May 31, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 826: Incredible Hulk #236, June 1979

https://www.comics.org/issue/33449/

The Hulk continues to beat the crap out of Machine Man in what is basically an issue-long battle that destroys a good portion of the suburb they're in and causes a minor earthquake in nearby Central City (where's the Flash when you need him?).

It's a decent battle comic though lacks a bit on the narrative front. What I found the most interesting about it is that this storyline is Machine Man's first appearance following the cancellation of his eponymous title penned and drawn by Jack Kirby. Which might also mean it's his first entrance into the Marvel Universe proper. Machine Man comes about in the last few issues of Kirby's 2001:A Space Odyssey (issues I didn't actually read when I blogged the comic for the project), and subsequently transitions into his own title. But both 2001 and Machine Man have very little connection to the Marvel U proper, until perhaps this comic. A bit of research turns up the fact that after this appearance, Machine Man's title is revived, without Kirby, and the character is subsumed fully into the Marvel U.

Machine Man offers an interesting bit of linkage in the Marvel U. He comes out of a series exploring the ramifications of Kubrick and Clarke's 2001, and thus brings with him into Marvel continuity the idea of the Monolith, which also become attached to both the Watchers and the Celestials. It's a little known or acknowledged bit of Marvel trivia, mainly given that the future(s) depicted in 2001 bear little resemblance to anything in Marvel continuity, but aspects of the film continue to crop up from time to time.

What does this have to do with the Hulk? Next to nothing, really. But Machine Man's appearance in this story arc is where this link becomes explicit, so I thought it was worth noting.

To be continued.

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