Machine Man #1

Machine Man #1, April 1978

I’m currently writing an article for a forthcoming edition of Back Issue tracing the history of Jack Kirby’s Machine Man. Starting life as Mister Machine in the last few issues of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the computer in the form of a man is quite an interesting character. Essentially, Kirby used the series to explore the theme of alienation as Aaron Stack was to all intents and purposes human, but reviled and feared by the very humanity that had created him. It was a theme Kirby would return to again in the later Silver Star.

Machine Man #10

Machine Man #10, August 1979

Once Kirby left Marvel, the series was turned over to Steve Ditko to draw and, under writer Tom DeFalco the series became a modern version of a Silver Age comic, with DeFalco casting himself in the Stan Lee role. It was a riot.

Later still, DeFalco revived the character once more. Set in the year 2020, that four-issue Machine Man series was drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith, over Herb Trimpe layouts. A stunning, and highly memorable, combination.

So, even though Machine Man is a very minor player in the Marvel story, he was delineated by three of comics’ best artists, and his adventures are worth seeking out.

©2007 Marvel Characters, Inc