“(Machine Man) was an important re-learning exercise for me. Herb was gracious to let me take it over the way I did. It was a necessary thing to do, though, to find my feet again.”Comics legend Barry Windsor-Smith, on his mid-’80s return to comics
(From Back Issue #25, December 2007)
Synopsis: Feed up, Machine Man takes the fight straight to Baintronics Inc. – and his old nemesis, Sunset “Madame Menace” Bain!
Writer (plot and script): Tom DeFalco
Writer (plot): Barry Windsor-Smith
Barry Windsor-Smith’s early ’70s work on Conan the Barbarian helped inaugurate the Bronze Age and made the artist a star. His return to comics on Machine Man unleashed him as an auteur. Smith joined the Tom DeFalco/Herb Trimpe project as embellisher and colorist to ease back into sequential storytelling; this fourth and final issue sees him handling full art duties and co-plotting, too. Despite an overly abrupt conclusion, this series finishes strongly. More importantly, this series rekindled Windsor-Smith’s passion for comics, and the creator would stick around to produce some excellent work throughout the ’80s and beyond.
Cool factor: Welcome back, BWS.
Not-so-cool factor: Herb Trimpe got a raw deal on this one.
Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition).
“I could easily kill you now, but I won’t … because I’m a better man than you are!”Machine Man, talking smack to Iron Man 2020
MACHINE MAN #4
Published and © by Marvel, January 1985
Cover by Barry Windsor-Smith