Deathlok #5 (2000)
Published By:
Marvel Comics

Writers: Joe Casey and Leonardo Manco
Colors: Mariana Sanzone Manco
Letters: Jonathan Babcock

Gems in the Bin is a weekly column where I select a comic book from the $.25 bin at Fanfare Sports and Entertainment in Kalamazoo, Michigan for review. Will I strike gold or will I pay too much for an awful comic that should have been shredded? This week has been busy for yours truly, so I have taken a review from a $.25 bin article I wrote in 2006 for a site dedicated to music, film, and literature titled Erasing Clouds.  My review was Deathlok #5 from Marvel Comics.

Making his first appearance in Astonishing Tales #25, Deathlok, a cyborg mercenary, is a cult favorite that has been reinvented numerous times. Sometimes a villain and sometimes a hero, Deathlok is one of those characters that appears on the Marvel radar from time to time only to disappear without a trace. For me, one of my earliest comic book memories was the Thing battling Deathlok in a Marvel Two-In-One series back in 1979, so perhaps my nostalgia influenced this selection from the $.25 bin at Fanfare Sports and Entertainment.

In this issue, we are introduced to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jack Truman, a superb solider and a victim of a terrible accident. In order to save his life, Truman undergoes a savage surgical procedure that transforms him into the most recent incarnation of Deathlok. During the procedure, Truman is visited by a vision of a half-man-half-elephant that torments him during this painful process. Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top agent, debates Truman’s transformation while dealing with the day-to-day operations of world espionage.

Included in this issue of Deathlok is a mini Spider-Man issue where our web-slinger must stop a friend from smoking marijuana. Not only does Spider-Man have to give the “Drugs are bad, Mmmkay” speech but he also has to battle Mysterio. This was an odd transition from a great Deathlok story to an ABC After School Special starring Spider-Man.

Writers Joe Casey and Leonardo Manco created an interesting storyline for this Deathlok series. Casey and Manco do not rush through the transformation of Truman to Deathlok; instead they go through the process and examine Truman’s descent into madness. Mariana Sanzone Manco’s sci-fi inspired artwork was superb.


TonyDoug Wright is the owner and head writer at Champion City Comics, a webcomics and comic book community, and is the owner of The Lost Soul of Rock and Roll, a weekday rock music blog. He is also a proud father and is married to the coolest and most beautiful girl on the planet.