Luther Manning enlisted in the army in the late 1970s and rose through the ranks to become a colonel. During war games in 1985, Manning was critically injured by the effects of a concussion mine. Manning's remains were salvaged by his superior officer Major Simon Ryker for use in Project: Alpha-Mech, a covert operation to create cyborg super soldiers. Manning's brain, nervous system and still living tissue were transplanted into a synthetic body in an operation performed by Major Ryker's brother Harlan Ryker, who for years had replaced his brother's missing limbs with synthetic parts, which were lost in an altercation with Doctor Doom.
After 5 years in stasis, Manning's body was reanimated as the cyborg Deathlok, so named because he was locked in a death-like state. Simon Ryker oversaw Deathlok's training and early missions, but the cyborg eventually rebelled against his programming as his human memories returned. Escaping Ryker's control Deathlok learned that he was legally dead and that his wife had since married his old friend Mike Travers. Despondent but incapable of suicide due to his internal programming, Deathlok sought to ruin his former master. Having become a cyborg himself after sustaining injuries, Ryker devoted himself to merging with the Omni-Computer which oversaw the city of New York (on Earth-7484), becoming the cyber space entity known as Savior Machine. However, Deathlok forced him out of the Omni-Computer, leaving Simon Ryker hopelessly incoherent from the rapid reversal he had suffered. The CIA tried to restore Deathlok to life by transferring his mind to a clone of Manning, but succeeded only in duplicating his memories in that body, leaving Deathlok essentially unchanged.
In the year 2011 of Earth-7484, Manning's computer had long since crashed and he would fight for his own survival. He would rename himself the Demolisher and be recruited by Timestream in exchange for having his past changed so that he never became Deathlok. Unknown to Manning was that Timestream was secretly a foreign monarch he had fought years prior. Timestream's plans threatened all existence, prompting the Time Variance Authority to send Godwulf to stop him. Timestream recruited the Luther Manning of Earth-616, and Godwulf recruited his own Deathloks in the form of Siege and Earth-616's Deathlok, Michael Collins. Eventually Manning of Earth-7484 learned the truth about Timestream, and worked together with Collins to destroy him. Unimpressed and disgusted with Godwulf, Deathlok-7484 stole one of his time gauntlets and traveled to Earth-616. In this reality he roamed the sewers of Manhattan in relative solitude.
He briefly worked with the Tunnel Dwellers society. He was ultimately involved in a struggle between Daredevil, Blackwulf, the Tunnel Dwellers, and Peacekeeper against Walter Jenkins Bushwacker, and the King of the Sewers. Following this battle, Manning left the scene to contemplate on his life, after refusing an offer from Blackwulf to join the Underground Legion.
At some point, Luther Manning was recruited by X-51 of Earth-9997 to become a member of his Heralds, a group of super-humans from alternate realities. He had gathered them to warn alternate realities of the danger of the Celestials who reproduced by impregnating worlds and manipulating the DNA of the planets dominant species into being unwilling antibodies. Each member of the Heralds was granted their fondest wish upon completion of their mission. As payment for his agreement to join the Heralds, Deathlok wished to become human again. He was teamed with Wolverine of Earth-811, Iron Man 2020 of Earth-8410, Bloodstorm of Earth-1298, Spider-Girl of Earth-1122, Killraven of Earth-691 and Hyperion of Earth-1121. The team was split into groups of two, with Deathlok joining Killraven. They traveled to Earth-1124, a world ruled by Satyrnin.
After fighting an army of Stayrnin's soldiers, the two heroes eventually surrendered and were taken to Satyrnin. Stayrnin was uninterested in the information the two had to provide, and was more interested in her attraction to Killraven. Killraven stayed behind while Deathlok (figuring he got a raw deal) would return back to Earth-9997.
Returning to Earth-9997, each member of the group having varying degrees of success, they arrived to find that the Watcher of Earth-9997 was being judged by his alternate reality counterparts. After a brief battle against the collective of Watchers (in which Killraven came to the rescue), they were beaten when X-51 had them all teleported to the surface of their own Earths, making them guilty of the same crimes that Watcher-9997 was guilty of.
After some time on Earth-9997, X-51 recovered a device that was used by Merlin to restore Captain Britain to life. He used the device to create a new body for Luther Manning based on a DNA sample. He then intended to transplant Manning's brain in this new body. If X-51 succeed in doing this remains to be revealed.
Further, it is unknown when and where Manning was plucked from reality and brought to Earth-9997. Figuring for the success of the brain transplant, it is possible that Manning's trip to Earth-9997 has yet to happen in his personal chronology. However, Manning was taken at a point prior to X-51 knowing how to travel to alternate realities without creating a divergent reality, so it is entirely possible that when X-51 took Manning from whatever he originated, he created a divergent reality in the process. However, at this present time the logistics pertaining to these events have yet to be explained.
Deathlok possesses several superhuman traits due to the synthetic and cybernetic augmentation of his body:
- Superhuman Strength: Deathlok's artificial musculature is considerably stronger than the musculature of an ordinary human. Coupled with his skeleton, most of which is composed of hydraulics and a durable, lightweight steel alloy, Deathlok possesses superhuman strength sufficient to lift about 10 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Deathlok is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Deathlok's artificial musculature generates less fatigue toxins than the musculature of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Deathlok's bodily tissue is somewhat more resistant to physical injury than an ordinary human. He is capable of withstanding great impact forces that would cripple or kill an ordinary human with only mild discomfort. Due to most of his skeletal system being replaced with hydraulics and steel, his bones are far more resistant to fractures and breakage than an ordinary human's.
- Superhuman Agility: Deathlok's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are about 5 times that of the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Deathlok's reflexes are enhanced to levels that are about 20 times faster than that of an ordinary human due to artificial response and analysis reflexes.
- Computer Thought: Deathlok's brain now functions like that of a computer so his augmented brain now is integrated to the point that volition is often the result of computer heuristic algorithms rather then conscious free will thinking.
- Deathlok is a great strategist and a formidable hand to hand combatant.
Body consists of a bionic cybernetic structure.
Deathlok has a variety of weapons including a 150 watt/second helium-neon laser pistol and a 9 inch throwing dagger which can be magnetically attached to calf when not in use.
- Deathlok was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
- 49 appearance(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 8 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 8 minor appearance(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 9 mention(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 3 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 38 image(s) of Luther Manning (Earth-7484)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Luther Manning (Earth-7484)