like what they're having with Fox Studios), I'd bet they would now be big franchise names from Marvel - either the books or movies/TV.

The 3 titles I'm referring to are:
  • Shogun Warriors (Combatra, Raydeen & Dangard Ace)
  • Micronauts
  • ROM
Before there were Transformers or Pacific Rim, giant robots didn't get bigger than Shogun Warriors (except maybe Gundam)! Back in the late70s/early 80s, it was VERY hard to get the comic titles that you wanted in Malaysia. You tend to somehow grow to love what's available at the newsstands. 
So I somehow only managed to ever buy 1 issue of Shogun Warriors but I was already in love. Sadly, I can't tell you much about them from only a single issue. 
These were the toys.
Before there were Transformers or Pacific Rim, giant robots didn't get as big as the Shogun Warriors! Back in the late70s/early 80s, it's VERY hard to get the comic titles that you want. You tend to somehow grow to love what's available. 
So I somehow only managed to ever buy 1 issue of Shogun Warriors but I was already in love. Sadly, I can't tell you much about them from only 1 issue.

As for the other 2 titles, 
When I was growing up, I was REALLY into Marvel's ROM Spaceknight title and Micronauts. Both of these licenses are currently with the IDW stable.
 
Both ROM and Micronauts were in the big leagues as they had the biggest stars at that time, the X-Men, show up in their books. 
Not only that, both books had really interesting guest stars. 
In Micronauts, we get visitors such as Fantastic Four, Man-Thing & Capt Universe.
<<Possible spoilers for the upcoming Ant-Man & Wasp movie>>
For fans of the MCU (that's Marvel Cinematic Universe for the uninitiated), if you are excited about the upcoming Ant-Man and Wasp movie (or go re-watch Ant-Man), you might like to pay attention to where the original Wasp (Janet, while the new Wasp is her daughter named Hope) might have ended up. 
In the Ant-Man movie, the original Ant-Man & Wasp were fighting in WWII and somehow, they disappeared from the public. the original Ant-Man (Hank Pym) thinks that the original Wasp had died but I suspect she's alive. She's probably trapped in the Micronauts' universe - called the Microverse (aka inner-space) in the comics. 
  
Another point to note is that a member of the Micronauts, Bug, also became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy!
These are the Micronauts Toys.
As mentioned earlier, both ROM and Micronauts featured the biggest guest-stars Marvel had at that time - that meant the X-Men ('nuff said).
In ROM, we also had guests like Jack of Hearts, Torpedo (yeah, I know many of you would be saying 'who...?'), Shang-Chi, Soviet Super Soldiers, Namor, Alpha Flight and so on.
ROM was a heavy hitter, He often had to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Hulk, Gladiator (of the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard) & Galactus!
ROM Toys.
Of course, Marvel also eventually got their hands on Transformers and GI Joe. But that's a post for another day.