MACHO-MANmain image

Real Name: Milton Zook / Norman Dribble

Identity/Class: Merged extraterrestrial (Klaktonian) / human (U.K. citizen)

Occupation: (Milton) Super hero;
    (Norman) unemployed earwax salesman 

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Brickman (Loose Brayne), Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Captain Wally (Walter Pratt), Combat Colin (Colin Doobrey-Smiff), Combat Kate, Desperate Dennis, Joanne Giggly, Julie Giggly, Semi-Automatic Steve, Snailman (Percy Perkins);
    formerly Amazing Dave, Aunt Arctic, D.J. Yampy, Madprof, Mr. Magno, Skydiver

Enemies: Amazing Dave, Aunt Arctic, the Brain, D.J. Yampy, Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom), Madprof, Megabrain (see comments), Mr. Magno, Red Skull (see comments), Skydiver, Spellmaster, Steamroller Man;
    formerly Hulk (Bruce Banner) 

Known Relatives: (Milton) none;
    (Norman) Doris Dribble (wife) 

Aliases: Protector of the Puny, Defender of the Dozy, Champion of the Chumps 

Base of Operations: Wallytown;
    formerly Village of the Doomed; Klakton 

First Appearance: (Norman Dribble, unidentified) Spidey Comic#652/2 (8th September 1985); (identified) Secret Wars II (Marvel U.K.) #42 (19th April 1986);
    (Milton Zook) Secret Wars II (Marvel U.K.) #42 (19th April 1986);
Secret Wars II (Marvel U.K.) #42 (19th April 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Macho Man has superhuman strength on a par with the Hulk (lifting in excess of 100 tons - or "the strength of a million gorillas"), "macho-vision" (telescopic vision), able to fly, super-fast, invulnerable, and very clumsy (though he claims to be "super agile"). 

    His human host, Norman Dribble, possesses no powers other than the ability to swap places with Milton Zook, a.k.a. Macho Man, upon saying his magic words:  "Cod'n'chips."

    They automatically switch back after a short time, which can be inconvenient for Norman if Macho Man was in the middle of doing something dangerous. 

    Though initially clearly depicted as a separate individual living inside Norman Dribble, after a very short while the merger appears to have become mental as well as physical.

    Barring the first time he transforms (when he exclaims "I'm back"), neither form seems to consider the other a different person, and they/he clearly recalls events regardless of which body experienced them.    


Height: (Macho-Man/Milton) 7' (by approximation); (Norman) 4'8" (by approximation)
(Macho-Man/Milton) 500 lbs. (by approximation); (Norman) 85 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: (Macho-Man/Milton) Black; (Norman) Bald, black mustache


(Spidey Comic#652/2) - Norman Dribble was standing at a bus stop waiting to catch a bus when mischievous sorcerer Spellmaster drenched them with a magically summoned storm (see comments).

(Secret Wars II#42) - Going through "a bad patch," the planet Klakton unexpectedly exploded, sending fragments hurtling across space. 

    One of them, carrying a Klaktonian called Milton Zook crash-landed on Earth.

    Choking, Milton realized his new world's atmosphere was poisonous to him, and that he would have to merge with a human to survive. 

    Spotting unemployed earwax salesman Norman Dribble strolling nearby, Milton decided he would have to do, transformed into energy, and entered Norman's mind.


(Secret Wars II#44) - Milton probed Norman's brain to find a password that would allow him to trade places with his host, prompting Norman to shout the first thing that came into his mind: "Cod'n'chips." 

    Norman vanished to be replaced by Milton, who discovered that due to Earth's different gravitational pull and his alien molecular structure, he now had superpowers. After testing both his new-found ability to fly and his immense strength by swooping to the zoo and carrying off a surprised elephant, hoisted aloft by its tail, Milton decided that he was now so tremendously macho that he had to call himself Macho Man.

(Secret Wars II#51) - Continuing to test his powers, Macho Man boasted he was as strong as a million gorillas as he ripped apart a post box, much to the annoyance of a woman who was about to mail a letter, and the surprise of mailman Postman Pratt, then lifted a car above his head using only his right pinky, to the consternation of the driver. Immensely pleased with his prowess, he wondered aloud how long it would be before he turned back into Norman...and promptly transformed back. Now a million times weaker than a gorilla, he was unable to keep holding up the car, which crunched down on top of him. While the car's driver complained about his wrecked vehicle, a squashed Norman hobbled away, betting that Spider-Man never had a day like this.     

(Secret Wars II#52) - As he neared his home, Norman was sure his wife would be really chuffed (pleased) to learn he was now a superhero. Arriving, he informed Doris that he was "all charged wiv super-powers," but (presumably used to ignoring Norman's inane comments about his day) she dismissively told him to "never mind that" and instructed him to sit down and have his dinner. Waiting eagerly at the table, he realized that Doris had made his favorite meal - codfish in batter and chips (fries to the Americans reading this), and said as much. Unfortunately, he'd forgotten that this was also now his magic word, and he transformed into Macho Man as Doris approached the table carrying his food. Shocked, she threw her hands up, sending the meal flying, then chased Macho Man outside, throwing a frying pan at the retreating hero as she demanded to know what he had done with her husband.    

(Secret Wars II#53) -  Watching his wife doing the vacuuming, Norman decided it was time to address his problem and convince Doris that he could change into a superhero. Asking her to watch him, he said his magic words and transformed before her eyes into Macho Man. Despite an initial shock, Doris accepted this was still her husband, though he requested she call him by his hero name while in this form. He explained that he was "super" in numerous ways, boastfully informing her that he was a "boon to mankind." Informing him he could be a boon to her first, she immediately tasked him with taking over all the housework - ironing, vacuuming, dishwashing and dusting. 

(Secret Wars II#58) - Encountering Captain Britain in the street, Black Knight asked him if he had heard about the new superhero in town, Macho Man. Black Knight informed his friend that he had heard that Macho Man could fly, was super-strong, invulnerable...and at that moment Macho Man slammed Black Knight to the ground as he landed to introduce himself. Realizing his error, Macho Man stepped aside and apologized, as the crushed Black Knight finished off his description: "and dead clumsy!"

(Secret Wars II#63) - Norman struggled intensely, the strain showing on his face, but finally admitted defeat and used his magic word to become Macho Man. For a few moments the task at hand seemed too much even for the hero's immense powers, but his determination finally won out and he shouted in triumph about achieving another mighty victory. Unimpressed, Doris asked if they really needed to go through this routine every time he couldn't get the top off the tomato sauce bottle. 

(Secret Wars II#67) -  Facing off against the Hulk, Macho Man made it clear he was unimpressed, and the pair exchanged a series of brutal blows...until an alarm went off. Both superhumans then sat down on a nearby park bench and sipped sedately from china cups, and Macho Man informed surprised onlookers that even superheroes needed a tea break. 

(Secret Wars II#69) - Hearing a scream, Norman transformed into Macho Man and flew to to assist, finding a buxom young lady struggling to stop the Red Skull from snatching her purse (see comments). Macho Man punched the cackling villain into the sky, and the grateful young lady moved to kiss him in gratitude. Enjoying the prospect of smooching with the pretty girl, Macho Man puckered up...and changed back into Norman. Screaming in shock, the young lady attacked Norman, calling him a dirty old man as she chased him down the street.

(Secret Wars II#75) - Night, and Macho Man stood atop on a building's roof, high above the city, using his macho-vision to scour the streets below. Finally spotting his objective, he swooped down, knowing there was no time to lose. A few minutes later he emerged from Hou Hot Chinese restaurant, happy to have confirmed his belief that there would be a takeaway somewhere open at this time of night.  

(Secret Wars II#79) - Macho-Man sat sulking after learning that the rest of Earth's heroes and villains had taken part in a Secret War, and he wasn't invited.

(Transformers and Action Force#245 (fb) - BTS) - Macho Man was kidnapped by the Brain, and imprisoned in an isolated village alongside fellow superheroes Brickman, Captain Wally and Snailman, plus the twin Giggly Sisters (not superheroes, but girlfriends of two), guarded by a coterie of villains: Madprof, Amazing Dave, Aunt Arctic, D.J. Yampy, Mr. Magno and Skydiver.  

(Transformers and Action Force#244 - BTS) - Combat Colin and his sidekick, Semi-Automatic Steve, were likewise abducted, waking after being gassed unconscious in their headquarters, the Combat Shed, to find themselves disarmed (and in Colin's case, partially undressed, his superpowered Combat Trousers missing).

(Transformers and Action Force#245) - Investigating, Colin and Steve encountered the other prisoners, then the villainous warders, and learned that the Brain was behind everything. 

(Transformers and Action Force#246 - BTS) - Colin tried unsuccessfully to lead the prisoners in an escape, but they were easily stopped by the warders. 

(Transformers and Action Force#247 - BTS) - However, Colin then pointed out to the villains that they were as much prisoners as the heroes. Effectively trapped in the village in order to guard the heroes, they were abandoning their own conquest plans and leaving Brain free to take over the world. Agreeing to a truce, the combined forces of the heroes and villains attacked Brain's headquarters, but were confronted by their foe, now wearing Colin's stolen Combat Trousers and able to access the innumerable weapons contained in its magical pockets.

(Transformers and Action Force#248) - The Brain took down some of his foes using a saucepan shooter (literally a gun firing saucepans), but Macho Man was unimpressed, proclaiming that it would take more than that to stop him. Producing a smelly-sock bazooka, the Brain instead stunned Macho Man using the wretched odors his new projectile emitted. Luckily, Colin was able to remotely control his trousers, turning them against the Brain, allowing Colin to get close enough to punch the villain unconscious. Free, the heroes all departed for their respective homes. 

(Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#270) - Macho Man attended the yearly Heroic World Savers Con, where he ran into his old friends Combat Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve. When the convention was attacked by a giant robot, the Steamroller Man, Colin and Steve's metal-melter guns proved ineffective against the strange super metal it was made of, so Macho Man confronted it, confident he could handle the problem. The robot flattened him without even slowing down.


(Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#271) - As the robot tried to mow Colin down, he used some Tuff-Nut bubble gum to blow a giant chewing gum bubble. 

    The robot bounced off the incredibly strong gum, flew through the air, and landed on its master. Recovered from his ordeal, Macho Man lifted the wrecked robot off the crushed villain, who turned out to be Doctor Doom. 

    Admitting he had attacked the convention believing he could achieve an easy victory against Colin and Steve, "two fat, unfit, powerless Brits" after suffering years of humiliating defeats at the hands of American heroes, Doctor Doom sloped off in embarrassment.    

(Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#296) - When Megabrain led an alien army in attacking Wallytown, he was opposed by Combat Colin, Semi-Automatic Steve, the Giggly Sisters and Combat Kate. 

    Confidently informing them he would take down the entire alien army while eating a packet of digestive biscuits, Macho Man swooped in, and was immediately atomized.

Comments: Created by Lew Stringer.

    The original version of Macho Man appeared as an antagonist in Lew Stringer's Captain Wally strip in The Spider-Man Comic. Lew subsequently pitched a strip based around a slightly modified version for the comic Secret Wars (which reprinted, unsurprisingly, the U.S. Secret Wars series). Macho Man debuted after the title had changed to Secret Wars II, with the reprints having now moved on to the second U.S. series and its numerous tie-ins. 

    His half-page stories replaced the previous humor strip, Secret Artist, and ran intermittently for a total of eleven episodes, ending in issue#79. Macho Man returned as a guest star in Lew's Combat Colin strip in the U.K. Transformers comic, before meeting his end in Transformers#296, cover dated 17th November 1990.

    While working on Captain Wally's profile I stumbled across a character who looks very much like Norman Dribble, albeit not quite as skinny, in Spidey Comics#652's Captain Wally strip, standing in a queue at a bus stop. Given this story was written after the original incarnation of Macho Man debuted in the same strip a few issues earlier, and that less than a year later Macho-Man launched in his own adventures, it seems feasible that Lew Stringer consciously or otherwise used the character design again for Norman, and so am choosing to treat it as Norman's unidentified first appearance. See left for the character and judge for yourselves.

    He's Macho Man in the title of the strip and most of his appearances, but Macho-Man the first time he says the name and again in his Combat Colin appearances.

    The Red Skull trying to steal a woman's purse (and allegedly just so he could get her co-op stamps)? That seems a little ...mundane for a villain of his caliber. As such, while it might be the actual Nazi villain (he's wearing Johann Shmidt's original costume, right down to a swastika on his chest), I'm inclined to believe it was simply a mugger wearing a somewhat unusual choice of disguise. As for Doctor Doom? Given the silly motive for his attack on the hero convention, my money is on him being a malfunctioning Doombot. Nevertheless, between their appearances, and meetings with Captain Britain, Black Knight and the Hulk (plus a mention of Spider-Man), Macho Man is definitely in a Marvel reality. Is it Earth-616? His creator Lew Stringer said he considers the stories, humorous though they were, to be canon, so that sounds like 616 to me. Brickman, who turns up as one of Brain's prisoners, isn't a 616 character, having debuted in an independent comic, hence why he can't recall his name (and so can't identify himself) when he appears in Marvel U.K.'s Transformers comic. Presumably he traveled to 616 prior to being captured.

    When Marvel was shutting down their U.K. operations, they gave Lew Stringer back the rights to Combat Colin, not seeing much future value in a humor character in the grim and gritty 90s. Thus Colin (and Steve) have continued to appear elsewhere, having blown themselves back in time (and presumably out of the Marvel multiverse and into Brickman's reality) at the end of their run in Transformers. I'm unsure if Lew was also given back the rights to Macho Man, Captain Wally or Snailman.

    Not having all of Combat Colin's adventures, I'm not sure if Megabrain is the Brain renamed, or another member of Brain's alien species. 

Profile by Loki.

Macho Man should not be confused with

Macho Man has no known connections to

Doris Dribble

    Doris Dribble was Norman Dribble's wife. 

    After being caught by surprise the first time he transformed into Macho-Man in her presence, she soon came to accept his new form, though she wasn't as impressed by his new powers as he was.


--Secret Wars II#52 (Secret Wars II#53, Secret Wars II#63

Desperate Dennis

    A well-known hero, Desperate Dennis, star of The Dundy comic, was an attendee at the Heroic World Savers Con. 

    Macho Man was apparently a huge fan.


Comments: Desperate Dennis of The Dundy is a parody of British superhuman Desperate Dan of The Dandy comic.

--Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#270

Steamroller Man

    A gigantic robot built by Dr. Doom, Steamroller Man attacked the Heroic World Savers Convention, with Combat Colin and Semi-Automatic Steve his intended targets. 

    Scaring away most attendees by smashing into the venue through the wall, he rolled over and flattened Macho Man, then tried to do the same to Colin and Steve. 

    Colin repelled the attack with a bubble of exceptionally strong gum, and the robot rebounded, flew through the air, and landed atop Doom, smashing itself to pieces on the ground.


--Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#270 (Transformers and G.I.Joe the Action Force#271

images: (without ads)
Secret Wars II#75, p1, pan2 (main image)
Secret Wars II#52, p1, pan1 (headshots)
Secret Wars II#42, p1, pan2 (Milton in the remnants of Klakton)
Secret Wars II#42, p1, pan4-6 (discovering Earth's air is toxic to Klaktonians, spotting Norman, merging with him)
Secret Wars II#44, p1, pan2-3 (saying his magic word and transforming)
Secret Wars II#58, p1, pan4 (landing on Black Knight)
Secret Wars II#67, p1, pan4 (fighting the Hulk)
Secret Wars II#79, p1, pan6 (sulking over being left out of Secret Wars)
Transformers#244, p1, pan4 (with fellow prisoners Captain Wally, Snailman and Brickman)
Transformers#270, p1, pan7-8 (confronting Steamroller Man and being flattened by him)
Transformers#296, p1, pan7-9 (taking on Megabrain's hordes and being slain)
Spidey Comic#652/2, p13, pan5 (Norman's pre-Macho-Man cameo)
Secret Wars II#52, p1, pan3 (Doris)
Transformers#270, p1, pan3 (Desperate Dennis)
Transformers#270, p1, pan5 (Steamroller Man)

Spidey Comic#652/2 (8th September 1985) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Jenny O'Connor (editor)
Secret Wars II#42 (19th April 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#44 (3rd May 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#51 (21st June 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#52 (28th June 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#53 (5th July 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#58 (9th August 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#63 (13th September 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#67 (11th October 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#69 (25th October 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#75 (6th December 1986) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Secret Wars II#79 (3rd January 1987) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Transformers#244-248 (18th November-16th December 1989) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Transformers#270-271 (19th-26th May 1990) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)
Transformers#296 (November 17th 1990) - Lew Stringer (writer & artist), Richard Starkings (editor)

First Posted: 06/16/2018
Last updated: 06/27/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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