Marvel Legends
Odin Series: Machine Man Review

“They made him in their own image! Then they condemned him to death for being too human! Hunted! Hounded! He fights to survive in a hostile world!”

That was the copy on the cover of Machine Man’s first issue, though that wasn’t his first appearance. Machine Man actually hails from a 2001: A Space Odyssey comic book adaptation. First, yes, Marvel did a 2001: A Space Odyssey comic written & drawn by the great Jack Kirby. It lasted ten issues. Second, I use the word adaptation loosely, because, as you may or may not recall, Machine Man didn’t appear anywhere in the nineteen-hour long film.

In the book, the government has created a line of highly intelligent robots that develop sentience. The problem? Well, they kinda turn psychotic when it happens. At least the first 50 of them did. The 51st, X-51, was taken home by the lead engineer and raised as his own son. The idea being that sentience slowly gained wouldn’t cause the mental break. He was right! Then he died and X-51 had to go on the run first as Machine Man in the final three issues of the 2001 series and then as Machine Man in his own 9-issue run.

I haven’t read the entirety of Kirby’s 2001 series – you just don’t run across it that often, but from what I have read it was… not his best work. The problem is just that the Clark-verse, the Kubrick-verse, and the Kirby-verse just don’t mesh really mesh up all that well. Clark & Kubrick kinda leave the fantastic to the imagination. Kirby bleeds the fantastic out on to the page. So the series more or less spirals out of control from the film and ends up in a weird place: adding a new character to the mainstream Marvel universe.

I’m not exactly sure how Machine Man makes the transition from the 21st century into contemporary 70s Marvel comics when he gets his own series, but he does and then he worms his way into my heart. I mean, we’re going to get a million Thors & Batmans, maybe a couple shots at Scarlet Witch & Green Arrow, but I love when a toy list can go C-list. Hell, C-list is generous here. Machine Man is a little more notable now, Earth-X did wonders for him and his awful (but acclaimed!) portrayal in Nextwave probably didn’t hurt, but these are the characters I love to get in toy form.

And it’s even better when they’re pretty great toys at that! Machine Man is a pretty easy release for Hasbro. He shares packaging with the Sentry and requires almost no new parts. He may or may not have new hands I’m not sure, but the main sculpt work here is just the belt and the head sculpt.

And all that reuse works because this is the newer ML body that has fast become one of my favorites. The constant reuse of the same buck doesn’t bother me if it’s a good buck and that applies here. I think the only two nitpicks I have on this one is that the feet seem a little too small and that there is a little bit of teetering where the legs meet the lower torso. It can be tricky to pose in some instances as the figure’s shifting has to be accounted for before you let it go. I’ve had this happen on nearly all the versions of this buck, so it’s just a weird quirk.

And the new pieces are great. The belt is pretty simple, so I can’t really gush on that one, but I can on the head sculpt. It does this great job of not being artist-specific while being undeniably Kirby. Doesn’t make sense? I know, but the head looks fantastic! Great representation of the character. Continue to Page 2…

14 thoughts on “Marvel Legends
Odin Series: Machine Man Review

  1. I found this while double checking what I remembered about Machine Man! It’s a detailed schematic. I wish they still made cool stuff like this!

    1. “Stark Anti-Gravity Unit?”


      1. And I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the right side of the chart:




  2. I thought I was the only one trying to pass off the Destroyer arm as Odin’s! I really liked this series, but I really didn’t want Sentry, so no Odin arms for me.
    Great review as always. Machine Man is hands down my favorite figure from this wave, possibly my favorite Marvel Legend period. I really dig that metallic purple!

  3. I saw one about a week ago, along with a couple more Hawkeyes. my financial drought will be over and I’m gonna go kaRAZY catching up the last few waves of several lines. and hoping to make it to KC in a few weeks? (checks direct deposit. AGAIN.)

    I’ve seen a few people pop the lower legs open and insert extra extensions, and many are already nicknaming him “Inspector Gadget” because of how he looks like that. For his NextWave look, you need an Ultimate Octopus (the Ock with the squeezy-water pump backpack arms) head and any of the many, MANY, many coats and sleeved arms to replace the ones included. Someone even reworked Rocket’s BFG into a robotic hand for his MM, too.

    Not much else we can say than “cool Z-list character translation”. Some more well known have had their one() shots ruined, and several “headliners” still don’t have a generally accepted figure.

    Meanwhile, I’m plotting which figure can be easily translated into Hellfire Guard? X-51 here is pretty basic to do it, just need the mask (Casey Jones?).

  4. Is the “deep pose and punching back over his shoulder behind him” in the last pic? That one looks pretty awesome. If that’s still not the awesome pose that you described, can you post it to FB or Twitter?

  5. Still need to pop on Machine Man but slowly buying this wave to make Odin. Sentry and Hawkeye so far. Have to get the rest then get extras but I blame MZ3 for how plan to display Machine Man. Zombie Fighter Machine Man.


    Ok, see, I read this in the morning before I started the day of doing things for mom ™, and I mentally roughed out my typical “Oh, I forgot this was even coming out but so what I’ll never find one damn scalpers rabble mumble” kind of reply, but what should happen as we hit the hypermarket for Dr. Pepper and a refill of my medications?

    Machine Man. Sitting on a peghook. mocking me. Well he picked the wrong day to mock ME as I actually had an extra $20 in my pocket! HAH! Machine Man you are MINE.

    He, Kamandi and OMAC are gonna have ice cream later.

    Ohhh, wait, do I have a ‘gray market’ figure? The box is multilingual. Says Hasbro Canada. Whatevs. mine now. 🙂

  7. AAAWWW MAN, now I need a pane of glass to break! STOP IT MAN! I’m gona hurt myself trying to recreate a picture like that!

  8. I’m a DC guy, but I bought Machine Man and Scarlet Witch, because both are pretty great pieces. Always good to have more pure Kirby on the toy shelf. And I didn’t realize the extensions were bendable! Thanks for helping me like ‘im even more.

  9. No Sentry for me, my Odin rocks the Destroyer arm, too! Looks badass. I know diddly about Machine Man, but he’s probably my favorite in the wave. His colors pop and he has a very cool sci-fi look.

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