MIDNIGHT WRECKERS 2020

Membership: Ancient Wrecker, Bones, Brain, Hassle, Machine Man, Slick, Swift

Purpose: Providing so-called forbidden technology to the people the megacorps didn't want to have it.

Affiliations: Spider-Man of Earth-616;
     possibly Aliya of Earth-Aliya, and Cable (the version active on Earth-616)

Enemies: Sunset Bain, Baintronics, BroadaniIron Man (Arno Stark), and the Iron-Bots, Kang, Spider-Girl 2020, Stark-Fujikawa; megacorps (in general)
 

Base of Operations: Sanctuary, presumably formerly high above the Canadian North Woods (almost assuredly it relocated after being discovered by the Bainies);
    The four most prominent Wreckers (Brain, Hassle, Slick, and Swift) are based out of Manhattan, New York; they formerly used a condemned McDonald's restaurant as their base.

    Earth-8410

First Appearance: Machine Man II#1 (1984)

History: The Midnight Wreckers are a section of society who shun the corporate world that dominates the rest of modern society. Instead, they salvage any material they can get their hands on, in order to build lives for themselves. They were apparently formed by a man known as the Ancient Wrecker, and many of them dwell in--or are based out of--Sanctuary.

(Avengers III#42) - Kang mentioned the timelime of the Midnight Wreckers (who were shown in a cameo) as one of several dystopic futures that he could prevent, as part of his attempt at seizing political power over the whole Earth.

(Machine Man II#1) - A quartet of Midnight Wreckers--Brain, Hassle, Slick, and Swift--salvaged a priority red package from a Baintronics waste site. Escaping the Bainies (Baintronics security), they took the package back to their base, a condemned McDonald's restaurant. Brain rebuilt the contents of the package into Machine Man, who had been inert for nearly 40 years. The package's label had been left behind when the Wreckers fled, and Sunset Bain recognized its significance. Soon, a C-28 Death-Dealer had tracked Machine Man's energies to their base, and led a squad of Bainies to neutralize the Wreckers and their new ally. Working together, Machine Man and the Wreckers destroyed their attackers and fled their former base.

(Machine Man II#2) - The Wreckers were pursued by another squad of Bainies, but they escaped into the subway and met up with Broadani in Forest Hills, Queens, who was to provide them with safe transport out of town. Broadani betrayed them to the Bainies, but the Wreckers and Machine Man fought their way to freedom yet again--though Hassle was captured. The Wreckers left Hassle behind rather than risk being captured (though they had to incapacitate Machine Man to force him to leave her), and headed for Sanctuary--the only place they might be safe from the Bainies. However, as they approached where Sanctuary was rumored to be, they were caught in a trap and captured.
    Meanwhile, Hassle was tortured by Bain's agent, Dr. Cyclobe, but she refused to yield any info on the location of Sanctuary. After her first session, she escaped from a pair of guards, grabbed a skycycle, and headed to Sanctuary--little realizing that she had been "bugged" and was actually providing Sanctuary's location by traveling there.

(Machine Man II#3) - Machine Man and his allies were taken to guests quarters, where they were recognized as friendly by the Ancient Wrecker, who had been an ally of Machine Man in the distant past. There was a large party on Sanctuary that night, and Hassle arrived right in the middle of it. Her friends were delighted to see her, but the entire fortress was soon under assault by Iron Man 2020, who led a Stark Enterprises assault on them. Machine Man defeated Iron Man, and the Wreckers fought off the rest of their attackers, but Sanctuary was badly damaged and began to drop. Machine Man linked his systems to Sanctuary's core and stabilized it, but almost burnt himself out in the process.

(Machine Man II#4) - Wishing to end the attacks on him, Machine Man led his four new Wrecker allies to confront Sunset Bain herself, at Baintronics Central. The Wreckers tried to convince him that this was a bad idea, but he was not to be denied, so they followed him there. Machine Man just wanted to talk to Bain, but she unleashed the full force of her security against him, including Iron Man. After Machine Man forced Bain to cease attacks on himself or the Wreckers, he left with his new allies.
Does anyone know where we're headed?
East, my friend...
East--?! Why East?
Why not?

(Fantastic Four I#405 - BTS) - Just as Arno unleashed a blast at Machine Man, he was plucked from that Earth to Earth-616 by Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, "Where is Machine Man? The blast should have destroyed him! The metal monster was standing right in front of me moments ago!"
    Zarrko then transferred Iron Man back to 2020.

(Thor Corps#2) - Iron Man an his Ironbots fought Machine Man and the Midnight Wreckers. A time-traveling Thunderstrike briefly popped onto the scene, dodging blasts from the Ironbots and Iron Man, and then returning fire with an energy blast from his mace that sent Iron Man flying. Thunderstrike then vanished through another portal, pulled by Beta Ray Bill.

(Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three) - A time-traveling Spider-Man and Cable, as well as their ally, Aliya of Earth-Aliya had come to Earth 2020 in search of one of Kang's Time Platforms, which would lead them to Kang's fortress, so that they could stop his current plot. Iron Man had led a group of Iron-Bots to join forces with Spider-Girl, the heroine of that part of town. Upon confronting the time-displaced heroes, Iron Man had collapsed the roof one them, leaving them for dead.
    Machine Man and his four Wrecker allies found the buried heroes and rescued them. The Wreckers helped them find the Time Platform, and when Iron Man and his allies approached, they were convinced to avoid the fight--after a lengthy argument--by Cable. They left to fight another day.

(Paradise X: Heralds#1 - BTS) - Iron Man 2020 was brought to the Earth X moonbase of that timeline's X-51, where he revealed that he had murdered his reality's Machine Man.

COMMENTS: Created by Tom DeFalco and Herb Trimpe.

    Earth 2020 is a dimension common to a number of beings. It was first seen in Machine Man II#1, but it soon came to be seen to be temporary home of Death's Head (Freelance Peacekeeping Agent), the home of Dr. Evelyn Necker (and thus Death's Head (Minion) and his prequels, sequels, etc.), and presumably of Wild Thing (Nikki Doyle). Unlike Earth-616 and its sliding timescale, the world of Earth 2020 seems to be focused around the specific era of 2020 AD, with the heroic era (equivalent to the "Modern Era" on Earth-616) having occurred @ 40 years in the past. Essentially, events in the MU occurred as they did on Earth-616 up to the stories published in the mid-1980s. After that, it's up for debate.

The closest spin-off point one can see for Earth 2020 is Iron Man Annual#11. As pointed out by our own Luis Dantas, in that issue, Sunset Bain obtained the original Machine Man for repairs, and took advantage of the occasion to duplicate Aaron.  IIRC there were significative hints that the duplicate was in fact the 2020 version of Machine Man:

Chronology of Machine Man 2020

Courtesy of a VH1 site

"Formed in 1979 in New York City, USA, the Plasmatics were a theatrical hardcore band that incorporated into its performances such violent acts as blowing up Cadillacs and chainsawing guitars in half...."
http://www.plasmatics.com/

CLARIFICATIONS:

  • MIDNIGHT SONS of the Pre-Atlantean era - see Spirits of Vengeance --Midnight Sons Unlimited#4
  • MIDNIGHT SONS (Blade, John Blaze, Sam Buchanon, Frank Drake, Ghost Rider/Ketch, Louise Hastings, Hannibal King, Victoria Montesi, Morbius, Dr.Strange, Vengeance, Werewolf)--Ghost Rider III#28
  • WRECKING CREW (Wrecker (Garthwaite), Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball)
    - former inmates, received power when lightning bolt divided Wrecker's power among the four of them
    —Defenders I#17
  • other Midnight or Wreckers characters

The Ancient Wrecker is the future incarnation of:

  • GARVIN, "GEARS" - mechanic, ally of Machine Man--Machine Man I#15

    but has no known connection to:
  • ANCIENT (Boy, Maracen, Saracen ) - allegedly the first race of vampires--Blade: Vampire Hunter II#1, 2(named)
  • ANCIENT ONE ( ) - sorcerer supreme of earth prior to Dr. Strange--Amazing Adventures I#1, Strange Tales I#111/2
  • "ANCIENT ONE" - imprisoned in ancient past by wizards, freed in modern era by Mordred, sent to kill Black Knight/Whitman, fought he and Captain Britain, sank into quicksand.
        Massive stone-man, superhuman strength + durability--Hulk Comic#4/2
  • ANCIENTS (Aurwel, Bekkit, Jhandark, Pyscatos) - @ 19th century, group of Lemurian telepaths, rebelled against Naga, stole serpent crown, encased it in shielding as the Helmet of Power, relocated to Antarctica, used chemicals to transform into human form, settled in base built by same Atlanteans who had built Pangea, city was destroyed by Pyscatos while he was corrupted by the Serpent Crown, during which time he killed Bekkit
        --Daredevil Annual#4B/5
  • ANCIENTS - extraterrestrial race, left member on earth to guard hybrid extraterrestrial corn, encountered Hulk, opposed One and Two
        --Incredible Hulk III#21
  • WRECKER (Dr. Karl Kort) - Communist agent--Fantastic Four I#12
  • WRECKER ( Smith) - extortionist--Tales to Astonish I#63
  • WRECKER (Dirk Garthwaite) - Wrecking Crew--Thor I#148
  • other "Ancient" or "Wrecker" characters

Bones

  • BONES - person mutated along with another--usually the twin sister--who becomes flesh by transfer of curse from previous recipients.
        Disembodied skeleton, superhuman strength, sometimes serves as frame for flesh
            such as Marce or Rosa Estevez and Bess Bliss
    --Spider-Woman III#3
  • other "Bone" characters

Brain

  • BRAIN (Otto von Schmittsder) - nazi scientist,kept disembodied head alive through unknown means. mentally control others on contact
        --Adventure into Terror#4
  • BRAIN ( ) - criminal strategist, one of three men merged into Tri-Man by Masked Marauder--Daredevil I#22
  • other "Brain" characters

Machine Man is the future incarnation of:

  • MACHINE MAN (X-51*) - sentient robot built by Dr. Able Stack, final robot in a series, all others became violent and were destroyed, formerly worked as investigator for Delmar Insurance
        -aka Aaron Stack, MISTER MACHINE, SIR MacHINERY—2001: A Space Odyssey#8
  • but should be distinguished from all other extra-dimensional Machine Man/X-51 counterparts or other "Machine" or "Man" characters, etc.

Sanctuary

  • SANCTUARY - any of the ships of Thanos --Avengers Annual#7?
  • SANCTUARY - name given to base on earth where Thanos' equipment was stored
    —Avengers I#252
  • SANCTUARY - movement to allow mutants into churches--X-Factor II#3
  • SANCTUARY of Earth-Guardians - planet, haven for repentant criminals--Guardians of the Galaxy#58
  • other "Sanctuary" characters

Slick

  • SLICK - demon, pawn of Gorn, head bitten off by him after failed to bring Kevin Moran to his realm, continued as a decapitated body.
    horse-headed female
    --Marvel Comics Presents#101/3 (102/3
  • SLICK (                ) - mutant, Xavier Institute, projected illusion of normal looking form until disrupted by Quentin Quire, dated Tattoo
      Charismatic, project illusion
      —X-Men II#134
  • other "Slick" characters

Swift

  • SWIFT-1 - Foreigner’s Death Squad, series of characters, mind and abilities transferred into new host upon death--Web of Spider-Man#92
  • SWIFT of Eurth - alternate dimensional counterpart of Quicksilver, Champions of the Realm, brother of Witchfire--Avataars2
  • SWIFT, ARTHUR - mutant, killed by another student and eyes stolen in an effort to emulate the U-Men/3rd Species--[X-Men II#118]
  • other "Bone" characters

 


Ancient Wrecker

 

The alternate future incarnation of Machine Man's old ally, "Gears" Garvin, he founded the Midnight Wreckers and Sanctuary.

 

--Machine Man II#3 (November, 1984);
    (Machine Man II#3,4

 

 

 

 


Bones

 

The leader of the field Wreckers based at Sanctuary, he headed up the capture of Machine Man's group. After the Ancient Wrecker gave them the ok, he attended a party in their honor, and helped fight off the attack by Iron Man and his allies.

 

--Machine Man II#3 (November, 1984)
 


Brain

 

Surprisingly enough, the brains of the Midnight Wreckers, it was he who rebuilt Machine Man. Though he tried to appear objective, analytical, and cold, he clearly carried a torch for Hassle, which he expressed to her after she returned from being captured by the Bainies. He was never shy about combat, and was always in the heart of any battle, using conventional weapons, or using advanced technology to shut down robot attackers.

 

    --Machine Man II#1 (2-4, Thor Corps#2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three

 


Hassle

 

The most conservative of the Midnight Wreckers, she was always aware of the potential dangers. She warned the other Wreckers of these risks, hence her nickname. The one threat she missed was the possibility that the Bainies had wanted her to escape from them, and she unwittingly led them back to the Sancturary. She and Brain had an obvious attraction. Despite her awareness of risks, she always fought hard for herself and her allies. It was her sacrifice that enabled the other Wreckers to escape the Bainies summoned by Broadani.

 

    --Machine Man II#1 (2-4, Thor Corps#2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three

 


Machine Man

    Defeated in the mid-1980s (or about 40 years before the "2020" era), Machine Man was captured by his old enemy, Sunset Bain (formerly Madame Menace), who had him dismantled and kept in storage. When the code on his packaging became outdated in September, 2020, a mindless servo-drone of Baintronics had him cast into a dump, from which he was salvaged by the Midnight Wreckers. He was rebuilt by Brain, who gave him a fresh coat of red paint, to replace his faded purple. His presence (or should it be absence?) was detected by Sunset Bain, who sent her Bainies and the mercenary Iron Man after him. With the aid of his new allies, the Wreckers, he fought off a series of attacks and ultimately confronted Sunset and forced her to agree to cease her attacks. Machine Man was somewhat distraught to find his old confidant Jocasta at Bain's side, but headed off to find a purpose in his new world when she elected to stay by Sunset's side.
    He stayed by the Wreckers' side and had several more encounters with Iron Man, who eventually claimed to have killed him.

--Machine Man II#1 (2-4, [Fantastic four I#405 (fb)], Thor Corps#2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three, [Paradise X: The Heralds#1 (fb)]

 

 


Sanctuary

 

The floating fortress of the Midnight Wreckers, it was first established by the Ancient Wrecker and existed high above the Canadian North Woods. Brain, Slick, and Swift fled with Machine Man here in order to hide out from the Bainies, but Hassle unwittingly led their enemies to it. The fortress was crippled by an assault by Iron Man and his agents, but Machine Man saved it from crashing to the ground. Presumably, after Machine Man and his allies left, the Sanctuary was relocated to prevent the Bainies from attacking it again.

 

--Machine Man II#3 (November, 1984);
    (Machine Man II#3, 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Slick

 

He engaged in a regular regimen of physical fitness and was a skilled combatant. He had an interest in retro (or classical, as he referred to it) music, such as the Plasmatics.

 

    --Machine Man II#1 (2-4, Thor Corps#2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three

 

 

 


Swift

 

The wild one of the group, she took any risk, engaged any foe, often just for the heck of it. Still, she was fiercely loyal to her friends and allies.

"Do you want to live forever?"

 

--Machine Man II#1 (2-4, Thor Corps#2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three

 

 


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Other appearances:
Machine Man II#2-4 (November, 1984 - January, 1985) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Barry Windsor-Smith (inks), Larry Hama (editor)
Fantastic Four I#405 (October, 1995) - Tom DeFalco & Paul Ryan (writers), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks),
Thor Corps#2 (October, 1993) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Pat Oliffe (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow: Book Three
Paradise X: Heralds#1 (December, 2001) - Jim Krueger & Alex Ross (writers), Steve Pugh (artist), Mike Marts (editor)
Avengers III#42 (July, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 12/26/03.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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