Marathon & The Micronaut Influence?

Phhht!... tik tik tik


When the Marathon demo was released back in late November 1994 a number of people noticed a similarity between the Pfhor fighter and a character called Bug in the Marvel comic "The Micronauts". Here are some comp.sys.mac.games posts concerning it.

 
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
From: qsh@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu (Quanah S. Harjo)
Subject: Re: Does Marathon live up to all they hype?
Message-ID: <D092J8.JBB@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu>
Organization: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK
References: <AipAgVW00WBM41FSNC@andrew.cmu.edu>
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<yun-2811941213250001@peasecentris323.mayo.edu>
<3bdpio$f52@larry.rice.edu>
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<jbrown41-2911941555170001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu>
<yun-3011941210390001@peasecentris323.mayo.edu>
<jbrown41-0112940909560001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu>
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 1994 19:37:55 GMT
Lines: 25

jbrown41@maine.maine.edu (Jamin A. Brown) writes:

>That's up to you I guess. I don't feel they are corny looking. As I said,
>they don't look scary, but I don't think they need to. (Only in Doom! -
>sheesh). One thing that really impresses me about the game is that you can
>circle an alien and see it from all sides.

Yeah  I like being able to sneak up on aliens from behind, but I've
noticed what I consider an actual reversion from PiD.  In PiD, a guy
dies, he lays there, and you can circle him and look at him dead from
different angles.  But in Marathon(DOOM, and Wolf, too) the aliens
rotate to face you from one direction.  I guess that would but down one
the number of pics needed for death scenes, making it easier to edit,
and cutting back on hard drive space, but still...  It's a purely
asthetic complaint, but looks count for a lot in these games.

P.S.---Did any of you ever read that old Marvel comic book, the
Micronauts?  One character named Bug looked almost exactly like the
Fighters in Marathon, right up to the Rocket Staff.  Only he had
antennae.  Maybe Bungie was reading comic books for all that time...

| /\|/\   Exquad Krai  |  It Flies It Dies  |
| --$--  Flight Leader | Loyalty Beyond All |
| \/|\/  Merc Squadron | Where's my Check?  |
Quanah S. Harjo--qsh@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu |  




From: chbaer@kestrel.cqi.com (chbaer)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Marathon and Micronauts?
Date: 15 Dec 1994 08:00:55 -0500
Organization: Crystal Quill
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Message-ID: <3cpem7$d8e@kestrel.cqi.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: kestrel.cqi.com
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(Sorry, my server doesn't carry alt.games.marathon or alt.mac.games.marathon)

Has anyone noticed the similarity between the soldiers and Bug from the 
late-70's/early-80's comic book and action figure series Micronauts?  
Bug, too, carries a fighting stick with a spade-like top.  Hmm . . . 
perhaps a plot connection (or at least something to think about until 
Marathon ships).




From: schulman+@pitt.edu (Christina Schulman)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Re: Marathon and Micronauts?
Date: 16 Dec 1994 18:23:04 GMT
Organization: St. Dismas Infirmary for the Incurably Informed
Lines: 10
Message-ID: <3cslu8$6ut@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>
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In article <3cpem7$d8e@kestrel.cqi.com>, chbaer <chbaer@kestrel.cqi.com> wrote:
>Has anyone noticed the similarity between the soldiers and Bug from the 
>late-70's/early-80's comic book and action figure series Micronauts?  

Yeah.  I keep expecting them to go >tik< >tik< >tik<.

Doesn't stop me from shooting, them, though...

-- 
Christina Schulman                                       schulman+@pitt.edu




From: qsh@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu (Quanah S. Harjo)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Re: Marathon and Micronauts?
Message-ID: <D0vn52.7wI@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu>
Organization: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK
References: <3cpem7$d8e@kestrel.cqi.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 00:10:13 GMT
Lines: 24

chbaer@kestrel.cqi.com (chbaer) writes:

>(Sorry, my server doesn't carry alt.games.marathon or alt.mac.games.marathon)

>Has anyone noticed the similarity between the soldiers and Bug from the 
>late-70's/early-80's comic book and action figure series Micronauts?  
>Bug, too, carries a fighting stick with a spade-like top.  Hmm . . . 
>perhaps a plot connection (or at least something to think about until 
>Marathon ships).

Ayuh, I did notice that.  Especially the greenies.  If we see a greenie
flirting with a female colonist, we can really prove the connection.  

The rest of the aliens that I've seen look like Anime characters
(Boomers, Mechs, etc.).  It's nice to see at least one
American-influenced character. :-p

So maybe the Marathon isn't that big after all.  You are just three
inches tall.

| /\|/\   Exquad Krai  |  It Flies It Dies  |
| --$--  Flight Leader | Loyalty Beyond All |
| \/|\/  Merc Squadron | Where's my Check?  |
Quanah S. Harjo--qsh@osuunx.ucc.okstate.edu | 


Who or what were the Micronauts?

The Micronauts were a comic series produced by Marvel Comics which featured the Micronauts - toy figures created by Mego. The first edition of the comic came out in January 1979 and ran for 59 issues.


Micronauts Vol.1 No.1


Vol. 2 of the series (Micronauts: The New Voyages) lasted for 20 issues.


Micronauts Vol.2 No.1


All but one of the main characters in the original series were Mego toy figures. The odd one out was Bug. Bug was actually called Galactic Warrior in the opening roll call of issues #1-3 of the series but looked nothing like the Galactic Warrior action figure as created by Mego. By issue 4 Galactic Warrior became known simply as Bug.


original cover (unused)


Bug was thus a Marvel character, created by Michael Golden (artist), Bill Mantlo (script), and Joe Rubinstein (inks).

The similarities between the Marvel character Bug and the Pfhor fighter as created by Reginald Dujour (Bungie) are quite striking, notably the staff weapon.

green Pfhor fighter The Micronauts Bug purple Pfhor fighter
Micronaut Bug


Indeed Bug's staff was fired in a similar manner to the Pfhor's weapon.

Bug fires his staff


So are the similarities just mere coincidence? That question was put to Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees, Mark Bernal in an interview last year with Agent of Cool's Wes Kilgore. Indeed it was the very first question asked:

1. Were you influenced by the Micronauts?

ROB: Yeah, but not in any way that relates to my work on Durandal.

MARK: Yes, In fact I collected the Marvel comic books for a while when I was younger.

DOUG: Micronauts? (There goes our Agents of Cool credibility right there.) Weren't they the scientists that got shrunk and injected into the politician with a blood clot in his brain? Yeah, Fantastic Voyage, that's it. They fight a giant white blood cell... cool. Nope, no influence.

ALEX: No.

Well there you have it. Of course the person who should have been asked was the original creator of the Pfhor character - Reginald Dujour.

Pfhor concept sketch

Original Pfhor concept sketch, Reginald Dujour 1994


Bug gets his own comic Mar'97

Bug, Marvel Comics Mar '97


Marathon influenced by the Micronauts? Make your own mind up.


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Last updated July 1, 1997

Note: all Micronauts pics were scrounged off the net over the last 2 years. Apologies for not attributing original source.