Saturday, December 11, 2010

Complete the Series: the end of Machine Man's first run

Might I say, Frank Miller and Terry Austin knocked it out of the park on Machine Man's last cover. For a change, the creative team knows it's the end and try their best to wrap things up.

I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but this issue marked a turning point for Machine Man's disguised civilian life at DelMar Insurance. There's a super-embassy, designed to withstand a terrorist attack by sealing the occupants within and relying on high technology security. A huge Halloween party is the chosen way to showcase the embassy for interested parties.

Masks have reached a crisis point for Machine Man; his face has been ruined during his battle with Alpha Flight, but his facade of humanity both seems to be leading him into confusion with Pamela Quinn and repudiation in the form of violent blackouts, as began when fighting Madame Menace and the revolutionaries in #17. Machine Man has to get to the bottom of his behaviors while dealing with the debut of the Jack O'Lantern, a pogo-mounted professional mercenary who relies on gadget weaponry and his horrible, flame-lit helmet.

For some time to come, this last of the Ditko Machine Man rogues also has the greatest longevity in the plotlines of Marvel comics to come. He eventually reappears as a foe of another Ditko co-creation: his most famous, the Spectacular Spider-Man, starting with Peter Parker #56 written by Roger Stern.

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