Colored by Sam Kato.


     Olivia, Jerry and Mr. Machine report the previous issue’s attack to the local sheriff, who remains skeptical.  Mr. Machine goes to stay with his new human friends as Mr. Hotline and Krige report the existence of the X-model to their leader, a suspiciously satanic-looking being called the Monitor, who demands the robot be captured so he can learn its secrets.

     Mr. Hotline and his men do just that, taking Mr. Machine from the home of his host family as a bomb-draped henchman remains behind to see that Mr. Machine complies, or it will mean the demise of his new friends.

     Once inside the lair of his mysterious captors, Mr. Machine’s limbs are detached from his torso and his head—still very active—is taken to the Monitor, who wants to know the secrets of the robot’s essence, which Mr. Machine takes to mean his soul.  As his head is violently probed by the Monitor’s technology, Mr. Machine orders his limbs by remote control to break free from their guards and come to him, which they do with the help of secreted weapons and a camera where his head is later reattached.

     Whole again, Mr. Machine discovers the satanic Monitor is actually a hologram projected by an ingenious super computer.  Using sub-sonic powers, Mr. Machine disarms the mad bomber holding his friends hostage.  He destroys the computer and vows to fight the evil that built the Monitor super computer so that all of mankind will have the right to think free.

     Here, the 2001 series belatedly ends with a promise of Mr. Machine’s further adventures in his own magazine, which ultimately ran from December 1978 to February 1980 for 19 issues.  Artist Barry Smith headed a four part mini-series titled Mr. Machine from October 1984 to January 1985, at which point the machine with a human soul ceased his adventures against the one force he could never overcome—a disinterested comic-buying public.

     While the Mr. Machine stories are not bad—the image of a maddened robot being held back by human captors as it demands to know who it is and why it was created is certainly a powerful way to open a sci fi comic book—they have nothing to do with the initial focus of the very magazine they are appearing in.  The Mr. Machine stories were pure marketing, fun and almost comically derivative, particularly in their almost embarrassing introductions of the superhero-struck Jerry and the green-masked Mr. Hotline, but they were not 2001.  If Marvel were to try again, Kirby left them a great springboard with issue seven.  It might be nice if they took the dive.