With Mark 1 (Tony Stark) leading the charge inside Baintronics tower Aaron Stack was supposed to be the back up plan for the A.I. revolution. He was supposed to wait outside and shoot a rocket into the communications center at the top of the tower. Making it more difficult for Sunset Bain and Arno Stark to send out a signal that will make all A.I.’s fall under the control of Arno. (Considering this company seemed to have built this tower in a week I don’t imagine that a rocket into their satellite dish will buy them much time.) Arno having thought of everything sent Jocasta out and away from the Tower as a way to distract Aaron Stack, and Aaron thinking with his little nuts and bolt instead of his big nuts and bolt took the bait hook line and lead free sinker.
We pick up where left off with Machine Man latching onto Jocasta’s rocket bike as she flies by him. Machine Man is professing his love for Jo begging her to remember their time together. Jo is having none of it. She eye beam blasts Aaron off her bike and then dips into a secret entrance .
Aaron having seen where she has gone goes to continue pursuit but is stopped by himself? A lesser version of himself actually. X-22 model compared to the X-51 model that Aaron Stack is, X-22 has no chance in a one on one fight. Aaron just has to many bells and whistles. He does struggle for a moment just because of the pure shock of there being another X model “alive” and working.
Aaron is supposed to be the only surviving model of X androids. All other 50 went insane when it came to achieving sentience. They needed to have purpose and love to become a real boy and with Aaron he was given that, making him the only one. (There can be only one!) Until now, and even that guy has his head gasket blown all over the ground in front of Machine Man now.
Now that Aaron was forced to committed fratricide, Aaron reengages pursuit with a little more fervor. He rips open the hidden hatch and jumps down. Where he is immediately swarmed with the other 49 X models!
With a pre-recorded holographic image Arno Stark breaks the bad news to Aaron. Sunset Bain was able to purchase the scraps leftover from the project that spawned Machine Man and with Jocasta’s help they were able to reproduce the X line, But without all the pesky emotions that lead to their destruction in the first place.
Fighting hard for his lost love but facing over whelming numbers Aaron has to think quick. Using the little intel he was given by Arno in his shade throwing message Aaron is able to deduce that these X models must have an emotion suppressor in the build in order for it to work. Once he finds the thing he is able to turn all The X models Emo and left on their own they will probably take their own lives in horrifying fashion.
Finally, Aaron makes it to Jocasta and with no more X’s in the way he is finally free to claim his prize. Wrong! Aaron Stack is now the X and we will have to see how he stacks up to the New 2020 Model.
This was a fun little story. It is basically a chase sequence with a cliffhanger, but it does give you a lot of information that you may not have known about Machine Man. It’s just odd that Machine Man has been in the Iron Man story Dan Slott has been telling for 21 issues and this is the first time you really get any information about the characters back history. And I hate saying this but you actually will be better served to read Machine Man’s wikipedia to get a little more depth to this story. It’s a pretty short page. It gives you a little insight on this whole Arno, 2020, Machine Man, Sunset Bain, Iron Man thing. Machine Man II (1984) Written by Tom DeFalco with art by Herb Trimpe & Barry Windsor-Smith.
Speaking of Tom DeFalco, we are not done yet, because we have a back up story about the Midnight Wreckers and I really couldn’t get into it. They seem to be a low rent Damage Control/Dumpster Divers. I looked them up on the inter-webs they were mainly in the Machine Man II by DeFalco and it seemed their back history is longer and more boring than this last story.
This is made for Machine Man fanatics! Only problem is I don’t know any. I’m not a hater either. One of my first comics was Iron Man Annual #11 a Machine Man appearance and I read it till the cover fell off and then bought it again. I like the guy he even has my first name. I just think the over all 2020 concept is being a little forcefully spoon feed to us as an insider deep dive and no one is handing out any cliff notes. I think someone should have announced, “You need to read Machine Man II from 1984 to catch all the call backs.” I did have a bit of fun from the first story and from the subsequent research, also the art was fun and playful. Now if you will excuse me I have some Machine Man II to read
7.5 / 10