Machine Man # 5

Machine Man # 5 (Aug 1978) is one of the only new (non-reprint) Jack Kirby comics I remember buying as a kid from the local 7-11 — I’d just turned 11-years-old, so this came out right around the time I first started buying comic books with money I made doing yard work.

Machine Man # 1 was probably the first new  Kirby comic I ever recall buying off of a spinner rack (because it was a first issue and I guess I thought one day it might be valuable), so I bet I picked up Machine Man # 5 because it was one of the few times where I was able to get a book with the same title, so I could actually see some continuity. It was hard to get any titles with regularity where I lived, so impossible to get something like 2 issues of any book in a row. This cover was one of the only times Klaus Jansen inked Jack’s original pencils.

Here’s a rare text piece from Jack from this issue called “Would You Like a Machine to Fight Your Battles.” Too bad an editor like Lee or Infantino didn’t get Jack to add a text piece to every story so we could get some insight into how he approached his characters and stories.

Here’s a 4-panel sequence that encapsulates the conflict between man (or in this case woman) and machine, followed by some great examples of action artwork from the book. Inks by Mike Royer.