Saturday, October 30, 2010

Machine Man and the Final Battle



Machine Man fought against his captors, the Corporation, attempting a last minute super escape. MM's friends find his location, just as an atomic explosion decimates the area.

MACHINE MAN, THE LIVING ROBOT # 9
Edited, written and drawn by Jack “King” Kirby; Inked and lettered by Mike Royers
“He’s BACK!” exclaims a sonic rifle-armed soldier. “Machine Man should be a tin ghost!” So why has a truck driven up with him to Security Corps. “The reports of my destruction were a little premature!” he says, McQueen coolness evoking awe in the soldiers. He’d be happy to relate, once they drop the mechanism-shattering guns.


“After all, I’ve just spent time as a hostage under threat of a variety of nasty weapons.” (He can’t help taking issue personally at times!) Now he spills it:
He hops outside to demonstrate, takes the soldier into the minute. Computing “ten times faster than you can react!” the captive Machine Man calculated his distance from the atomic bomb outside the mountain complex. Hand laser at maximum power, his own blast burns into the ground a silo, in the midst of the smoking pit of his apparent demise. With his high-tension boot springs, out he came “as soon as the radiation count went down!” “Well, you’ve flipped me out, Machine Man! It’s Colonel Kragg’s turn, now!” “Take me to your leader!” he quips.


Before they’re aware of his survival, Doctor Peter Spaulding and the colonel share the loss as they examine the nigh-irrefutable evidence. Even Kragg’s come to respect Machine Man, after heading the vendetta charge against man’s last thinking cybernetic son. The endorsement evokes another quip from Aaron as he enters, accepting a rather long-armed embrace by Spaulding, with his report for Kragg.


A monocled man in yellow named Konik fires one of many Kirby super guns on a range in an armored bunker. The Corporation’s representative cajoles him, then follows Konik to a screen depiction of a solar rifle, his next theft. Konik’s obstinate, but he finally gives the new secret weapon a look: grab Machine Man! He’s convinced and encouraged.

Kragg’s palaver with the federal commission leaves Peter and Aaron strolling outside waiting. “Batter Up!” draws Machine Man over to the bemused soldier’s pick-up game, to which he’s welcomed. At the plate, he jokes he might bunt, while everyone predicts the impossible in jest. He doesn’t disappoint; it’s powderized! To save their equipment, they offer him the outfield. They want to challenge him, and the hit comes his way next. He fields it with a telescoping arm, then tags the runner out. Sarge quiets the complainers down, but Spaulding “removes the bone of contention...you!” So they go to meet the lawyer Spaulding’s called in as counsel.

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