Appearing in "A Cold Knight's Frenzy"
- Deathlok (Luther Manning) (First appearance)
- Dr. Wilkins
- Nina Ferry (First appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "A Cold Knight's Frenzy"
In the near future, U.S. soldier Luther Manning is killed in action and his body is used as a subject for Project Alpha Mech headed by his commanding officer, Simon Ryker. Manning is transformed into a Deathlok cyborg with machinery replacing the destroyed left side of his face and missing right arm. The strategic part of his mind is preserved, but the cyborg is meant to be controlled solely by a computer programmed for perfect obedience. Manning's original personality gradually reasserts itself, however, causing Deathlok to disobey orders and ultimately break out of Ryker's facility and go AWOL.
Deathlok becomes a mercenary, seeking to earn enough to transfer his mind to a new human body. He takes an assassination job from mob boss Julian Biggs, taking out two men for reasons he doesn't care to delve into. However when Deathlok goes to collect his payment, Biggs only laughs at him. The Demolisher attacks, but Biggs turns out to be a cyborg as well controlled remotely by a vengeful Ryker. Ryker mocks Deathlok, promising that he will never realize his goal to regain his humanity. At that moment, Ryker's lover, Nina walks in on him and notices that he has made himself into a cyborg too, and Ryker coldly tells her that it's the last thing she will ever learn.
Appearing in "untitled"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "untitled"
Satirical story on the creation of Deathlok (2 pages).
- Concept and plot by Buckler, script by Moench.
- Inks: by Buckler, Janson (assist), Milgrom (assist), and Esposito (assist) (per text article in this issue, though only Buckler is listed in the credits).
- According to this issue, the war that devastates America of the near future begins in 1983. When Marvel comics eventually catch up to that date, the inciting incident is revealed in then-Earth-616 continuity in Captain America #287 - 289, and is thus prevented in that timeline.
- Though other dates aren't mentioned in this issue, the present-day setting of the story is eventually set as 1990, with Luther Manning's death occurring five years earlier.
- The narration boxes representing Deathlok's internal dialogue are split between Luther Manning's normal thoughts, the computer's cold analysis, and a mysterious third voice of manic and sadistic poetry. The third voice is originally implied to be a fusion of Manning's human passion and the computer's merciless killer programming, but in a couple issues it's instead revealed to be a bug implanted by Ryker and stops featuring in the duelling narration.
- First published George Perez Marvel art.
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- 2 Image(s) from Astonishing Tales Vol 1 25
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