ASTONISHING TALES #28-36 (1975-1976) and MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #33 (1977)

Yes, I’m cheating.  A single post spanning three years.  But these are just awful, awful comics.  I appreciate what Rich Buckler was trying to do, but this is pure design over substance.  Deathlok, like Ghost Rider, looks great-but there’s not much to do with him as a character.

He finishes out the Astonishing Tales run mostly fighting the military unit that created him and trying to return to being human again, and also meeting Godwulf.  He’s a tarzan-looking dude with a bow-and-arrow and is also cybernetically augmented, and who has the power to move through time.  At the end of the run, Deathlok disappears-and reappearsin Marvel Spotlight #33.

That’s where we get a decent Deathlok story for the first time.  In that comic, we see Deathlok was thrown back in time and landed in current Marvel continuity in the Earth 616.  He has a little adventure with a mystical action hero called Devil Slayer.  Slayer is a little like Cloak-he can wrap himself in his cape and transport to a pocket dimension.  Anyhow, they fight each other then team up to fight demons.

In the end, Deathlok starts to fade away again and we’re told he’ll reappear in Marvel Two-in-One #26.  Devil Slayer will later join up with The Defenders.

Hey, I said it was a decent comic.  Not a great one.

Creators: Astonishing Tales: Mostly Rich Buckler on everything, with occasional script help from Dough Moench.

Marvel Spotlight: David Anthony Kraft (writer) and Rich Buckler
First Appearances: Godwulf (AT#36) and Devil Slayer (MS#33)
Grade: Astonishing Tales: F
Marvel Spotlight: C-
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.

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