There are a number of Marvel comicbook characters that fans never would have predicted to star in major movies in the past. Characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor were all thought of as C-list superheroes before 2008. Now these comicbook icons are household names, including even the likes of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Groot! To quote Tony Stark, “What a world – universe, now.”
After 23 movies with more on the way, not to mention 8 Disney+ television series, the natural question to ask is: What new character is Marvel going to turn into a superstar next? Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers of all three Captain America movies, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, have their own idea on which obscure Marvel character should get the spotlight next.
While being interviewed by Shortlist about some of the new Marvel projects coming down the Disney+ pipeline, the duo was asked what Marvel characters they’d like to see get the big screen treatment. While many would assume the newly acquired X-Men or Fantastic Four franchises would be on everyone’s list, the two took a deeper album cut route. Markus said: “But what I want to see is the MCU version of a lot of things – how do you make a real movie about Machine Man? Can it be done?”
Machine Man!? Who or what is a Machine Man, you ask? Well, he’s Marvel’s version of Inspector Gadget, that’s who! Or maybe it’s the other way around? Machine Man first appeared in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8 and was created by none other than Jack “King” Kirby back in 1977. Machine Man, also called Z2P45-9-X-51, or X-51 for short, was the only survivor of his robot model not to go insane when brought online.
He was raised by his programmer, Dr. Abel Stack, until his death, which forced Machine Man to go on the run from the military. He took on the human name Aaron Stack and encountered a number of superheroes on his journey, becoming friends with major Marvel mainstays like the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and Alpha Flight.
In the superpowers department, Machine Man is basically a human swiss army knife. Not only does he possess superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes, and accuracy, he also has robotic telescoping arms and legs, anti-gravity disks on his feet, and a variety of weapons and gadgets hidden inside his adamantium casing.
With all the success Marvel Studios has had in recent years with the stranger characters in their library like Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Ant-Man, and even Goose the cat, Markus and McFeely seem to be on the right track here with Machine Man. Audiences have seen all the classic superheroes multiple times now, the more bizarre the concept and character, the more it will stand out. Bring on Marvel’s Machine Man!