“Kill Me or Cure Me”
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Steve Ditko

Machine Man as Aaron Stack goes to his day job at Delmar Insurance. His first assignment is to investigate Alternative Resources Center. A big fire has broken out. In the research center the beautiful Dr. Violetta Todd is trying to make magnetically charged gas work as a source of clean energy. She has an accident and turns into a formless gas. Machine Man comes to rescue the workers and comes on Dr. Todd. She is despondent at her condition and wants to be killed. She gets angry at Machine Man who won’t kill her so takes off to find someone who will. She goes to the Baxter building hoping the Fantastic Four can help. The Thing and Human Torch are the only ones there and not really much into science.

Meanwhile Machine Man who was knocked out of the building is rescued by a mechanical genius named Gears Galvin. He fixes up Machine Man and rigs a wheel to replace his damaged feet. Machine Man goes to the Baxter Building and arrives just as Dr. Todd leaves. The Thing and Human Torch think Machine Man is there to also attack them. MM manages to kick both their butts and continue the chase. It ends at a meat store and the frozen locker stabilizes Dr. Todd so Machine Man can put her in a cryogenic chamber until Mr. Fantastic can come up with a cure.

A new writer for the series. I love this guy. He has such a way with words. Gears Galvin first says when he comes on MM, “Hey Man! I know you’re dead–but I hope you’re not.” What a thing to say. So we get a new character in this wonder mechanic who can be MM’s friend. We also get a guest appearance from two of the Fantastic Four thus solidifying MM’s place in the Marvel universe. I enjoyed this issue.

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