Marvel Two-in-One #93: And One Shall Die..!

Writer: Tom DeFalco
Penciller: Ron Wilson
Inker: D. Hands
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Guest Star:
      Machine Man

The Villain:

Guest Shots:
      Jocasta; Gears Garvin; Peter Spaulding

The Set Up:
      Ben is under Ultron's control, and is on the verge of destroying a crippled Machine Man. Machine Man manages to distract the Thing, momentarily stun Ultron, and grab Jocasta and flee on Ben's jet scooter. MM retreats to his friend Gears Garvin's garage, where some unorthodox (and iffy) repairs are done.
     Ultron reasserts his hold on the Thing, and with Ben's help sets about creating an army of adamantium Ultrons. Back at the garage, Jocasta and Machine Man have a nearly romantic moment, but it can't last. The two of them, with Gears Garvin in tow, head back to try to find and stop Ultron. Using Jocasta's abilities, its easy to find them, but Ultron is very aware of their presence. He immediately separates them into two groups, and while Machine Man and Gears face some death, Jocasta and Ultron have a final face-off at which Ultron tries to reconcile with Jocasta and bring her back to his side...

Clobberin' Time?:
      Page 27, Panel 1. The Thing has been released from Ultron's mind control at last, and is a little peeved. "You've been playin' us all fer patsies-- an' I've had enough! It's Clobberin' Time!"

Petunia's Patch:
      No Petunia. There's barely even any Ben in this issue!

Things of Interest:
      This is the second part of a two-part story that began last issue.
     This is more a Machine Man story than a Bashful Benjy story. Ben is under Ultron's control from before the start of the issue until the last few pages. Still and all, it works very well as a Machine Man story.
     Machine Man has a rare claim to fame in the Marvel Universe- his first appearance was (presumably) outside the Marvel Universe! Machine Man first appeared in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8. He went on to get his own series, titled Machine Man. Here's another claim to fame for you: Machine Man's series lasted actually 9 issues originally, the last issue being cover-dated December, 1978. Those nine issues were all drawn by Jack Kirby. Machine Man was picked up again in August of 1979, continuing on with issue 10 and lasting to issue 19. Those ten issues were all drawn by Steve Ditko.
     Machine Man has had another couple shots at solo status. He had a four-issue limited series in the 1980s (taking place in the future world of 2020), and got his own series again in the late 1990s, titled X-51. X-51 lasted only 12 issues.
     Machine Man's method of stopping Ultron is clever and believable. These three were completely outclassed by Ultron, and its nice to see them come up with an inventive way to stop him. Much better than Jocasta's method, anyway. :(
     I like the Jocasta - Machine Man relationship, and its very unfortunate that it has neither a time nor a place to develop. The Machine Man miniseries does pick up on it as a major plot thread of that book.