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October 15, 2017

Character Spotlight: Deathlok (Pt 2)

There’s a lot of undead cyborgs going by Deathlok in the Marvel universe. We’ve covered Luther Manning but what of the potpourri of half-machine, half-dead characters. Who are these people who were maybe once alive and now trapped in bodies that shadowy scientists make? Let’s find out!

John Kelly was the first Deathlok to be created in the 616 dimension, this was due to Harlan Ryker studying Luther Manning’s tech when he traveled across dimensions. Kelly was used to be a government soldier and perhaps as a way of stopping him from gaining back his mind like Manning, John Kelly’s brain was scooped out so that the Deathlok body could be reused.

Michael Collins was an engineer who thought his work was going towards helping those who either never had or were missing limbs. Sadly, this was actually being used for the Deathlok body and when Michael discovered this, he was next on the slab for a brain transplant. Now the new Deathlok, Michael would break out of his programming while on a mission that would have had him kill a child in the process. Now free, Michael repeated alternate dimension history and began to fight back against the government who had created him. He’d learn that his old body was still out there somewhere and spends most of his time trying to find it, though, saving the world and helping others will take precedent for him.

Other Deathloks would be built to help fight noble efforts like beating Red Skull to death. This was the case for S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Jack Truman. He needed the power to stop the Red Skull and when the fight was done was able to use telepathy to switch himself out with the mind of fellow agent Larry Young. Deathlok is becoming more of a title with a really shady background. The shady background popped into the foreground when S.H.I.E.L.D. became the villain-lead H.A.M.M.E.R. and an army of Deathloks were to be used as zombie soldiers to fight against hero and villain alike but they ended up too much like a zombie from movies and wanted nothing but brains.

Since time and dimensional travel is part and parcel for Deathloks, it was to no surprise that when X-Man, Wolverine, went into an alternate future and found a Deathlok, Deathlok Prime, who had gained back his mind while the rest of the world had all superheroes turned into Deathloks. Wolverine found him to be a useful asset and good person so rescued him from his own lost time to the present day. He’s a guest professor at Wolverine’s school, The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. He was very laid back for someone who had lived in a nightmare timeline but knew kids had a lot to learn.

It what may be the second most unnerving Deathlok agent, Henry Hayes was working with Doctors Without Borders when he was injured to the point where he’d lost his leg. The company Biotek took him in to give him a prosthetic but he was then brainwashed and amplified to become a Deathlok sleeper agent. He’d be used all over the globe and then have his memory wiped of his murderous actions and sent back home to continue living his normal life with his family. Eventually a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had learned of Henry’s plight tried to bring him to S.H.I.E.L.D. to rescue him. Sadly, Henry had eyes on him from those who used him, he was activated and killed the agent before he could be rescued and then had his memory wiped to go back to his life until he was needed next.

There you have it folks! Many unfortunate souls have had the Deathlok name bound to them over the years. You’ll notice I mention Henry Hayes as being probably the second most unnerving Deathlok. That’s because we’ll cover the most disturbing as our next look at Deathlok, or should I say, Deathlocket. The Deathlok who has appeared in the MCU television series is another Deathlok in the line but I don’t want to spoil the show for you if you’re watching. See you next time!

Suggested Reading
Marvel Comics Presents #62
Wolverine: Weapon X #11
Original Sins #1

Dr. Bustos


One Comment

  1. Klue

    I only knew about Collins and Manning aside from the one that showed up in AoS! Thanks!

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