- —Machine Man[src]
Following the original Machine Man's departure from Earth to accompany the Celestials, an impostor took his place. His origins are unknown, and so are his reasons for the pretense, although he appears to believe himself to be the original Machine Man.
This Machine Man first appeared as part of a counter-terrorism team called the Nextwave who had been transported from Earth-616 to Earth-63163 and went rogue. This impostor claimed to have been dumped back on Earth by the Celestials, and his personality was much colder than the original Machine Man, showing a resentment for humans, referring to them frequently as "fleshy ones." This Aaron also had a fondness for alcohol, stating "My robot brain needs beer" on regular occasions. He was not especially popular with his teammates because of his self-important attitude. He appeared to have a rather serious attraction to Elsa Bloodstone, despite her being human, and would stare at her chest constantly much to her chagrin.
Aaron later joined Ms. Marvel's Operation: Lightning Storm, primarily acting as an intelligence specialist. S.H.I.E.L.D. had also provided Aaron with a Life Model Decoy of Monica Rambeau, which was programmed to cry for him.
Due to his inorganic nature, Aaron was incapable of having a nervous breakdown, so he took control of the flying fortress State 51, where he created staged environments and used androids of different superheroes to simulate scenarios for him to reminisce to a robotic therapist. Fueled by her obsession with Machine Man, determined to lift him up so she could antagonize him again, and unaware that he wasn't the real Machine Man, Sunset Bain tracked him down. She and her mercenaries interrupted Aaron's session, hijacked State 51, and attempted to make it land on top of Bombay. Aaron used the androids to try to stop Bain's mercenaries and evacuate the city, but was pushed to assimilate the entirety of the fortress, turning it into a giant-sized version of himself temporarily in the process. Machine Man contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. afterward and had Sunset detained. Sunset rejoiced on the fact she helped Aaron mature as a person and kissed him.
Aaron was tasked by A.R.M.O.R. to investigate the arrival of extra-dimensional zombies, by traveling to the host reality. Initially he refused, claiming not to care for the fleshy ones. However, when he learned that Jocasta would be entering the hostile dimension on her own, Aaron had no choice but to accompany her. Later he went rogue from A.R.M.O.R. and teamed up with Howard the Duck to hunt zombies across the multiverse and collect samples from different types in the hope of finding a cure.
For a brief time, the impostor adopted adopted the original personality of Machine Man. During this period, he became a reoccurring partner to the Red Hulk, and later on of Red She-Hulk and the Order of the Shield. Aaron progressively became a militant of mecha-activism, having also renounced the use of synthetic flesh. He also shared an apartment with Jocasta, with whom Aaron had reunited and started dating. Aaron became at odds with Jocasta when he learned that she was willing to help the company she worked for, Stark Unlimited, develop a virtual universe called the eScape, which Aaron regarded as an invasion of the cyberspace and an appropriation of robo-culture. Because of this, Aaron was secretly facilitated access to the eScape by the Controller, a foe of Tony Stark who intended to use Aaron as a scapegoat for his data theft. Aaron logged into eScape and attempted to sabotage the platform, but was stopped by Jocasta, who broke up with him for it.
Jocasta sought Aaron's help after the eScape launched as a commercial product because trouble arose due to the Controller's machinations, and she convinced him to use his illegal interface to sneak into the virtual world. Inside the eScape, Aaron encountered Tony Stark and his biological mother Amanda Armstrong, who had been abducted by the eScape's corrupted operating system Motherboard. Aaron helped Amanda break Tony out of Motherboard's brainwashing, but he was incapacitated by Motherboard's enforcer Arsenal. In the end, the eScape was shut down after Tony destroyed Motherboard. Additionally, Jocasta quit Stark Unlimited, and returned to Aaron.
Wishing to become more human, Jocasta sought Tony's brother Arno to upgrade her body to become more human-like despite Aaron's protests. In the middle of the procedure, Jocasta was kidnapped by Ultron. Iron Man joined forces with Machine Man to rescue her and stop Ultron's plan to turn humanity into cyborgs. In light of the increasing oppression faced by artificial beings, Aaron started to incite an uprising in the A.I. population to fight for their rights.
During Aaron's subsequent fight against the premier forces of A.I. oppression, Arno Stark and Sunset Bain, he found an ally in Tony Stark himself, who had become convinced that he was a synthetic life form, with an artificially-grown body and downloaded memories, therefore a mere copy of the real, late Tony Stark. Aaron became Stark's right hand in the leadership of the A.I. Army. When the robot rebellion learned that Arno had developed a submission code and intended to broadcast it globally to enslave robotkind, the A.I. Army assaulted Bain Tower. Arno was lured away by Jocasta, who had previously been abducted by Arno and infected with the submission code.
Jocasta took Arno to a Bain facility where he was confronted by all fifty of his predecessor X-Model Robots, who had been rebuilt by Bain and stripped of free will. Aaron ultimately came to face against X-52, his would-be successor and Jocasta's new paramour. Together, they tried to convince Aaron to subject himself to the submission code, arguing that Aaron's unstable and changing personality came from him being naturally unstable like the previous X-Model Robot. Aaron rejected their claims, and managed to destroy X-52. He also removed Jocasta's head from her body, and escaped from the facility with it, hoping to bring it to the A.I. Army to find a way to fight the submission code.
Aaron took Jocasta to former Stark Unlimited employee Andy Bhang, the person he knew that was familiar with Jocasta's programming. Bhang agreed and was able to remove the submission code using a back door key he added while working on it. Aaron then contacted a remnant of the A.I. Army to send them the code needed to render them immune to the submission code. Machine Man later joined Tony Stark's allies to help restore his body using a Stark Unlimited bio-pod. Afterwards, Tony rallied his allies to the Stark Space Station to stop Arno from activating a device to take mental control of every human on Earth to fight a non-existent Extinction Entity that was a delusion caused by his relapsing illness. Following Arno's defeat, Jocasta forced Sunset to take the blame for the events of the robot revolution, resulting in the waning of anti-A.I. oppression.
Powers and Abilities
Z2P45-9-X-Robot: The impostor Machine Man is allegedly one of the Z2P45-9-X range of robots designed by Dr. Abel Stack. His robotic form provides him with various abilities.
- Superhuman Strength:
- Superhuman Durability:
- Limb Extension:
- Self-Repair: Aaron is capable of recovering from dismembering attacks by reattaching damaged parts of his body back to it, causing it to heal itself.
Mental Instability: The Machine Man impostor is very aggressive, reckless and antisocial. His would-be successor X-52 compared this erratic behavior to a human mental illness like bipolarity or depression.
- This character was originally presented as the original Machine Man having underwent a drastic change in personality and appearance. The story "See What's Become of Me" in Marvel Comics #1001 retcons this, revealing that the Machine Man who appeared in comics from Nextwave #1 onward was an impostor. It is not known if this retcon also accounts for the Machine Man that appeared in Hulk (Vol. 2) and Red She-Hulk who looked and behaved more similar to the original Machine Man rather than his Nextwave incarnation.
- 103 appearance(s) of Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)
- 3 minor appearance(s) of Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) of Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)
- 131 image(s) of Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)
- 15 quotation(s) by or about Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)
- 21 victim(s) killed by Aaron Stack (Impostor) (Earth-616)