Because of the upcoming MU Iron Man 2020 figure (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus),
this week’s Longbox is focusing on the mini-series that featured his cog-shouldered debut.
In the ominous year 1984, Waaay before Warren Ellis turned Machine Man into Bender, the elite creative team of writer Tom Defalco, and artists Herb trimpe and Barry Windsor-Smith pumped out a 4 issue series detailing the exploits of Machine man in the year 2020. Which
is good because Iron Man 2019 doesn’t have the same ring to it at all. In 2021 he changed his name to “Larry.”
In the future, A group of junk-thieves called the Midnight Wreckers decide to stick it to one time
Machine man nemesis Sunset Bain by stealing her techno-junk. Keep in mind that there’s the standard group
stereotypes here: the smart one, the cocky one, the athletic one, so forth. But as the story moves along they’re infused with depth beyond that.
Some of the junk the thieves steal ends up being a deactivated, disassembled Machine man, that the Smart
one reassembles. Soon MM is reactivated and alive in a strange, unfamiliar future. Sunset Bain, old,
paranoid, and unhappy, thinks Machine Man will once again be a thorn in her aged side.
So she calls in this man, who loves to announce the current year:
Tell me he’s not awesome.
That was not an actual request!
Along the way, Machine Man is reunited with an old flame in a new form, and tries makes a place for himself in this new world, while avoiding destruction. Fun times!
The writing is breezy, simple and yet gripping enough to keep you moving along. The art is as to be expected with such heavyweight artists, excellent. Moody, layered, deep, hyper-detailed and carries a definite cyberpunk edge to it, before that term had really begun to catch on. You’ll see every gear and wire.
So overall, a fun comic that debuted an awesome, evil version of Iron Man. It’s available in singles and a collected Machine Man 2020 trade.