Machine Man was created by Jack Kirby. The android character originally appeared as “Mister Machine” in 2001: A Space Odyssey #8 (July 1977), a comic featuring concepts based on the eponymous Stanley Kubrick film and Arthur C. Clarke novel. Shortly thereafter, Machine Man spun off into his own Kirby-created series where Machine Man, whose real name is X-51, was the last of a series of sentient robots created by robotics expert Dr. Abel Stack for the US Army. However, all previous 50 experimental robots went mad as they achieved self-awareness and were driven psychotic, due to a lack of identity. X-51 was treated as a son by Stack given a human face mask as well as being exposed to one of the monoliths from 2001; and thus survived. After Stack died trying to protect him, X-51 assumed the human name Aaron Stack and escaped his confinement, only to be relentlessly pursued by the army. While on the run, the newly-christened Machine Man initiated contact with humanity in order to better understand it. (Top) illustration by Anthony Castrillo.