Marvel’s Bug: What makes him Tik?

The Comics on the Brain staff hasn’t always been fans of the Micronauts. The sci-fi superhero group was actually written by Bill Mantlo, one of our favorite Marvel writers, but despite that we never quite got into their adventures.

Bug signed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy after a long absence from the Marvel Universe. Image courtesy of
Bug signed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy after a long absence from the Marvel Universe. Image courtesy of

We have a good dozen issues of their story, but even that wasn’t enough. Their real chance to shine, in our opinion, was in the mini-series from 1984 — X-Men and the Micronauts. To our recollection, it didn’t work out so well except one little thing — Bug.

The title went to great lengths to show us how similar Bug was to Nightcrawler in both appearance, power and personality. As a result, it was easy for fans of Nightcrawler to form an instant bond with this traveler from Innerspace. He was fun, funny and really stood out as a unique addition to the team.

That series, however, was just a blip in the Micronauts story. They went back to the Microverse and continued their battle until their title ended a few years later.

Since that time, the legal issues that separated Bug (and Marionette and Arcturus) from the Micronauts brand have been sorted out. That change resulted in the creation of the Marvel team called the Microns, which features the trio of the Marvel-owned ex-Micronauts. That squad, however, wasn’t all that long-lived.

Bug, it seems, was destined for greater things. He earned his own one-shot and then later signed up for a stint with the reborn Guardians of the Galaxy.

Since that jaunt with Guardians, he’s slipped away again. At the same time, the Micronauts series is being revived at another company. Naturally, that makes us wonder about what Marvel should do with Bug and we have a few ideas!

Marvel’s Bug — Interstellar Thief

In Bug’s reintroduction to the Marvel Universe, we find him a prisoner of the Collector, one of the Elders of the Universe who is bent on cataloging the unique elements of the known universe. Bug, of course, is actually quite an interesting sample — he’s a sample insectoid from the Microverse — so it’s understandable that the Collector would want him.

As he stays with the Collector, Bug begins to understand what makes the Elder tick. The guy is positively obsessed with possessing everything he can. His collection contains anything imaginable that might be collectible — creatures, artifacts, originals and rarities.

After securing an audience with his captor, Bug makes his pitch:

Let me {tik!} work as your acquisitions expert . {tik!} You want something and {tik!} I’ll get it for you. I’ll even {tik!} find you things you {tik!} didn’t even know you wanted!

 After learning a little about Bug’s past and seeing a demonstration of his skills, Collector agrees.

From there on out, the new Bug comic becomes a “caper” book. In it, Bug is sent after some of the amazing artifacts of the Marvel Universe — and plenty of interesting guest stars.  Aside from all those stars, one of the Collector’s most hated rival’s, Maestro, the Hulk from an alternate future makes plenty of appearances. Why?  You see, Collector is actually quite jealous of Maestro’s own collection, and will do anything he can to beat the gamma-irradiated tyrant.

Maestro Trophy Room Future Imperfect
Maestro’s Trophy Room appeared in “Future Imperfect,” and was depicted masterfully by George Perez.

Just what are some of the artifacts Bug will be tasked with hunting down? They sky’s the limit. Certainly everything shown in Maestro’s trophy room is fair game, but there’s plenty of other opportunities, too. Earth isn’t the only place to find something unique — there are the Skrulls, Shi’ar, Kree, Badoon, Dire Wraiths, Eternals, Inhumans, Galadorians, Contraxians, Korbinites and hundreds of others to steal from as well.

Even though his capers aren’t always successful, Bug soon finds himself on the bad side of a lot of people, which churns up a whole other set of stories as he becomes on the most-wanted beings in the universe, which puts him on the defense as often as he is on the offensive.

You see? Bug has plenty of potential!


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