Didja Know... The Miraculous Might of Machine Man
Didja Know digs into downright delightful details from across the merry Marvel Multiverse!
Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!
All you enlightened ones know the saying “More machine than man,” right? Well, here at Marvel we like to turn things on their ever-lovin' ear and offer characters that are more man than machine—case in point, Machine Man!
Next week, the extraordinary X-51—known to mechanics everywhere as Machine Man—takes some time off from fraternizing with the fringes of the Marvel Universe to step up to strut his synthetic stuff in an all-new spotlight series we tagged 2020 MACHINE MAN!
And, hoo-boy, does he deserve it! No need to ask why, wayfarers, ‘cause we’re gonna ratchet it up for ya right…now!
Didja Know… Machine Man was created by King Kirby?
Okay, go to the back of the class if you don’t know who Jack “King” Kirby is! He’s merely one of the Prime Forces of the merry Marvel Universe, one of the architects of nearly everything that’s astonishing, astounding, and amazing ‘round here! And when, after that dark day in 1970 he left the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas to set his star in the firmament of the Distinguished Competition, he returned to Marvel in 1976 and created such stellar series as ETERNALS, Devil Dinosaur…and Machine Man.
We met X-51 as a robot crafted by Dr. Abel Stack in the 2001: A Space Odyssey comic (that's right!), but one who gained significant sentience and wanted a life of his own. Dr. Stack gave up his own life to lend it to his “son” and when pursued by the army as the fifty-first of a series after fifty failures, X-51 took his show on the road and tried his metal digits at being a Super Hero—named Mister Machine!
Long story short, Jack segued his clinkin’, clankin’ creation into a book of his own, aptly appointed MACHINE MAN—notice the name-change?—and X-51 began his tour of duty as one of the Marvel Universe’s amazing androids. It’s a towering testament to the King’s powers that his “more man than machine” metal man is still rockin’ and sockin’ ‘em to this day.
Didja Know… Machine Man once fell in love with another robot?
Sure, we know how it usually goes in a lot of the sci-fi stories—the metal man falls for the warm and wonderful human, but ain’t love grand when it grows between two robots? That’s what happened to X-51 in the now-classic MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #92, a book so hot it’s kept under lock and key!
See, the metal marvel with the moniker of Jocasta sought out Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four because of some fluttery failures in her cybernetic circuits, but in doing so caught the love-bug in the meantime. Machine Man, who’d been hiding out as a human at that time, helped the Thing battle Ultron—Jocasta’s creator—and during the fracas found himself feeling all flushed and blushing over Jocasta’s beautiful soul.
Sadly, when by the end of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #93 Ultron’s latest scheme lay shattered and the heroes won the day, Jocasta’s injuries were too severe and she “died” in X-51’s artificial arms. Later, at the memorial service, he realized what he felt for her was the thing we happy humans label “love”—alas, a bit too late.
Didja Know… Machine Man hooked up with a heavy metal group?
Yes, quite literally! No guitars, drums, microphones, or amps included, just an assemblage of achy-breaky androids out to tear up the town—you know how it goes. And so did Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, when in AVENGERS (1963) #288-289 they met and got mangled by…Heavy Metal!
The group came together under the auspicious avarice of the Super-Adaptoid when he went looking for the Cosmic Cube. First tapping the Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android for membership, Adaptoid wooed Machine Man by promising to reactivate and resuscitate Jocasta for him. X-51 fell in line for that and along with fellow robots the Sentry and TESS-One they attacked the Avengers at their Hydrobase headquarters and made a metal mess of it.
Now, the key to the group’s defeat came about when—and we love it ‘cause it fits in so nicely with our theme—our ol’ pal Machine Man betrayed his comrades to side with the flesh-and-blood crowd. In short, Heavy Metal never reached the top of the charts and today their LPs are usually found in the bargain bin!
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