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Machine Man

Old 05-27-21, 07:27 PM
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Machine Man

This was a really cool title, and it has the distinction of having both Jack Kirby AND Steve Ditko handling the art (and Kirby writing his issues).

It started in the pages of Marvel's 2001 title (which was probably a mistake as they no longer own the rights to that title, and apparently can't reprint any without a new deal. Bummer. But the character started as the robot X-51, aka Mister Machine, aka Aaron Stack. It was a great concept, a self-aware, artificial intelligence in a robot body. The previous models all went insane and became violent and destructive, but the final model turned out to be problem free. Even so, the military ordered his destruction just to play it safe.

Thus you got the Fugitive style storytelling by Kirby. Equal parts Fugitive and 60's & 70's era Incredible hulk, Machine Man was a very entertaining title. As the character got his own title, they changed the name to Machine Man (a better name for sure), and refined the story a bit, creating an even better comic, overall. It just didn't sell a ton of copies.

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PhantomStranger (05-27-21)
Old 05-27-21, 07:58 PM
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Re: Machine Man

After a few issues in 2010 and nine issues of the Machine Man series, the title was canceled. Sort of.

It went on a nine month hiatus, and when it came back it was the creative team of Marv Wolfman and 60's legend Steve Ditko at the helm. The series was reworked, with only Machine Man's basic personality remaining the same. He was de-powered (but also given a couple new abilities), and his surrounding cast was completely changed. The title was quirkier, but a little more fun. But despite the presence of Wolfman and Ditko, the title still didn't sell really well, so it was cancelled after issue 19.

Honestly, it was probably too quirky and didn't have enough standard superhero action for fans at that time. The villains were less than stellar (something that has killed sales on many titles). Kirby's take on the character and overarching storyline may have been a little stronger, but it was also colder and more mechanical. (Intentionally, perhaps?)

Machine Man has been brought back a few times since then, in a few different formats, but this early run was really interesting, and a lot of fun.

You can get the TPB Machine Man by Kirby and Ditko for the (almost) complete run. Sadly, those issues of 2001, which really set up the beginning of Machine Man's own title, couldn't be included.
Old 05-27-21, 08:54 PM
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Re: Machine Man

I rather watch a Machine Man movie over The Eternals or Black Widow.
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Old 05-28-21, 08:28 AM
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Re: Machine Man

Of course there was a four-part revival of "Machine Man" that was drawn by Herb Trimpe and inked by Barry Windsor-Smith, with Windsor-Smith doing pencils and inks for the final issue. Beautiful stuff!
Old 05-28-21, 09:47 AM
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Re: Machine Man

Back in the day, I had only read the 2001 issues so I was confused that he was called Machine Man instead of Mr Machine. I read about half the MM trade but wish they had the rights to the 2001 series.
Old 05-29-21, 09:19 PM
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Re: Machine Man

I first became cognizant of Machine Man when he was a central character in Earth X.

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