Appearing in "The Monster and the Machine"
- 🢐 Trish Star 🢒
- 🢐 Machine Man (Aaron Stack) 🢒
- 🢐 Fred Sloan 🢒
- 🢐 Peter Spaulding 🢒
- 🢐 Colonel Kragg 🢒
- 🢐 Tracy Warner
- 🢐 Senator Miles Brickman 🢒
- Fantastic Four (Photo)
- Senator Stivak (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Monster and the Machine"
The Hulk has been tricked by the Corporation into thinking that Machine Man had kidnapped his friend Trish Starr. Told to go to Central City, the Hulk and his ally Fred Sloan go there the fastest way the Hulk knows: by giant leaps. The experience really frightens Fred, but the Hulk assures him that he won't let Sloan get hurt. When they stop to consult Fred's map, they are unaware that they are being watched by a Forest Ranger who is in the back pocket of the Corporation. This is reported back to Curtiss Jackson who is pleased. His prisoner, Trish Starr, asks Jackson why he is doing this. Jackson explains that he intends to trick the Hulk into fighting Machine Man in the hopes that one or both of his foes are destroyed, as they have interfered with the Corporation in the past.
Meanwhile, in Central City, Machine Men is completing repairs on his body when he is visited by his allies Dr. Peter Spaulding and Colonel Kragg. After the repairs are done, Machine Man is told that Congressman Brickman has called Machine Man back so they can complete the hearings that will potentially give Machine Man the same rights as a living being. In the courtroom they are joined by reporter Tracy Warner who tells them that the trial is being sped up due to the death of Senator Stivak the day before. Soon court is in session and Congressman Brickman informs the court that he is required in Washington D.C. for an indefinite period of time, the then tells Machine Man that he will be remanded into the custody of Dr. Spaulding until such a time that X-51's case can be re-examined. Although Machine Man's allies celebrate this victory, the robot points out that the case can be re-opened at any time. At the same time, Brickman's colleagues congratulate him for a job well done, pointing out that he didn't need to "crucify" Machine Man in order to get ahead in politics. When they remark about the shady business that Stivak was in before he died, Brickman assures them that he won't make the same mistake. Thinking to himself, Brickman plans to never get caught.
Later, the Hulk and Fred Sloan arrive at the home shared by Machine Man and Dr. Spalding, as instructed by the phony Machine Man that kidnapped Trish. Fred tells the Hulk that they shouldn't make too much noise yet and after poking around the house discover that it is apparently empty. Impatient, the Hulk forces open the door so they can look for Trish inside. They find no trace of the woman, but Fred finds a desk drawer full of guns. While not far away, a Corporation agent in a milk truck watches the scene and reports the arrival of the Hulk and then witnesses as Machine Man and Dr. Spaulding return home. Seeing that the door has been forced open, Machine Man tells Peter to stand back while he investigates. No sooner is X-51 inside the house is he knocked back outside by a powerful blow from the Hulk.
As the Hulk and Machine Man fight it out, Peter rushes into the house where he is confronted by Fred Sloan. Nervously, Sloan points one of the guns he found at Peter telling him that he will use it if he has to. Outside, the Hulk demands that the robot return Trish Starr. Machine Man, realizing that someone tricked the Hulk into attacking him, tries to explain to the brute that he has kidnapped nobody. However, the Hulk is so enraged he is not willing to listen, forcing Machine Man to stop pulling his punches. However, the Hulk proves too powerful and Machine Man is shattered to pieces. Thinking Machine Man is destroyed, the Hulk turns around and goes back into the house. This is all a ploy by X-51 who begins reassembling himself immediately after the Hulk turns his back on him. Realizing that the Hulk is out of control, Machine Man decides that he has to stop the Hulk once and for all, or die trying.
- The reason why Curtiss Jackson wishes to trick the Hulk and Machine Man into fighting is because the pair have meddled in the Corporation's plans as seen in Incredible Hulk #232 and Machine Man #8.
- The narrative of the story makes mention of the fact that the Fantastic Four originated from Central City, as originally seen in Fantastic Four #1.
- Machine Man is repairing damaged circuits that were affected by a sonic gun back in Machine Man #1.
- The death of Senator Stivak is mentioned here, he was killed in Incredible Hulk #232.
- Machine Man mentions that Peter's hous is a mess since the last time he was over. He is referring to the events of Machine Man #7 when Peter Spaulding was kidnapped from his home by the Corporation, leaving the place a mess.