SPARTAK

Official Name: Spartak

Nature: Extraterrestrial/Extradimensional world;
    located in Microverse 

Population: Zero;
    formerly millions 

Capital City: Imperial City 

Government: Monarchy with High Council of Advisors 

Languages: Unrevealed;
    presumably Acroyear or Spartakian

National Defense: Entire adult population of Acroyears

Extraterrestrial Relations: Spartak was originally an independent planet prior to the expansion of Homeworld's influence across the Microverse, but peacefully welcomed Commander Rann when he visited their world during his lengthy exploration of the Microverse. When Homeworld discovered Warp Drive and began to control the Microverse, Spartak became a willing ally, governing the local region of space on behalf of Homeworld, including the triple planet Ecbatan. After Karza usurped the throne of Homeworld, he forcibly sought to bring Spartak under his control; the Acroyears resisted until Karza thoughtwashed them into believing Prince Acroyear was dead, making Karza's ally, Prince Shaitan, the rightful heir. Shaitan then turned his people into Karza's shock troops, a status quo that remained in place until the thoughtwashing was removed. Thereafter and until Spartak's death, the planet was an independent world again, albeit allied with other planets that had formerly been conquered for mutual defense against Karza's return. 

Places of Interest: Crystal Chamber, Imperial City, Shattered Plains, Stone Palace of Spartak, Temple of the Rock

Prominent CitizensAcroyear, Acroyear's father, Cilicia, Illyrie, Megale, Shaitan, Vespian, Worldmind

First Appearance: (mentioned, unidentified) Micronauts I#1 (January 1979);
    (depicted, identified) Micronauts I#9 (September 1979)

History:
(Micronauts I#9) - Spartak was a stillborn subatomic world seemingly hewn from frozen stone. Its surface was covered with jagged peaks hundreds of miles high.

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Spartak was a harsh, cold, forbidding world of stone, but it was possessed of sentience. By the time it had become an old world it had lost all its "children" to the stars.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Spartak had been used by many races, and had little life left in it.

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - In the dim past, a race of gentle wanderers, the Acroyears, were driven from their homeworld.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb)) - The Acroyears were a gentle people, peace-loving farmers and engineers until their sun went supernova. They avoided being consumed along with their ancient world by constructing a massive space ark, becoming refugees wandering the spaceways in search of a new planet to call home.  

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - The fugitives wandered for millennia as exiles among the stars.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb)) - They wandered for a thousand thousand years, during which time the gentle Acroyears became grim and humorless, hard and cold as steel.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Finally their scoutships came across a living planet...

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - ...and asked it if they could settle there.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb)) - Spartak explained that what life it had left was theirs for the taking.

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - The planet informed them that to live there would require them to be as hard and cold as stone, a race of emotionless warriors, but if they could accept that and be faithful to the planet, it would always shelter them. The wanderers agreed.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb) - BTS) -  The Acroyears pledged their lives to the defense of the planet as it pledged its energies to shelter them.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb)) - Spartak was a cold, hard, stone world, so the descendants of the farmers were forced to become warriors merely to survive, forced to suppress their emotions lest they be taken for signs of weakness by a foe, forced to enact harsh laws for their own self-preservation. 

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Acroyears became the Microverse's fiercest warriors.

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - They considered their world with religious reverence, viewing the very ground as Holy.

(Micronauts I#21/2 (fb) - BTS) - The center of the Acroyear faith was the Temple of the Rock in the Imperial City. 

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - The kings could use the Crystal Chamber in the bowels of the Stone Palace of Spartak to contact with the planet's sentient lifeforce, and by merging the planet's mind with the minds of the Acroyear people create and control the Worldmind, a mighty living entity that could control the very fabric of Spartak. However, while in theory this was a final option should the planet ever be in danger of absolute destruction, the process was extremely risky, and no monarch in the memory of the Acroyear race had ever done so during time of war.

(Micronauts I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Spartak was visited by the HMS Endeavor, piloted by Commander Arcturus Rann, a Micronaut explorer from the distant planet which called itself Homeworld.

(Micronauts I#1 (fb) - BTS) - During the seven hundred years following the Endeavor's visit to Spartak, Homeworld scientists discovered Warp drive, allowing them to create ships capable of traversing the Microverse hundreds of times faster than Rann's faster-than-light drive.

(Micronauts II#7 (fb) - BTS) - Homeworld gradually established contact and then control over much of the Microverse, though largely peacefully. Spartak administered part of the Microverse as a satrapy under the higher rule of Homeworld.

(Micronauts I#12 (fb) - BTS) - A comet traversed the skies over Spartak, heralding the births of Prince Acroyear and his brother Shaitan.   

(Micronauts I#59 (fb)) - The king summoned his son, Crown Prince Acroyear, to the Stone Palace's throne room, and informed him that his days of being a free spirited youth were done, and that he was to be wed to the Lady Cilicia in five days. Prince Acroyear protested that he loved a commoner, Megale, and remained defiant even when his father insisted that the Crown Prince did not marry for love, storming out while shouting back that he would not go along with the marriage. Exiting the palace, Prince Acroyear climbed to a lonely crag near the palace and shouted his rage, defiance and despair to the world. His outburst was interrupted by Cilicia herself, who informed him that she too loved another, but their marriage was for Spartak, and so she would give up her love for her world. She showed Prince Acroyear a crystal-flower, then symbolically shattered it to show how she was shattering her heart, if only he would make the same sacrifice, giving up what was for what might be, in the hope that they might be rewarded with love together a hundredfold, in time.

(Micronauts II#7 (fb) - BTS) - After several years of Homeworld being peacefully aligned with other parts of the Microverse, Baron Karza, long the secret power behind Homeworld, deposed the Royal Family and openly declared his tyranny.  

(Micronauts I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Karza's forces spread out across the Microverse seeking to conquer every planet they came across. Spartak's ruler, Acroyear, Prince of the Acroyears, led his people in an initially successful opposition against these forces, until his treacherous brother, Shaitan, who had designs on the throne, allied himself with Karza.

(Micronauts I#10) - Shaitan believed the legends that Spartak was a living planet were lies, and that there was no Worldmind.

(Micronauts I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Shaitan began a civil war that ravaged Spartak until...

(Micronauts I#4 (fb) - BTS) - ...Baron Karza used his science to thoughtwash the Acroyears into believing Prince Acroyear was dead, so that Shaitan was now their rightful ruler and the man claiming to be Prince Acroyear nothing more than an impostor. 

(Micronauts I#1 (fb) - BTS) - With the people now loyal to him, Shaitan usurped the throne.

(Micronauts I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Prince Acroyear was taken prisoner, and Shaitan made his proud people submit to Karza and become the despot's shock troops, assisting in his war to dominate the Microverse.

(Micronauts I#1) - Taken to Homeworld, Prince Acroyear escaped captivity alongside Arcturus Rann, who had recently returned from his 1000 year long round trip exploring the Microverse. Allying with other rebels, they formed the Micronauts, and escaped Homeworld aboard the Endeavor, fleeing through the Spacewall that surrounded the Microverse to reach Earth.

(Micronauts I#4) - Shaitan pursued the fugitives to Earth, but when he returned having failed in his mission, Karza deemed Shaitan useless to him and severed their alliance, removing the thoughtwashing that he had placed on the Acroyears, fully aware that realizing Shaitan had betrayed their revered ruler would push the people to destroy the usurper.   

(Micronauts I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Realizing that while under the influence they had betrayed their ruler, the Acroyears were ashamed. They arrested Shaitan and imprisoned him in the Judgment Tower to await execution.  

(Micronauts I#9) - Three days later the Micronauts, anti-Karza rebels whose numbers included Prince Acroyear, returned to the Microverse from Earth, emerging in the vicinity of Spartak and right in the middle of an Acroyear battlefleet, which ringed their ship with tractor fields and forced it to land on Spartak. However, when they emerged from their vessel, the Micronauts learned that the Acroyears had regained their free will and become allies in their fight with Karza, pronouncing Acroyear their king.

    The Micronauts retired to the Stone Palace of Spartak, where King Acroyear met with the planet's High Council to discuss their world's future, instructing them to rally their people to Spartak's defense. Because tradition demanded that those of Royal Blood be present during councils of war, Shaitan was in attendance, brought in chains from his prison cell, though King Acroyear instructed him he would have no voice during their deliberations. Unfortunately, Baron Karza's battle-fleet had detected the Micronaut's return to the Microverse and hastened to their location. Moments after emerging from hyperspace they began bombing Spartak's upper atmosphere with thorium bombs and destroyed over half the Acroyears' fleet in seconds. King Acroyear ordered the Fleet Commander to hold them off as long as possible, to give the ground forces time to prepare defenses. Acroyear's beloved, Cilicia, pointed out that Karza's forces might not land, content to destroy them via orbital bombardment, but King Acroyear insisted they must be made to do so, in order that his people might battle Karza's armies on the planet's sacred surface. Meanwhile, he went the Crystal Chamber, to defend his world in the sacred manner of kings; while the Micronauts flew into space to battle Karza's fleet, King Acroyear entered the Chamber and called on the Gods of Spartak to heed the cries of its children. The Worldmind responded by calling together the minds of the entire Acroyear race, the dead, the living and the yet-to-be-born, linking them all in defense of the planet, making them one with their world and their king, granting King Acroyear vast power.

(Micronauts I#10) - The Micronauts and the remains of the Acroyear fleet were gradually defeated by Karza, but they bought King Acroyear precious hours to contact the Worldmind and form a union between the living planet and its warrior king. This manifestation was registered on the sensor screens of Karza's fleet, who were unsure what to make of the giant face that suddenly appeared before them. Decreeing that by the ancient planet pact no invader could lay claim to Spartak, King Acroyear sent rocks hurling skyward at escape velocity, smashing into and destroying many of Karza's ships. Despite hearing the very planet speaking, conveying King Acroyear's warning, the fleet commander was convinced it had to be an illusion, a desperate ploy by the Acroyears to save themselves, and ordered the battle fleet to attack and wipe the planet out. However, as the ships swooped in to fire, King Acroyear ordered the very mountains to defend Spartak, and mile-high cliffs rose up into the ships' paths, destroying half of Karza's fleet in seconds. Desperately, the remaining ships tried to land, intending to storm the Acroyears on the ground, but the king instructed the planet's molten core to disgorge flames, burning most of them out of the sky, then increased Spartak's gravitational pull, dragging the remaining vessels down into crashlandings. Unable to lift off again, half the remaining fleet was swallowed by the ground as earthquakes split beneath them.

    The gravity returned to normal, and Karza's remaining Dog Soldiers emerged from their ships to attack, ordered by their commander, Major D'ark, to slay every Acroyear, even defenseless infants. However, as the blood of Spartak's murdered people seeped into the rocky soil, the world underwent violent upheavals, and the giant cliffs toppled to crush the invaders. Despite massive losses, however, Karza's forces remained numerous, so Cilicia ordered her people to engage them in combat, insisting their pact with the Worldmind pledged them to fight for their world, not hide as it fought for them. Shaken by the demonic destruction wrought by the Worldmind, the Dog Soldiers' will to stand in the face of the Acroyear onslaught crumbled, and the battle, later named the Surface War of Spartak, soon ended in victory for the Acroyears. When the prisoners begged for mercy, Cilicia reminded them that they were child-killers, and showed them only the mercy of a swift death. King Acroyear emerged from the Crystal Chamber, no longer merged with the Worldmind, feeling no elation at victory but only sorrow at the loss of the lives of so many of his people.

(Micronauts I#12 - BTS) - Having gone to Homeworld to help defeat and seemingly destroy Baron Karza, King Acroyear informed his fellow Micronauts that he would take his leave of them to return to Spartak to see to his people and their rebuilding of their devastated planet.

(Micronauts I#12) - Once home, King Acroyear presided over his renegade brother's trial, recounting their race's history with Spartak, and reluctantly prepared to pronounce sentence on him, but before he could do so, Shaitan demanded his right as a prince of Spartak to challenge the ruling by Blood-Feud, letting his fate be decided by mortal combat.

    One day later, tribunal ships dropped each combatant separately off on Spartak's uninhabitable Shattered Plains. While King Acroyear was briefly distracted at the sight of a comet passing overhead (actually the Time Traveler embodiment of the Microverse's Enigma Force), Shaitan attacked, dropping a boulder on King Acroyear from above. Smashing the missile, King Acroyear engaged his sibling in combat, which ended when he reluctantly delivered a fatal blow to Shaitan. Having hoped to spare his brother's life, despite the Spartak code requiring harsher punishment, King Acroyear asked his "cold, unfeeling world" rhetorically if it was satisfied now, adding that he had come to despise its "justice." His musings were interrupted by his spotting the herald comet passing by Spartak once more.

(Micronauts I#21/2 (fb) - BTS) - Shaitan's remains were interred in a crypt inside the Temple of the Rock, the only individual laid to rest within its walls.

(Micronauts I#14) -  Witnessing yet another comet (or the Time Traveler once again) passing by Spartak, King Acroyear admired it, careening through space, leaving a trail of fire, free from all the restraints placed upon a king. He told his listening beloved, Cilicia, that he had summoned the elders to place the throne in their hands, feeling himself a warrior, not a ruler. When Acroyear confirmed that he intended to rejoin the Micronauts, Cilicia informed him that they were bonded, so she would go wherever he did.

(Micronauts I#21/2) - An Acroyear Air Patrol composed of Centurions from the Royal Stone Palace discovered the doors to the sacred Temple of the Rock were ajar, with its slain guards left lying outside. The patrol, led by Captain of the Royal Guard Vespian, ventured inside with their swords drawn, and were greeted by the shocking sight of a group of corpse-white faceless humanoids standing in a ring around a writhing column of fire, murmuring a harmonic incantation through mouthless faces. A temple guard, clinging to life as he lay wounded nearby, pleaded to Vespian to kill the intruders before it was too late, explaining with his dying breath that they were praying to darkness for the power to raise the dead. Realizing with horror who the figures intended to resurrect, Vespian ordered his men to strike before their very planet was imperiled again, but as they rushed forwards the chanting figures swiftly turned and stabbed out with icy fingers, killing whoever they touched on the spot. As they died, Shaitan rose from his grave into the air, revived but still effectively dead, his body and mind restored but not his soul. Energy lanced from his hands, killing almost all the remaining guards, but Vespian clung to life, unheeded by the departing Shaitan and his faceless servants, knowing that someone had to locate and warn King Acroyear that his brother had returned.

(Micronauts I#28) - Karza also returned from the dead, seizing control over the Enigma Force to make himself virtually invincible and attack Earth, but King Acroyear was undeterred by his foe's vast power and took him on in single combat. Having been resurrected by Karza with promises of leadership and revenge against his brother, Shaitan watched the combat with growing anger, as he believed Karza had betrayed those promises and had treated him as a slave. Determined to see Karza die for this, Shaitan decided to emulate his sibling's past achievement and attempted to call forth the Worldmind, convinced that as "one not too tainted by contact with humanity" he would be able to use it to triumph over Karza singlehandedly. Perhaps because of his unique revenant status, he succeeded in summoning Spartak's power despite being on Earth and outside the Microverse, ignoring King Acroyear's cries of warnings until it was too late; the Worldmind could only inhabit a living form, and so burned out Shaitan's animated corpse, melting him into a second, more permanent death. Worse, by summoning the Worldmind while on Earth, he had deprived Spartak of its lifeforce, risking his home planet's destruction.

    Aware that if Karza was not stopped, two universes, Earth's and the Microverse, would fall to the tyrant, King Acroyear realized he had no choice but to summon the Worldmind himself, despite the risks. As he renewed his assault on Karza, the despot decried him as a fool, insisting that using the Worldmind against the Enigma Force would destroy Spartak, but King Acroyear persisted, and though the Enigma Force, the power of the entire Microverse, was greater than that of the Worldmind, the soul of a single planet, King Acroyear reasoned that a cold cosmic force was still no match for something that embodied the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions of Acroyears.

(Micronauts I#29 (fb) - BTS) - The Worldmind understood the necessity of its own sacrifice to save both Earth and the Microverse, and conveyed this to King Acroyear. It also realized that the once peaceful Acroyear race had become too warlike dwelling on its harsh stone surface, and hoped they might regain their humanity once again if forced to wander the stars in search of a new home. 

(Micronauts I#30 (fb) - BTS) - As a result the Worldmind not only acknowledged the necessity of sacrificing itself, but even desired to do so.

(Micronauts I#28) - The withdrawal of the Worldmind from Spartak triggered great geological upheavals, the planet's death throes.

(Micronauts I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Having always maintained the great Space Arks that once brought their ancestors to Spartak, the planet's population escaped with their lives despite the geological disruptions that accompanied Spartak's demise. 

(Micronauts I#28) - Seeing Karza nevertheless start to regain the upper hand against the freshly empowered King Acroyear, another of the King's allies, Queen Esmera of Kaliklak, attacked Karza from behind, sacrificing her life to paralyze him temporarily. Acknowledging that the sons and daughters of Spartak could do no less, King Acroyear called on every last iota of life-energy from his homeworld and blasted Karza again and again, destroying Karza at the cost of also killing the Worldmind. Still linked for the moment to Spartak, King Acroyear sensed the death of his far-off planet, the price of his victory intolerably high.

(Micronauts I#29) - With the Acroyear fleet having come to Earth to assist in the battle against Karza, they were initially unaware that their monarch had sacrificed their world, until King Acroyear confessed his "crime" to Cilicia, who was horrified at the thought he had destroyed Spartak and made their people homeless to save Earth. Reminding him that they had vowed to protect Spartak regardless of the cost to the rest of the Microverse, she denounced him as a traitor.

(Micronauts I#30 (fb) - BTS) - The Acroyears left Spartak's now lifeless surface, fleeing to the stars, but left behind a red-hot crystal inscribed with the Acroyear letter "T" for traitor on the altar of the Temple of the Rock.

(Micronauts I#30) - Believing that despite how his people viewed him, his first duty remained with them, the formerly King Acroyear returned to the ruins of his world and discovered the crystal. Accepting their judgment for what they considered his betrayal, King Acroyear unhesitatingly branded himself on the forehead using the crystal, and vowed he would wear the brand until he could find his people among the stars and prove to them that he had acted as a king must, to save his people if not his world.

(Micronauts II#11) - King Acroyear took a crystal-flower from Spartak, one memory of his homeworld and all that he had of his lost planet.

(Micronauts I#30 (fb) - BTS) - With Spartak now devoid of life, its atmosphere soon dissipated into space.          

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Michael Golden and Al Milgrom.

    The comics generally refer to the Micronaut team member from Spartak as just Acroyear, not King or Prince Acroyear, though his people do call him that on several occasions. However, since the profile above discusses both the race called Acroyear and their ruler of the same name multiple times in the same sentences, I've tried to consistently apply his title whenever it's the individual being discussed, to try and minimize the chance of confusing the two.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Spartak has no known connections to:

Spartak's Worldmind has no known connections to:


Stone Palace of Spartak

 

    The Stone Palace of Spartak was a mile high stronghold which served as the seat of the planet's ruling monarch, where his High Council would meet and where trials were held.

    The Tower of Judgment, where important prisoners accused of major crimes were held, may have been part of the palace. 

    Deep below the main building, in the palace's bowels was the Crystal Chamber, which the monarchs could use to access the Worldmind.

 

--Micronauts I#9  (10, 12, 14

 


Crystal Chamber

 

    Located in the bowels of the Stone Palace of Spartak, the Crystal Chamber could be used by the kings of Spartak to make contact with the planet's sentience and merge it with the spirits of all Acroyears to form the Worldmind.

    During this merge, the king would be partially encased in crystal that grew from the two pillars in the center of the chamber.

--Micronauts I#9  (10


Worldmind

 

The sentient lifeforce of Spartak, merged with the souls of the Acroyears who inhabited the planet, the Worldmind could broadcast its image into orbit and command the very fabric of Spartak to battle invaders.

    It embodied the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions of Acroyears, but when King Acroyear summoned it from outside the Microverse, it deprived the planet of its soul, and that withdrawal triggered Spartak's death throes in the form of massive geological upheavals.

    King Acroyear used up the last of the Worldmind's energies destroying Karza, ending its life.

   

--Micronauts I#10  (28


Shattered Plains

 

    A region of Spartak considered uninhabitable, full of high cliffs and magma pits.

    Prince Shaitan chose it as the location for his Blood Feud battle with King Acroyear, and tried, unsuccessfully, to plunge his hated sibling into the molten rock.

   

--Micronauts I#12


Temple of the Rock

 

    The center of the Acroyear faith, the Temple of the Rock was located within the Imperial City.

    Shaitan was entombed there following his death at King Acroyear's hands, but the renegade's acolytes later invaded the Temple and resurrected him.

   When Spartak died, the departing Acroyears left a red-hot crystal on the Temple's altar inscribed with the letter "T," denoting their judgment that King Acroyear was a traitor for sacrificing their world.

   

--Micronauts I#21/2  (30


Crystal-flowers

 

    Crystalline blooms that could be found on Spartak.

    Cilicia shattered one to show how she was prepared to sacrifice her own love for another man to follow duty to her homeworld and marry Prince Acroyear instead.

   When Spartak was destroyed, King Acroyear salvaged one crystal-flower and took it with him, all that he had left of his homeworld.

    Much later, when Acroyear confronted Cilicia again deep in the Microverse's space, he symbolically shattered it in the hope of winning back her love. 

    

--Micronauts I#59  (Micronauts II#11


images: (without ads)
Micronauts I#9, p2, pan1 (main image)
Micronauts I#12, p10, pan2 (Spartak welcomes the Acroyears)
Micronauts I#9, p3, pan1 (Imperial City)
Micronauts I#9, p18, pan1 (Acroyear merging with the Worldmind via the Crystal Chamber)
Micronauts I#28, p19, pan2 (the destruction of Spartak)
Micronauts I#9, p9, pan1 (Stone Palace)
Micronauts I#9, p14, pan1 (Crystal Chamber)
Micronauts I#10, p6, pan2 (the Worldmind manifesting after merging with Acroyear)
Micronauts I#12, p14, pan 4 (Shattered Plains)
Micronauts I#21, p14, pan 1-2 (Temple of the Rock interior)
Micronauts I#59, p15, pan4 (Crystal-flower)


Appearances:
Micronauts I#9-10 (September-October 1979) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Michael Golden (pencils), Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden ("storytellers"), Al Milgrom (inks/editor)
Micronauts I#12 (December 1979) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Michael Golden (pencils), Bill Mantlo and Michael Golden ("storytellers"), Al Milgrom (inks/editor)
Micronauts I#14 (February 1980) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Howard Chaykin (layouts), Al Milgrom (finished art, inks, editor)
Micronauts I#21/2 (September 1980) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Pat Broderick (pencils), Armando Gil (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Micronauts I#28 (April 1981) - Bill Mantlo (plot, script), Pat Broderick (plot, pencils), Danny Bulandi (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Micronauts I#30 (June 1981) - Bill Mantlo (plot, script), Pat Broderick (plot, pencils), Danny Bulandi (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Micronauts I#59 (August 1984) - Peter B. Gillis (writer), Kelley Jones (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


First Posted: 03/20/2019
Last updated: 03/20/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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