Dude doesn’t even have a nose, he’s just got this pair of sucking air holes where his nose should be. I know he’s going for this whole zombie-cyborg look, but I just find the whole thing disturbing and hard to look at. At the risk of sounding shallow, I have a tough time rooting for a hero with a nose that would make Michael Jackson flinch in horror.
That’s just me, though. I'm a superficial turd.
The Deathlok featured in this series is version 2.0 of the character. The original Seventies Deathlok was a cyborg from the frightening futuristic world of… 1985. That’s right, the mid-Eighties, a dysotopian future of mutants, flying cars, sliding sidewalks, Big Brother, and talking farm animals. In the Deathlok mini-series, writer Dwayne McDuffie updates the character a bit but keeps the core character concept and the freakish pig nose recognizable.
Anyway, the first issue is definitely the strongest both in terms of art and story. Things start to slide a little in the second issue and totally go to hell by the fourth and final chapter. The story loses focus and the art goes from decent to just OK to Jesus God what is that? The rotating squad of inkers doesn’t help matters. They make Deathlok look different every other page. His freakish snout is the only constant.
As the series progresses, the story gets as wacky as the art. Deathlok fights these giant robot ants that look like they were designed on a budget:
Hot dogs and giant ants notwithstanding, by the final issue things have gotten out of hand – as evidenced by Deathlok #4’s horrendous cover. Behold:
It looks like a 12-year old drew that cover. In the back of a bumpy school bus. With his left hand. And his eyes closed. I guess Deathlok was finally victorious over his true enemy, Editorial Quality Control. I mean, am I wrong, or is that an awful cover? Everything but the logo sucks ass.
The Deathlok mini-series was popular enough to launch an ongoing series that lasted a couple of dozen issues, if memory serves. It was OK, I guess. I can't say I remember it very well.
You know, I wish Marvel had riffed on the original concept a little more and had launched a whole family of cyborg titles, all tailored to very specific micro-markets. Imagine the possibilities…
Deathwok – Asian chef Martin Yan turns into a cybercuisine killing machine. This Iron Chef will serve your ass to you with a nice plum sauce!
Deathrok – Megadeath front man Dave Mustaine – part man, part machine, all metal. With his cyber powers he hunts down all those mean kids who made fun of him for playing D&D in high school. Incidentally, the Megadeath song “Psychotron” is loosely based on the Deathlok character. I can't decide whether that is cool or kind of sad. I'll go with "cool."
Deathjog – After running guru James Fixx ironically dies of a heart attack while jogging, a shadowy government agency merges his legs and respiratory system into the chassis of a killing machine to take on villains such as In-Line Hater and Shinsplint.