Type: Planet in the Microverse
Environment: Earthlike, but cold and wintry due to the planet-wide cover of clouds shrouding the planet, stopping direct sunlight from getting through.
Usual means of access: Interstellar starship
Dominant Life Forms: Wolverine tribe, Beaver tribe, snowslayers
Significant Inhabitants: Ojeeg, Shaman
Significant Locations: Beaver tribe encampment, Wolverine tribe encampment, the Sacred Mountain, the Sunscope mounted atop the Sacred Mountain
First Appearance: Micronauts I#57 (March, 1984)
(Micronauts II#57 (fb)) - The world that came to be known as Never-Summer once enjoyed a warmer climate amongst the mountains and green valleys. But then, for unspecified reasons, clouds covered the planets, stopping direct sunlight from falling on the land, and caused temperatures at ground level to plummet so that the planet was covered in snow and ice. The animal tribes had to adapt or perish.
(Micronauts II#57 (fb) - BTS) - Ojeeg, future leader of the Wolverine tribe, entered his rite of manhood by climbing partway up the Sacred Mountain to kill a snowslayer.
(Micronauts II#57 (fb) - BTS) - Years later, as a show of strength to get other dissenting planets of the Microverse into line, Baron Karza decided to target the world of Never-Summer for destruction and ordered DeGrayde to upgrade the already powerful weapon, the Sunscope. DeGrayde mounted it on top of the Sacred Mountain, a mountain that pierced Never-Summer's dense cloud cover.
(Micronauts II#57) - On icy Never-Summer, the savage Wolverine and the resourceful Beaver tribes warred over food supplies. Ojeeg, now leader of the Wolverine tribe who had grown weary of the destructive scramble for food, was advised by the tribe's Shaman that the Sacred Mountain had to be climbed in order to return warmth to the land. Ojeeg then began the long, harsh climb upwards.
The Micronauts (Acroyear, Bug, Fireflyte, Huntarr, Marionette, Arcturus Rann) intercepted a courier craft of Baron Karza's to determine where the bloodthirsty despot would strike next. Interrogated by Fireflyte, the dog soldier recruit, Captain D'ark, revealed the next site to be destroyed as Never-Summer. However, while Marionette and Rann bickered, D'ark managed to flee in an escape pod back to Karza.
Meanwhile, on the platform of the Sunscope on Never-Summer, Karza checked on DeGrayde's readiness. Karza contacted Little D of Prisonworld, an Acroyear Elder, and the Queen of Kaliklak to inform them of the impending destruction and demanded their servitude. Karza paid little heed to D'ark's warning, overconfident in his forces and weapons. However, the Micronauts landed their vessel, Bioship, in the snow partway up the Sacred Mountain and clambered up the mountain toward Karza's forces in an effort to stop the destruction. Shortly after, Ojeeg encountered and passed the Bioship, and once more destroyed a snowslayer as he continued to climb.
The Micronauts then engaged Karza's forces, who managed to hold them at bay while the Sunscope was aligned. Meanwhile, the Wolverine tribe heard the sounds of war and assembled at the base of the Sacred Mountain led by Shaman, and they then prayed for summer to return. Ojeeg arrived near the Sunscope's platform and at first revered Karza and DeGrayde as gods. Meanwhile, Karza's dog soldiers, including Captain D'ark, scattered once they realized that Karza was willing to kill them to achieve his goals. Ojeeg recognized Karza's maniacal laugh as evil and witnessed the Sunscope's destructive fury as it burned Never-Summer and members of his tribe far below. Ojeeg attacked Karza, but was easily cast away, landing on the Sunscope's huge lens.
The Micronauts (Acroyear, Bug, Huntarr and Arcturus Rann) then engaged Baron Karza directly in combat. Meantime, Ojeeg recovered and considered that eternal winter was better than death for his people and, shouting out his battle cry, Ojeeg then launched himself over the edge of the Sunscope to its unshielded energy banks. The resulting explosion killed Ojeeg but stopped the destruction wrought by the Sunscope. Karza, his scheme undone, shifted to turbo centaur form and escaped via a dimensional portal. The Micronauts then discovered Ojeeg's bones. The Sunscope had burnt away sufficient cloud cover so that the snow and ice on Never-Summer all melted away. This would have caused the water levels to rise slightly and reduced the viable living habitat of such snow-bound creatures as snowslayers. The spirit of Ojeeg looked over the land and smiled benevolently that his people would no longer hunger. The Micronauts admired the new beauty of the world freed from winter.
(Avengers Academy#19) - The Avengers' Infinite Mansion was pulled from subatomic underspace, passing through the Microverse as it grew. Striker of Avengers Academy saw the planet, which was once again covered in snow, and the Wolverine Tribe as it receded in size.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo (writer), Butch Guice (penciler) and Kelley Jones & Sam Grainger (inkers).
The first page specifies that this is a story is based on a tale of the Ojibway tribe.
There were probably other tribes on Never-Summer with similar animal characteristics.
The animalistic humanoid natives are reminiscent of some of the High Evolutionary's handiwork.
Thanks to Snood for identifying that wolverines are "gulo gulo", which helped me identify that wolverines are actually part of the weasel family . Apparently, wolverines are morphologically well-suited to hunting in the snow and opportunistic but fierce scavengers that feed on carrion and small mammals, like beaver, porcupine, squirrel and rabbit. They also squirt to mark their territory - but I don't know if the X-Man called Wolverine does that.
Elf with a Gun has a possible explanation to where the never-ending winter came from:
As to the cloud cover that kept Never-Summer's sun from warming it as it should, and based on the evidence in the story itself (i.e. the Shaman's tale of what happened to the sun), I'm guessing that the cause was a natural disaster similar to that which wiped out the dinosaurs on our world: basically a very large meteorite struck the planet, causing all the volcanoes to erupt, kicking up a massive cloud of dust and ash that blocked the sun's rays and allowed the coming of the never-ending winter ( I _think_ this is called an abdelo (sp?) effect, or something similar. Or if you prefer, a nuclear winter scenario minus the massive radiation and mutated monsters. :) ). And also based on the Shaman's story, the meteorite must have struck on the other side of the planet, since he makes no mention of any unusual loud noises, earthquakes, or other unnatural occurrences that occurred before the sun disappeared. And given that the tribes in that region of Never-Summer were still divided into warrior and gathering tribes instead of all being scavenger tribes, I'm guessing that the disaster happened a few decades before the start of the story, and that not every tribe had gotten into the habit of exterminating their neighbors over resources yet like the Wolverine tribe was doing.
Never-Summer has no known connections to:
The Wolverine tribe was made up of stealthy and fierce hunters who brutally raided and slaughtered other encampments for food, skins and clothing. The tribe seemed to be divided between the young, powerful hunters who attacked other tribes and the ones who comprised the home tribe. The hunters, led by their chief, Ojeeg, wore little in the way of protective furs, and daubed their own ginger-colored fur with red paint when raiding. The hunters rode on large, hairy, sturdy, horned bison-like creatures using saddles. They used weaponry like stone axes, spears and arrows (including flame-tipped). Wolverine encampments were characterized by dome-like skin-covered dwellings and included older tribe members and children, as well as their blind Shaman, who was also a seer. The Wolverine tribe believed in ice gods. One rite of passage for Wolverine youth was to kill a snowslayer, such as those that dwelt on the nearby Sacred Mountain. A consistent theme was the use of red feathers.
Much later, Striker of Avengers Academy saw members of the Wolverine Tribe when the Avengers' Infinte Mansion was pulled from underspace through the Microverse to Earth.
Interestingly, Wolverine tribe members differed from their Never-Summer counterparts, the Beaver tribe and snowslayers, by having an extra digit on each hand (five to the others' four).
Despite being called the Wolverine tribe (with wolverines being part of the weasel family - see comments), they were actually feline in nature (although they had no noticeable tails). Perhaps the Lynx tribe might have been more appropriate?
--Micronauts I#57 (Avengers Academy#19
Beaver tribe members were gatherers who collected wood to make small cabins and collected and smoked fish from streams. They used blankets they probably wove themselves as protection from the cold. Beaver tribe members had three fingers and one thumb. One Beaver tribe encampment was attacked by a raiding party from the Wolverine tribe, who brutally slaughtered each beaver tribe member, regardless of age or gender. They knew archery and used spears and primitive axes. One method of defense was to lie under the snow and attack their opponents from behind. However, they were no match for the savagery of the Wolverine tribe.
Snowslayers were savage humanoids with shaggy white coats, instinctive minds and stood well over 7' tall. They had powerful jaws, massive teeth and roared very loudly once they had found their prey. Snowslayers had three fingers and one thumb on each huge hand and were very strong (peak human). They were basically blind, but had an unerring sense of smell that guided them to blood. They dwelled in the upper mountains, especially the Sacred Mountain. As a rite of passage to determine manhood, male wolverine youth, including Ojeeg, were instructed to kill a snowslayer. Ojeeg encountered one while scaling the lofty heights of the Sacred Mountain, but was able to quickly eliminate it. They were not that fast but were fierce carnivores nevertheless.
Given their blindness, they probably foraged for food on all four limbs normally. Given the dramatic change in habitat, it is unknown if snowslayers survived the rebirth of Never-Summer.
Micronauts I#57, p2 (snow covered)
Micronauts I#57 (March, 1984) -
Bill Mantlo (writer), Butch Guice (pencils), Kelley Jones & Sam
Grainger (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Academy#19 (November, 2011) - Christos Gage (writer), Tom Raney (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 04/15/2006
Last Updated: 11/15/2011
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