Micronauts #26-28 "Baron Karza Returns!" (1981)
Writer: Bill Mantello
Penciler: Pat Brodrieck
Inker: Dan Burland
Letterer: Joe Rosen

Having crossed paths with Mentallo, the Micronauts learn of a plot by Hydra to join forces with the evil Baron Karza. Karza is forging a bridge to cross from the Microverse to Earth via the psionic abilities of the ESPer unit aboard the Helicarrier. S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Micronauts join forces at a showdown at Fantasyworld (i.e. Disney World) against a Karza dominated Hydra and forces from beyond the universe. 

  • Continuity Notes
  • Cover appearance on #27
  • Appearances by Dum Dum and Gabe
  • Fury and Dum Dum make previous appearences in issues #12 & 13 (Thanks to Richard Dyke)
  • Longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. villain Mentallo seems to have been left seriously wounded at the story's beginning
  • The final issue of the storyline seems to take place in Disney World.
  • A new style helmet is seen being worn by all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents
  • Once again the Helicarrier is seen in near-Earth orbit (as seen in issues of Strange Tales)

Back when toy tie-ins were actually integrated into the Marvel universe (Transformers, Crystar, etc), the Micronauts were one of the more popular success, and in this story, follow up their team-ups with Fantastic Four and Man-Thing with yer ever-lovin agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Scribe Bill Manto integrates the Micros and S.H.I.E.L.D. very well and offers enough for regular S.H.I.E.L.D. fans to enjoy. In particular, an impressive battle in near-Earth orbit between Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. recalls the classic Strange Tales days. Also the effective use of the ESP unit is another bonus. Characterizations are solid, among them Gabe and Dum Dum (no Val..damm!). The conclusion in the last issue shifts nearly the entire focus to the Micros leaving Fury and his agents out completely, but its not their comic after all.