March 19, 2006

Machine Man #12 [1979]

Machine Man was a Jack Kirby creation, cancelled when he left Marvel in 1978. It was revived less than a year later, this time with newly returned to Marvel Steve Ditko drawing and Marv Wolfman writing.

I'm looking forward to reading and re-reading these. A few of them were among my earliest Ditko back issue buys, but I only recently got the last few (they were absurdly expensive in one of those odd comic book marketplace things where books become "hot" for a guest appearance that no one cares about a year later (Jack O'Lantern?), but the price never goes down).

"Where Walk The Gods" is a 17-page story, starting with Machine Man patrolling the streets of New York at night, and getting increasingly disenchanted with humanity. For no well explained reason, his frustrated electrical discharge ends up instantly hyper-evolving five humans, who appear just as Machine Man is about to kill a criminal who shot a young boy's father. A rather odd dialogue on ethics ensues, as the cosmic beings debate whether Machine Man will prevent humanity from reaching its destiny. One amusing anti-Ditko note, when the young boy pleads on MM's behalf he also says of the shooter "there's gotta be a way to help him without hurting him". Oh, Mr. A would be so disappointed...

Actually kind of some ambitious, if unsuccessfully done, ideas in here for a mainstream comic about a robot from 1979. Maybe if there had been a fuller explanation of what exactly happened, or a follow-up of some sort.

Pretty standard Ditko art from the era. Solid, but nothing too eye-opening. In some ways his Machine Man is a bit too visually restrained at times.

Ditko also draws the cover.

"Where Walk The Gods" LG718

1 comment:

  1. I bought the whole run of Machine Man in a local (San Diego) comics shop for a couple of bucks!