The Hasbro toy line Micronauts became a cult-favorite licensed comic book title at Marvel in the 1980s, and although that title debuted this week at IDW, Marvel is getting back into that game - to a degree - with a new character called Macronaut.
First mentioned in an issue of Mighty Avengers last year, Macronaut will debut in June 8's The Ultimates #8 and can be seen on that cover by Kenneth Rocafort. Although he has the same color scheme and a familiar helmet pattern as the orginal Micronaut Acroyear, series writer Al Ewing says Macronaut is a new character.
"The Macronaut is another cosmic character, but this one’s all-new and all-now, True Believer!" said Ewing. "I’ve been waiting quite some time to bust him out. Essentially, he hails from a 'Macro-verse' infinitely larger than our own, the counterpoint to the Microverse. He’s made many attempts to enter our world, and nearly destroyed it in the process. He’s so huge and dense that his relative gravity would tear us apart if he materialized fully. What is he? An invader? An explorer? A cosmic tourist? I’ll tell you one thing: [artist] Kenneth [Rocafort] has gone above and beyond with the Macronaut’s design. He’s going to wow readers new and old."
In comic books, the Microverse is a parallel universe that can be reached by shrinking down to sub-atomic size. Numerous Marvel characters have traveled to the Microverse, including Hank Pym and Scott Lang, but also Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and even the Hulk - but most notably it is the domain of the Micronauts. The Marvel Cinematic Universe's Quantum Realm (as introduced in Ant-Man) is based on the Microverse, according to director Peyton Reed.
Whether the resemblance of Rocafort's design for Macronaut to the Micronauts Acroyear is coincidence or not (Marvel does not hold publishing rights to him), it isn't the only similarities between him and other Marvel characters. Acroyear was the king of Spartak - strikingly similar to J'son, the king of Spartax, who in comic book continuity is the identity of Peter Quill's - Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy - father. Going further, Acroyear also he had an unnamed son with his wife in the original Marvel Comics Micronauts title.
Taking it another step still, there are even more connections between Guardians of the Galaxy and the Micronauts, including Bug (one of a few Micronauts characters Marvel does own) who joined the team for a time. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has stated on several occasions that Bug was in early drafts of his original movie.