Monday, November 15, 2010

Bright spirits

This is a strange story, by Marv Wolfman and Steve Ditko. It's about Machine Man helping out mankind while remaining feared; indeed, one thing after the next vexes him as he observes our criminality and distrust and callousness.

He releases a powerful bolt while hovering in the sky, and this discharge drifts into the windows of six people, initiating a biochemical acceleration in their evolutionary state. Now far advance of human kind (perhaps a million years), they take Machine Man down, fighting. They circle him and prepare for judgement---much to his anger and dismay.

They hear the voice of a child of a man he's saved just now from an embedded bullet (he was shot during a robbery just stopped by Machine Man in the first pages). He believes in Machine Man's good, even if Machine Man's frustrated and embittered. They release him. Too far advanced for life on Earth, they decide to play silent benefactors, destined to return, to watch over Man. For now, however, they fly to the stars.

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