Classification: Terrestrial technology
Creator: Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom)
User/Possessors: Doctor Doom
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#5 (October, 1963)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Consisting of a dome-shaped mobile base with a centrally-mounted antenna, the Satellite Machine generated a magnetic field which caused 16 softball-sized iron spheres to revolve about the antenna at great speeds in multiple orbital planes (see comments)
(Amazing Spider-Man I#5) - Using his spider-sense, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) located Doctor Doom's hideout in an abandoned factory near the New York City area. Sneaking inside, Spidey confronted the villain, who put a few minor obstacles in the hero's path. Then Doctor Doom went to a wall panel to activate his Satellite Machine, and sent it toward Spider-Man. The Machine rolled closer, pinning the hero into the corner of the wall. Spidey shot some of his webbing in an attempt to snare the whirling globes, but it was only torn by the irresistible motion of the metal balls. As the spheres spun around faster and faster, Spider-Man managed to jump out of their orbital paths, but figured he wouldn't be able to dodge them much longer, so he dived under the rotating globes and shot his webbing at the base of the Satellite Machine, which jammed up the mechanism (see comments); the iron balls dropped to the floor, their power source no longer propelling them.
As Spider-Man's battle with Doctor Doom continued, the villain eventually activated a disintegrator ray projector. Spidey picked up the base of the Satellite Machine and hurled it into the path of the ray, and the device vaporized. When their fight turned to hand-to-hand combat, Doom swung a piece of wreckage at Spider-Man like a club; the hero managed to step out of the way to avoid the attack, but he slipped on one of the fallen iron balls he didn't notice underfoot and fell to the floor. Doctor Doom approached, about to take another swing...
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Steve Ditko (art).
...but just then, Doom fled and made his was for an exit after he noticed the timely arrival of the Fantastic Four (note: This story took place before it was revealed that Doctor Doom was the ruler of Latveria, and was thus entitled to diplomatic immunity (@ Fantastic Four Annual #2), which explains why he had a "hideout" like a common criminal.)
I'm assuming that the base of the Satellite Machine was mobile because the artwork implies that it changed its position (note the location of that circle on the floor where Spidey's standing in the first picture--the machine seems to have gotten closer in the second picture); there also appeared to be some kind of roller mechanism on the bottom of the Machine. (This thing was only functional for four panels of the story, so obviously Doom didn't have a chance to list all of its features.)
Although those iron globes look to be about the size of bowling balls in these pictures, they were actually shown to be smaller when Spidey slipped on that one later in the story.Doctor Doom told Spider-Man that he'd been waiting for days to test this device out, so he probably built it in his spare time after he set up his hideout--maybe he was "inspired" by Niels Bohr's theoretical model of the atom when he thought up this gizmo.
In regards to how Spidey stopped the Satellite Machine: My guess is that his webbing clogged a cooling-fan vent, which caused the base's internal circuitry to overheat and burn out. Too bad Spidey left his Anti-Magnetic Inverter at home--it might have come in handy against this thing.
And a BIG Thank You to James Sharpe for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski.
The Satellite Machine has no known connections to:
Amazing Spider-Man I#5, p15, pan1 (main image)
Amazing Spider-Man I#5, p15, pan4 (Spidey shooting webbing)
Other Appearances: None
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 03/17/10
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