Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3

Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 6:34am CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 13,870

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The Fun Book
A Quick Review of Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3

Free of any explicit spoilers, but be forewarned some may be implied.
Transformers News: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3
Like a catch phrase, really.

If you haven't been reading this mini-series or didn't read its predecessor, simply known as Micronauts, I'd invite you to at least go read the summary at the top of the Micronauts Comic Series page in the Vector Sigma Database here on Seibertron to learn a little bit about why this series, to me, was a natural draw as a Transformers fan. I picked it up out of curiosity when it came out and was quickly hooked by the charming characters, fantastical science fiction settings, and briskly moving plot. Having a fresh continuity reboot, helped along in at least some small way by Marvel retaining the rights to the original series' protagonist Arcturus Rann to this day, also helped the book feel very accessible. With that (sales pitch) out of the way, I'll start this quick review by saying that Wrath of Karza #3 continues with the fun, accessible Micronauts stories that drew me in and is closer to those than the immediate post-Revolution story that took a few months to find its footing.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3
The Hasbroverse's Premier Power Couple

Karza's invasion continues, with the book picking up right where the second issue left off in the aftermath of a battle that has separated our tiny heroes. Exactly when this is going down in the scheme of the overall Hasbro Universe remains a mystery. Or is it? Are these events even really happening? There's an intriguing tinge of doubt to it which had seeds planted back in the fantastic Micronauts Annual released earlier in the year. It's very likely not a black and white thing, just as Karza continues to be a villain rendered with internal conflict - but only a little. There's not too much worry on his part when it comes to the subjugation of Earth. Instead, it's only when he ponders the fate of his home universe, Microspace, that this conflict and confusion emerges. The parts focusing on Karza never bog down the tone despite the background knowledge that these sections are about a despotic invader.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3
When the toy box comes to life! Then murders you.

Some fun moments are in store that play off elements of the Micronauts toy line as well, with new characters being introduced in a way that plays true to "bringing the toy box to life". This was done in past issues to excellent comedic effect with Acroyear's weeble, a fine weapon, and now Microtron gets in on the action by building some more companions. Each is given just enough characterization in a short stretch to enhance the book in a positive manner which also lends some plausibility to the chances of survival for the book's protagonists.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3
Half brain, half man, half pig? Maybe Al Gore knows?

Through it all, the art will be familiar to many Transformers fans, with Andrew Griffith handling most of the pages. The big splash pages are easy to follow, and the work to blend the organic humanoid characters of Microspace, Earthlings, and robotic characters together is well executed throughout. Pictured somewhat further below in the review is a snippet from the two trippy pages handled by Ron Joseph, though without having read the credits I don't know I would have noticed the change in artists, likely due to David Garcia Cruz's appropriate and varied colors lending a cohesiveness to the book despite a great variety of locales being seen along the way. Tom B. Long's usual tremendous lettering helps give it some easy visual continuity with other books in this universe, so it's nice to see that consistency. Griffith lends a cover as well, with colors by Thomas Deer, and you can see all the covers and credits in our database page for Wrath of Karza #3.

Verdict
Transformers News: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3
Did I both read it and not read it? No, I read it.

A friend on Twitter (and regular Twincast Podcast listener, if you don't mind the shameless plug) has called Micronauts "The Fun Book" in the past, and this mini-series is really living up to that title for me. It's a quick read that's also filled with some fun rewards if you've followed the entire series, but there isn't too much here that I think would be over-daunting to new readers - assuming "new reader" means you picked up 1 and 2 of this same mini-series.

If you're here on Seibertron.com for the Transformers there are not many of them in this issue for very long at all, but without saying too much, it looks like that might turn around pretty quickly as we approach the last two issues of the series. If you don't like chocolate in your peanut butter, you'll find this book to be mostly Micronauts peanut butter with only an outer coating of Hasbro Universe chocolate - whether that's a positive to you or not is for you to judge. Personally, I think you should give the first few issues of Wrath of Karza a shot if you haven't. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!

. :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: out of :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: :MINI:


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Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896138)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 7:01am CDT
Welp, you've convinced me to try Micronauts again later. I'm assuming the reading order is #1-#6, Revolution, #7-#9, Annual, #10-#11, Wrath of Karza?
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896161)
Posted by ScottyP on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:50am CDT
Kurona wrote:Welp, you've convinced me to try Micronauts again later. I'm assuming the reading order is #1-#6, Revolution, #7-#9, Annual, #10-#11, Wrath of Karza?
Right off the top of my head, this sounds correct. 7 and 8 are a little slow but necessary.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896163)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:53am CDT
Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896167)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on July 12th, 2017 @ 8:59am CDT
Nik Hero wrote:Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?

There's no way all of this and the second half of Micronauts happens between Revolution and Optimus Prime #1, which started immediately after Revolution. Considering the lack of Karza, but the presence of Shazraella in First Strike, I imagine this series will end with Karza's defeat and leading Shazraella to join up with the other villains for First Strike.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896169)
Posted by Kurona on July 12th, 2017 @ 9:00am CDT
I'm pretty sure there was a time gap between Revolution and OP #1, right? Not necessarily saying WoK took place during then; but I don't think OP #1 happened right after Revolution #5.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896171)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on July 12th, 2017 @ 9:03am CDT
If there was, it was very brief, probably just a month or so.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1896238)
Posted by ScottyP on July 12th, 2017 @ 12:19pm CDT
Nik Hero wrote:Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?
Time is all things.

Er, depends on how far apart OP 10 and First Strike are and where Jazz ends up. I'm really not sure right now. It's highly, super unlikely, but it could also be a Time Traveler induced illusion.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1897063)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 16th, 2017 @ 7:57pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Nik Hero wrote:Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?
Time is all things.

Er, depends on how far apart OP 10 and First Strike are and where Jazz ends up. I'm really not sure right now. It's highly, super unlikely, but it could also be a Time Traveler induced illusion.

Please, sins of the wreckers was supposed to have time travel, and then MTMTE did. Time travel is all in right now
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1897388)
Posted by ScottyP on July 18th, 2017 @ 12:45pm CDT
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
ScottyP wrote:
Nik Hero wrote:Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?
Time is all things.

Er, depends on how far apart OP 10 and First Strike are and where Jazz ends up. I'm really not sure right now. It's highly, super unlikely, but it could also be a Time Traveler induced illusion.

Please, sins of the wreckers was supposed to have time travel, and then MTMTE did. Time travel is all in right now
Where was time travel supposed to be in Sins? I missed that, don't recall it from the TPB content either.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1897413)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 18th, 2017 @ 2:08pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
ScottyP wrote:
Nik Hero wrote:Do you think this happens before OP #1 or right before First Strike?
Time is all things.

Er, depends on how far apart OP 10 and First Strike are and where Jazz ends up. I'm really not sure right now. It's highly, super unlikely, but it could also be a Time Traveler induced illusion.

Please, sins of the wreckers was supposed to have time travel, and then MTMTE did. Time travel is all in right now
Where was time travel supposed to be in Sins? I missed that, don't recall it from the TPB content either.

The section mentioning the "Fear Angel" and how it was supposed to be the future form of a Wrecker in the TPB
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1903804)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on August 11th, 2017 @ 8:22pm CDT
http://www.comiccrusaders.com/exclusive ... f-karza-4/

Comic Crusaders has the full preview of Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #4. While there are no Transformers present in the preview, we do know that Optimus Prime, Jazz, and Arcee will be appearing in this issue in some capacity.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1903830)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on August 11th, 2017 @ 10:04pm CDT
Today on Reddit, Barber said this series takes place right around Optimus Prime #1.
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1903931)
Posted by ScottyP on August 12th, 2017 @ 12:55pm CDT
As first seen on Comic Crusaders and as pointed out by Seibertron.com Energon Pub Forum user Daniel Adkins, the five page preview for Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #4 is now available. As the conflict escalates, the action picks up and if you've been keeping up with the series, you'll expect some of our favorite robots in disguise to appear very soon. Pick this issue up this upcoming Wednesday, August 16th to find out what happens next, and enjoy the preview pages below!

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Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1904136)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on August 13th, 2017 @ 3:04pm CDT
It looks great. I'm just glad that I know where it fits now. (Before the Optimus Prime #1)
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1904526)
Posted by ScottyP on August 15th, 2017 @ 5:47pm CDT
Not First Strike, The Other Crossover
A Quick Review of Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #4

Free of too many spoilers. There's at least one.
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See, right there. It goes just before Optimus Prime #1

The partial-crossover event that leads into First Strike carries on, though as things have progressed it actually appears this story fills a time-gap between Revolution and Optimus Prime in the greater IDW Hasbro Universe's continuity. That's not really what's important here though. If you read my review of Wrath of Karza #3, you'll have to excuse me if I repeat myself because many of the same feelings have carried over to this fourth installment (out of five) for this mini-series. There's action, there's character building, there's good art, and most importantly there's fun awaiting readers of this latest comic from writers Cullen Bunn and Jimmy Johnston.

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Why is there a centaur? Yes.

The character roster has branched out on the "bad guy" side of things, with the well-tread Acroyear armies of the Microspace Ministry of Defense now being supplemented with other various creatures inspired by the old Micronauts toyline. This enhances the IDW Micronauts world in a charming way by showing readers a diverse range of miniature alien life that works because this is a universe that doesn't really need a bunch of rules to follow. Microspace is a universe created by one of the Thirteen Primes and is inhabited by beings that can merge with other beings, flying reptilian things, biomechanical androids, and even time travelers. It's nice to see the authors being fearless when it comes to adding to the roster regardless of the general lack of focus placed on Microspace in the scope of the larger IDW Hasbro Universe.

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That's the spoiler, so sorry, but maybe it will make you care?

Of course you're browsing Seibertron.com and it'll be hard to continue justifying comics reviews for books that don't have Transformers in them. With that said I'll just cut to the chase, and pardon the spoiler - yes, there are some Transformers in this book (like Jazz pictured above) and they have a prominent role in the later stages of this issue's plot. They're used in a fun way with Bunn and Johnston staying true to their generally established characterizations while also providing dialogue for them that goes plenty beyond the average/low expectations that one would have for "Transformers writing in a piece of media where they're supplementary". Just like the playfulness that's inherent with the new denizens of Microspace that have recently appeared, the Transformers are used in an entertaining fashion.

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Ah shucks, made the ManBearPig joke last review

The art is well executed once again, with familiar name Andrew Griffith taking the helm for most of the pages while Ron Joseph lends an assist for two pages in the middle focusing on Shazraella. They're complemented by David Garcia Cruz on colors, who takes advantage of the varied environments utilized in the story. Different palettes are used throughout the outdoor scenes that give a dusty, sandy, and war torn look. Meanwhile, cleaner blacks and grays are seen throughout interior settings which helps the delightful weirdness of the books' characters to stand out in contrast even more. Tom B. Long is on letters and provides all the THWA-WOMPS that something with this much action needs.

A few covers are available this time, including the Tom Whalen variant featuring Baron Karza if you're looking to collect that set of various IDW books. As always, you can see all the covers and credits in our database page for Wrath of Karza #4.

Verdict
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It's not that bad, actually!

This keeps up the fun that I've come to expect from IDW's Micronauts and adds some additional Transformers flavor to the mix this month. Overall, this is a solid chapter in a story that I look forward to seeing the ending of. The final page makes it clear that readers can expect the fifth and final issue of this mini-series to have some ramifications on a character that solicitation-text readers will know is set to feature in First Strike over the next couple of months, but I do admit it felt a little underwhelming due to knowing this in advance. Maybe if the release schedule wasn't running a full month behind for this series that would have been different.

The only real critique that makes me put this one a notch lower than issue 3 stems from some of the panel layouts in the latter stages. Karza and Oz have a confrontation that feels more like a circular conversation, but this isn't really the art within the panels causing it. Rather, it's the amount of panels covering others in ways that feel understandable but end up coming off a little cramped in a spot or two. This takes what should be happening in a more open environment and focuses it a little too narrowly for my tastes. Granted, this could just be due to how we reviewers have to consume sample copies on digital documents and the print edition won't have this perception carry over. Here's hoping it doesn't, and I hope you'll give this series a shot if you haven't!

. :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: and ½ out of :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: :MINI: :MINI:
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1909005)
Posted by WreckerJack on September 7th, 2017 @ 2:25am CDT
Fellow Seibertronian Soundwave902 has pointed out that Wrath of Karza #5 has a preview up. According to the description this will be the final chapter. Pre orders are available on iTunes, the expected release will be on September 20th.

The final chapter! Baron Karza has conquered Earth! Only the Micronauts and the Transformers stand against him! Little do they know that a new enemyãa much more dangerous enemyãwill rise to challenge friend and foe alike!¾And one hero makes the ultimate sacrifice!


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Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1911739)
Posted by Daniel Adkins on September 18th, 2017 @ 8:01pm CDT
Full preview for Wrath of Karza #5. http://www.multiversitycomics.com/previ ... f-karza-5/ We get to see Optimus vs. Centaur-Micronus-Karza!
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1911747)
Posted by Bounti76 on September 18th, 2017 @ 8:51pm CDT
Thanks to Seibertronians Daniel Adkins and Soundwave902, we have, courtesy of Multiversity Comics, a full five-page preview for Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #5. This does arrive just a touch late, being set before, and leading into, First Strike. With that in mind, what have you thought of the series so far? Are you looking forward to the conclusion of this mini-series? Let us know if you plan on picking it up, and then come back to discuss it once it's been released and reviewed!

The final chapter! Baron Karza has conquered Earth! Only the Micronauts and the Transformers stand against him! Little do they know that a new enemy—a much more dangerous enemy—will rise to challenge friend and foe alike! And one hero makes the ultimate sacrifice!


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Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1911759)
Posted by Nexus Knight on September 18th, 2017 @ 9:38pm CDT
Oh, Lord... Feelin' cartoon OP here. Have i, like, not been paying attention? Has He always been this snarky?
Re: Review of IDW Hasbro Universe's Micronauts: Wrath of Karza #3 (1911931)
Posted by Va'al on September 20th, 2017 @ 3:45am CDT
Wife of Karza
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
The final chapter! Baron Karza has conquered Earth! Only the Micronauts and the Transformers stand against him! Little do they know that a new enemy—a much more dangerous enemy—will rise to challenge friend and foe alike! And one hero makes the ultimate sacrifice!

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metahumouuuur


Story

We reach the final issue of yet another series (miniseries in this case) which was meant to lead into the First Strike crossover - but as has unfortunately been the record with IDW Publishing in the past year or so, scheduling did not allow this (or Revolutionaries, or Optimus Prime) to reach their full conclusion before the event. Which kind of dampens the book, really.

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Still, Acroyear as a pirate


That said, this fifth chapter is still solid in its story overall, and does well enough to give a conclusion to the miniseries that capped off the Micronauts reintroduction to the Hasbro universe, in the hands of Cullen Bunn and Jimmy Johnston - at least from a plot level. The Transformers cast is well used, and there are some very good uses of time messing tropes throughout.

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Plus Oz is still Oz


See, the big issue with the book is not the story, but the script itself: specifically, the way in which the dialogue and narration suddenly decide that all the words written needed to sound like a drawn out movie style Optimus Prime that does not know how to properly use the contractions or any type of speech pattern that does not sound less robotic and droning on than the ones used by the humans in their speech patterns.*

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was that a funny..?


However, even with the bizarre awkwardness of that part of the writing, there's enough to enjoy overall for readers who were following the humour of Oz Rael and the Micronauts in general, and the surprisingly good roundedness of dangerously by-the-numbers villains in Baron Karza, and the real protagonist of the issue: Shazraella.

*credit for this sentence goes to ScottyP


Art

Andrew Griffith, a veteran of Transformers since the complex movie designs, is great to see working on some robots that are not just the Acroyears - but the excellence of switching through an immense number of designs in one long sequence is something truly commendable. I am in awe.

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Why is that drill positioned there, though?


Ron Joseph's interlude in time, much shorter here, looks pretty amazing on wider scale, but one particular close up is quite.. disturbing as an image, and I'm not sure what I make of it. But if the art is what provides the basis for the time shifts and ripples, the colours by David Garcia Cruz are what give it the extra shine that was needed to make the magic work - and boy does it work, with both artists.

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That is a cool effect


Tom B. Long on letters has his hands full with a number of variations of the fonts in the various characters' mouths, along with the tricky balance of the time rips and disturbances, but he does an excellent positioning of it all, as usual. The cover used for the thumbnail is by Ray Dillon, but you can find all of the other variants in our Database entry for the issue, right here.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

This was confirmation that Micronauts has always been a series that definitely deserved a lot more attention in the run-up and aftermath to Revolution, and with the general regard of the editors and publishers to allow for it to fit within the scheduling of the various tie-ins and events surrounding it. Bunn and Johnston did good, and it's a shame we couldn't get them to work in sync with the rest of the books.

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Shush, BK


And when I say this, I do mean both the issue and the miniseries as a whole - it'll be interesting to see the continuation of the various characterisations in other books post First Strike, and the ways in which Shazraella will play her part in the event itself (as you will have seen in FS3 this week already, really) and even Baron Karza's return later on. Also, more light on what was stripped from his Enerchanged form and sent travelling through time. I'd like to know that for sure, given its oddly familiar design..

. :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: ½ out of :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO: :HASBRO:

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