This past week’s Machine Man 2020 threw me a curveball with the backup story written by Tom DeFalco. I felt like the characters presented in the story meant more to the Machine Man mythos than I knew. I needed more information, so I searched the Marvel Unlimited App for Machine Man volume 2.
I am so glad I did. This issue gave me all the information and connection to the characters that I so desperately needed. It also gave me more of an understanding of the different vibes given off by the two stories presented in last week’s issue. Those different vibes frankly made the second story feel out of time with itself.
The Machine Man’s main story felt like a comic character that has been around for a while but has gone through a lot and is now written in a more modern way. The Midnight Wreckers story felt like a transplant from another era. And in this issue, we find out, in more ways than one, that this is the case.
We open September 23, 2020, in a Baintronics Incorporated storage warehouse facility. A massive automated robot wheels down the corridors. Its sole purpose is to trash anything in this warehouse that is obsolete.
It comes across this box marked Danger Priority Red. It is handwritten, and since that style of cataloging has been outdated for quite a while and upgraded to something more efficient, the robot deems this package obsolete. So, in the trash, it goes.
This is when we are introduced to the characters known as the Midnight Wreckers. They are more like Midnight Fixers. They go out at night and dumpster dive Baintronics disposal areas with the hope to find parts they can use to build robots to sell on the black market.
In this future, Sunset Bain has a monopoly on all androids and robots. She has a stranglehold on everything it seems. To the point, she has her own security/police force that she uses to hunt down members of the Midnight Wreckers.
Brain, Slick, Hassle, and Swift are the core members of this Midnight Wreckers crew. They have just stumbled upon the container marked Danger Priority Red. They have just enough time to scan the package for booby traps before the Baintronic security force descends upon them. With some sharp shooting and some furious fisticuffs, the Midnight Wreckers are able to get away with their booty.
Back at the Wreckers hideout, Brain makes quick work of putting Machine Man back together. With a jump start on his power cell, we are given our titular hero. Once he shakes the cobwebs out of his head, he is quickly able to give us the cliff notes to Kirby ‘s run on Machine Man.
Sunset Bain is informed about the accidental loss of the package. She sends out as many security personals as it takes to retrieve the package all the while she dreads the thought of its contents being released.
Back at Midnight Wreckers HQ, a C-28 Death-Dealer comes a knocking and I don’t think he has a hand full of Watchtower pamphlets to pass out.
Even though this was written 36 years ago, and about our present, I thought it read very well. The story was right to the point. There was a feeling that every bit of information given to you in the writing was vital to the story, which was refreshing. No superfluous wow moments, no overused splash pages, just straight-line story. The art is a thing of its time, it didn’t drag the story down at all in my mind, it added to the overall story. It had that early sci-fi imagination that always brings a smile to my face. This all leaves me very interested in continuing on reading, and hopefully gives me a deeper appreciation for the rest of the 2020 storyline going forward.