Didja Know... Deathlok the Demolisher
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Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!
If the return of one of the merriest mutant marching teams in the all-new X-FORCE #1 wasn’t enough to captivate you, oh Marvelite, how about we add in the dynamic and deadly Deathlok to the mix just for kicks? Ah, now we’ve got your attention! You’re wise in your generation, but we’ve gotta level with you: We’re not sure which Deathlok will be appearing in the book!
Don’t know what we mean? Follow along with the bouncing ball and all will be revealed, bunky!
Didja Know… Deathlok’s from the future—in 1990?
Way back in 1974, the term “cyborg” became a household word thanks to a nifty and very popular TV show, and so Marvel introduced its own twist on it in the groundbreaking ASTONISHING TALES #25. In that fabulous fable, a part-man, part-machine soldier dubbed Deathlok debuted and the world was never the same. Funny thing was, his stories took place in the weird world of a post-apocalyptic future… 1990! Well, it sounded pretty futuristic at the time!
The cyborg rebelled against his creator, a creep named Major Ryker, and hit the road to do find himself, literally. Over the course of 11 issues, Deathlok discovered his origins as Luther Manning, a simple guy who just wanted to return to his wife and son, but found himself with a computer in his head and more metal parts than an old Studebaker. Ryker threw everything he could at Deathlok, including a super-tank, a war-wolf, and even a clone of Manning, but our hero took a licking and kept on ticking.
Deathlok eventually wound up in the present-day and got into all sorts of manic mischief with the likes of the ever-lovin’ Thing, Nick Fury, Captain America, and even Ka-Zar, before, well, this is where even we get confused! Trust us when we say that few people have had the kind of crazy cut-ups in life like Luther Manning.
Didja Know… the very first Marvel Super Hero Deathlok met was Spider-Man?
Deathlok got to meet his very first bonafide costumed crimebuster without ever leaving his frantic future. How? Now there’s a story…
See, Spider-Man had just wrapped up an amazing adventure in the past, specifically in 1692, and eagerly anticipated his return to his own time, but, as those who read our mighty mags well know, the best laid plans, etc., etc. Long story short, using a time machine, the wallcrawler overshot his time and ended up in the frightening future of 1990… and in Deathlok’s sights. Soon, as seen in the now-classic MARVEL TEAM-UP #46, hero and cyborg were fighting off cannibal “muties” and Spidey began to despair at ever making it home again.
Now, before you get all weepy on us, Aunt May’s favorite nephew escaped fate’s fickle finger and of course did make it back to his own time, but a little sober from seeing what lay ahead for the world in a not-too-distant day-to-come. Here’s a little clue for you all: It all turned out to be another reality, not just a “possible future.” Whew!
Didja Know… Deathlok met himself at one point?
Okay, hang onto your hats and hairpieces, humans, ‘cause the wild ride’s about to get wilder, if you can believe that.
In the prime Marvel Universe, regular ol’ Luther Manning started having weird dreams in DEATHLOK #25, as if he’d eaten pizza right before bedtime. In these dreams he operated as a cyborg called—you guessed it—Deathlok, and boy, was he not thrilled with that not-so-pretty picture. Before too long, Manning’s traveling through the timestream, meeting the “real” Deathlok, battling alongside him versus yet another Deathlok, named Michael Collins, and sort-of settling in the “future” to figure it all out.
Want to hear the craziest thing of all, True Believers? Those stories were published in… yep, the 1990s. Maybe dreams do come true, eh?
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