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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced a lot of colorful characters over the years, but there are still plenty of characters from Marvel’s deep library that still haven’t had their time to shine in this franchise yet. Naturally folks like the X-Men and Fantastic Four immediately come to mind when thinking on this topic, but if you ask Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, they’re keen on a more obscure character making his MCU debut: Machine Man. As Markus put it:
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?
Christopher Markus brought up Machine Man while telling Shortlist about some of the upcoming MCU projects he and Stephen McFeely are interested in, like the Moon Knight Disney+ series and the X-Men finally having “entered the fray.” But even Markus and McFeely, who’ve written five MCU installments, have trouble envisioning whether or not Machine Man can work in this continually-expanding universe, but they’d like to see it happen.
For those unfamiliar with Machine Man, he was created by comic book legend Jack Kirby, who co-created some of Marvel’s most popular characters and also left his mark on DC Comics with characters like The New Gods. The character was originally known as Mister Machine and debuted in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8, Marvel’s comic book adaptation that expanded upon the story of Stanley Kubrick’s beloved 1968 film.
Within the Marvel universe, Machine Man, a.k.a. Z2P45-9-X-51, was the only survivor in a series of robots created for the U.S. Army, as the 50 previous robots all became insane when they achieved sentience. Machine Man was raised by his chief programmer, Dr. Abel Stack, like a son, but when Dr. Stack was killed trying to protect him, Machine Man was forced to go on the run. He also took the name Aaron Stack to honor his father.
Machine Man has interacted with most of the Marvel universe’s major players, and has served on or worked with teams/groups like the Avengers. S.H.I.E.L.D., Nextwave and A.R.M.O.R. His powers include superhuman strength, telescoping arms and legs, flying via anti-gravity disks and having various tools and weapons installed within his body. That last one is reminiscent of Inspector Gadget.
In a world where a wise-cracking raccoon and a sentient tree of few words can operate within a superhero movie universe and become incredibly popular characters, one would think it wouldn’t be much more difficult to throw Machine Man into the mix. Even if he’s not popular enough to lead a movie, I could envision him serving as a supporting character, or even leading his own Disney+ series later down the line.
Plus, we saw how Thor: Ragnarok was visually inspired by Jack Kirby’s work, and the New Gods movie, which Ava DuVernay is directing and co-writing with Tom King, is also aiming to include Kirby’s sensibilities. So while it’s doubtful Machine Man is high up on Marvel Studios’ list of characters to bring in, don’t discount the possibility that he could not only be featured, but also be quite faithful to the source material.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates concerning the MCU. You can learn what’s the franchise has coming down the pipeline in our handy guide.