Deathlok (Michael Collins)

Michael “Mike” CollinsDeathlok

Containing a pacifist’s mind, the cybernetic killing machine known as Deathlok breaks free from his programming and chooses to help humanity rather than harm it.


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fighting skills



Computer programmer, neuroscientist, and pacifist Michael Collins unwittingly becomes the cybernetic killing machine Deathlok, but chooses to be a vigilante instead.


Man to Machine

Growing up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the young and gifted Michael Collins gets through graduate school with hard work and scholarships, earning a Ph.D. in prosthetics and neuroscience and a master’s degree in computer science. He and his wife Tracy have one child named Nicholas. Collins goes on to work for Stark Enterprises in Philadelphia, but is then hired away to become department head for the Computer Software Systems unit at Cybertek Systems, Inc. in Paterson, New Jersey. There, he develops cutting edge neurological prosthetics for nearly five years, until the Deathlok project changes his life forever.

Having learned of the dimensionally-displaced cyborg Deathlok, the Demolisher of Earth-7484, Roxxon Oil Company steals it from S.H.I.E.L.D. and turns it over to their Brand research subsidiary. Harlan Ryker works on the team that successfully researches the Deathlok cyborg and reverse engineers a purely robotic Deathlok, which is eventually destroyed by Ben Grimm, AKA the Thing, at Project: PEGASUS. 

After Brand closes, the original Deathlok escapes with aid from a time-traveling clone of his human portion, and Ryker gets reassigned as head of another Roxxon subsidiary, Cybertek Systems Inc., where he continues his research into Deathlok and cybernetics. After creating the Warwolf cyborg, the melding of a wolf-brain with a computer, Ryker oversaw the creation of Cybertek’s own Deathlok, controlled by the human brain of Col. John Kelly, a former United States Army Special Forces operative recruited by Roxxon. Deathlok performs admirably until Kelly attempts to override his computer’s wishes. For its own protection, the computer electrocutes Kelly’s brain, apparently killing him.

Following this failure, Cybertek removes the electrocution capability and began retooling. When Collins investigates these changes and uncovers the weapons-based nature of the project, he demands that Ryker shelve the project. Ryker responds by shooting Collins and transferring Collins’ brain into the Deathlok cyborg.


Lean, Mean Fighting Machine

Deathlok is a cyborg, a melding of human and robotic body parts controlled by a human brain linked to a CPU via encephalonic read/write technology. Deathlok has human lungs, head and brains, as well as a modified human stomach, but most of the rest of his makeup is synthetic. He is maintained by nanotech assemblers, which can slowly repair organic damage. He can eat only a nutrient paste. His skeleton is made of Adamantium, and his muscles and cartilage are a steel/Adamantium alloy. 

He’s capable of pressing 85 tons, with a theoretical limit of 150 tons, though computer safeguards prevent him from accessing this limit. His CPU rests in his torso, next to the controlled fusion generator that powers him, and his three energy weapons (plasma assault rifle, plasma pistol, and plasma grenade launcher) are powered by this generator. Each weapon is specifically keyed to Deathlok, and will not fire for others. Deathlok possesses a Cybertek Dragonfly plane, a high-speed low-altitude flier.

Deathlok can function without conscious thought via the computer, but the pacifistic Collins has set strict “no-killing” parameters on Deathlok’s actions. The computer is capable of independent action when allowed and is programmed with various techniques for tasks, such as combat and stealth, which it can run under Collins’ loose guidance. In cooperation with the computer, Collins can interact with other computers through what he views as a shared three-dimensional cyberspace; his computer expertise and direct connection to the computer make him one of the world’s foremost internet and computer security experts.


Control Processes

Michael’s boss Harlan Ryker is his most notable enemy, with Ryker betraying his trust, turning him into the killing machine Deathlok, and stripping him of his humanity. As Michael tries to regain himself, he makes attempts on Ryker’s life but comes to realize that he taught him many things about himself: that he was naïve, that death couldn’t have absolved him from his responsibilities, and that he was wronged.


Non-Mechanical Ties

After Collins becomes the cyborg Deathlok, he changes so much that his wife Tracy Collins rejects him, not believing him to be her husband. He spends time trying to get his body back and therefore back to her and their children, Nicholas and Patricia “Tisha”. He also has a brother Bill and sister-in-law Arlene. He eventually reveals his existence as a cyborg to his family.

As Deathlok, Collins joins heroic teams, such as The Defenders, Wild Pack, and S.H.I.E.L.D. to take on criminals as well as enemies at Cybertek and Roxxon.


Collins: 6'1'', Deathlok: 7'2''


Collins: 200 lbs., Deathlok: 825 lbs.




Collins: brown, Deathlok: brown


Collins: dark brown, Deathlok: light brown

Universe, Other Aliases, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

A Well-Oiled Machine

Roxxon sent Deathlok to the South American Federated Republic of Estrella, where it was ordered to terminate the guerillas opposing Roxxon’s dam construction there. The murders jolted Collins’ pacifist nature, waking him, and he briefly overrode the computer using his computer programming skills. Returning to Cybertek, Collins gained full control over the Deathlok cyborg and escaped. His wife Tracy was unable to believe that the cyborg was her husband (Ryker told Tracy that Michael was comatose), and Deathlok lodged with Jesus Badalamente, a Coney Island amusement park worker whose life he once saved. While Deathlok investigated Roxxon, Ryker and Roxxon Vice President of International  Development Clayton Burr sent Ian Wajler, AKA Mainframe, to servo-control an SQ submersible and several armored Dragonflies to kill Deathlok. Mainframe was arrested, and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury became involved. Deathlok traveled back to Estrella to destroy Roxxon’s dam, then returned to Cybertek where Fury demanded Deathlok capture Ryker. When Ryker blackmailed Deathlok with the possibility of returning Collins’ brain to his own body, Deathlok briefly helped him; but when Ryker launched a missile at Washington D.C., Collins destroyed the weapon and provided Fury with evidence to prosecute Ryker.

At Collins’ request, S.H.I.E.L.D. told Tracy that he was alive but working on a secret mission, and began seeking his original body. From jail, Ryker sent the Warwolf after those who could testify against him, but Deathlok destroyed it. He then aided several heroes when Eon’s corpse almost engulfed New York, and acted as a de facto agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. beside Fury against the terrorist Leviathan. When a rogue Dr. Doom robot known as Mechadoom began kidnapping cybernetic beings, Deathlok aided Misty Knight and Forge against it, eventually recruiting the Fantastic Four to help. In the end, Mechadoom was killed and Collins came to grips with what he had become, even feeling part of the community of “cybernetters.” The battle against Mechadoom took place partially in cyberspace, and in cooperation with his computer partner, Collins’ mind developed a new talent for traveling electronically within the internet. Though unable to be with his family, Michael observed them, and when his son Nick became involved with gangs, Deathlok battled the cybernetic Silvio Manfredi, AKA Silvermane, alongside Frank Castle, AKA Punisher, to protect Nick. Though Nick believed Deathlok was his father, Michael turned away, denying it. Collins sought restoration but was repeatedly diverted, fighting beside Digitek to stop a computer virus, and aiding Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, against the Sinister Six, Sleepwalker versus Mr. FX, and Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, against another virus. Nightmare invaded Collins’ mind, animating Deathlok while he slept, but Daniel Ketch, AKA Ghost Rider, freed Collins, and S.H.I.E.L.D., with Michael’s old Cybertek partner, Jim Dworman, repaired Deathlok. Seeking to divest itself from Cybertek’s failure, Roxxon closed Cybertek, selling equipment and technology to groups such as A.I.M., Magnum Munitions, and Stark Prosthetics. Deathlok’s pursuit of this technology earned him the enmity of Moses Magnum. When Collins’ wife realized she was pregnant, she told S.H.I.E.L.D. she had deduced the truth about Michael’s condition as Deathlok, and the family reunited. However, the toxic being Biohazard, which proved to be the nanotech-treated brain of John Kelly, attacked Deathlok at his home, and Collins quickly realized he couldn’t stay with his family and returned to Coney Island.

The surviving Cybertek Deathlok project doctors relocated to Paris and created an army of Cyberwarriors. When Ryker and Mainframe were released on bail, they rejoined the team there. Roxxon’s Clayton Burr revealed their location to Deathlok, offering him the location of his human body in exchange for Deathlok’s cyborg body after Collins was restored. Though suspicious, Collins agreed and traveled to Paris, where Silver Sablinova, AKA Silver Sable, whom Deathlok had previously helped against Cathode, aided him in seeking Ryker’s team. When Collins found himself losing to Ryker’s most advanced Cyberwarrior, Deathlok downloaded the mind of John Kelly, which had been recorded and stored in the Deathlok CPU, into that Cyberwarrior. As Siege, Kelly helped Deathlok and Sable defeat Ryker’s team, but an explosion destroyed the facility, and Collins’ original body was believed destroyed, though in actuality it was merely buried. Meanwhile, Burr duplicitously hired the cyborg Coldblood to kill Ryker and Deathlok. Deathlok battled Coldblood in Paris and convinced him to help him, and with Siege they located Ryker in the Middle East, attempting to sell the remaining Cyberwarriors. Ryker was arrested and turned over to S.H.I.E.L.D., and Burr was also arrested based on Ryker’s testimony. At this point, Michael accepted that he would permanently remain Deathlok. 

Collins accepted a temporary computer security position with the Wakandan government, but ended up battling beside T’Challa, AKA Black Panther, against Moses Magnum, Killjoy, and Phreak. Magnum forcibly took control of Wakanda’s neighbor, Canaan, and invaded Wakanda; Deathlok was repaired via Wakandan technology after losing an arm to Killjoy, and headed off the two countries’ war by dismantling Canaan’s military capabilities. A vengeful Burr hired Jason Macendale, AKA Hobgoblin, to kill Collins, but succeeded only in destroying Deathlok’s family home. When Tracy went into labor, Deathlok abandoned that fight, and Tracy delivered their second child, Patricia, at the hospital under the protective watch of Misty Knight and the Thing. Unwilling to raise her children near the dangers Deathlok attracted, Tracy took them west, not telling Michael where they had moved. Nick soon contacted his father, but out of respect for Tracy, Michael remained far from his family.

Collins broke into Stark International to destroy Cybertek data they had purchased, and then aided Morbius against Brian DeWolf, AKA Wraith. The dimension-traveling Timestream gathered the Demolisher (formerly Deathlok the Demolisher) and transformed Earth-616’s Luther Manning (the counterpart of the man who had become Deathlok the Demolisher) into a Deathlok, time-traveling in an attempt to alter reality. Godwulf, an ally of Deathlok the Demolisher, also traveled back in time and recruited Collins and Siege to oppose them. The Time Variance Authority (TVA)’s Justice Peace joined them to set reality right, and when Manning-616 learned the truth about Timestream’s plans, he killed himself rather than remain under Timestream’s control, his cyborg parts fading in death. Time was set right and Timestream was defeated by Godwulf’s team.

Without his family, Collins became more proactive, invading the African country of Imaya to rescue activist Vincent Cetewayo, but leaving him when Cetewayo advocated armed rebellion. After briefly joining Anthony Ludgate Druid, AKA Doctor Druid’s Secret Defenders against the demon Slorioth the Omnivorous, Deathlok was hunted by Abner Jenkins, AKA Beetle, James Sanders, AKA Speed Demon, Morris Bench, AKA Hydro-Man, Elaine Coll, AKA Scorpia, and Mainframe, who had all been hired by Silvermane to arrange the downloading of Silvermane’s consciousness into Deathlok. Aided by Spider-Man and Daredevil, Collins regained control of Deathlok (deleting Silvermane’s consciousness), though a nuclear near-meltdown almost destroyed New York City in the process. Following this near-disaster, Collins was abducted as part of the Stranger’s Battleworld experiment, remaining there for years in exchange for sending his former teammates home. While there he gained the ability to return to human form at will. He returned to Earth years later with a new group of superhumans. Apparently cured (fully human) since, Collins later joined the Fantastic Four in investigating Gravity’s resurrection.

Michael later helped S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Andrea Hope to learn more about Biotek’s operations. He then led a raid to capture the mercenary Neena Thurman, AKA Domino, for info about Biotek, and tracked down Henry Hayes, the new Deathlok. In catching up with Hayes, they fought until they both realized they were after the same thing: to take the organization down. They worked together to destroy Biotek’s facility, but those who controlled the Deathloks still existed and threatened Hayes’ daughter. S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill arranged to put Hayes’ daughter into protective custody, and asked Michael to work for Agent Hope, to which he agreed and made a deal with Hill to upgrade to his cybernetic tech.