Classification: Terrestrial vending machine

Creator: Unrevealed manufacturer

User/Possessors: Gem Theater

First Appearance: Power Man #28 (December, 1975)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The vending machine is capable of dispensing a variety of liquid consumables, including soda, coffee and apparently chicken soup, into disposable cups; however, it frequently does not dispense the correct one or does so in a way that makes it impossible to consume.

History: (Power Man I#28 (fb)) - At some point, the Gem Theater in Times Square acquired a malfunctioning soda machine. Theater manager D.W. Griffith became familiar with its unusual quirks.

(Power Man I#28) - Gem Theater tenant Luke Cage attempted to buy a soda from the machine despite Griffith's warnings. The machine proceeded to pour the soda, drop the ice, then drop the cup - in that order, leaving Cage with nothing.

(Power Man I#33) - Cage tried the machine again but it ate his 35 cents. He began hitting it, only to be sprayed with soda.

(Power Man I#34) - Cage successfully ordered a soda, believing it had "learned its manners" when he smacked it the other day - only for the bottom of the cup to fall out, spilling soda all over Cage's boots.

(Power Man I#35) - Cage gave the machine another try and it poured a cup of soda for him - and then a second! However, it kept going, and going, until there were more cups than Cage could hold. He dropped them all and he was once more left empty-handed.

(Power Man I#38) - After a long day of battling Chemistro and the IRS, Cage tried to collect a cup of soda from the machine but discovered immediately after drinking it that he'd received a hot cup of chicken soup.

(Power Man & Iron Fist I#56) - After failing to stop a robbery with his new partner, Iron Fist, Luke punched the machine in frustration and walked away...never seeing that the machine had perfectly poured a cup of soda for him.

(Heroes for Hire I#5 - BTS) - Cage was reminded of the troublesome Gem Theatre vending machine when he failed to get a can of soda from a machine at the Oracle Offices. Growing frustrated at the contraption, Cage was helped out by Jim Hammond who made sure the technoparanoid hero got his soft drink.

Comments: Created by Don McGregor, George Tuska,and Vinnie Colletta.

While Luke has returned to the Gem Theater a number of times, most recently with the Mighty Avengers, he has yet to re-encounter his soda-dispensing nemesis.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

The Gem Theater soda machine has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Power Man I#38, p14, pan5 (main image)
Power Man I#28, p9, pan7-9 (in action)

Power Man I#28 (December, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Power Man I#33 (July, 1976) - Don McGregor (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Vinnie Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Power Man I#34 (August, 1976) - Don McGregor (writer), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man I#35 (September, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (plot), Don McGregor (script), Marie Severin (layouts), Joe Giella & Frank Giacoia (finishes), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man I#38 (December, 1976) - Marv Wolfman (plot/editor), Bill Mantlo (script), Bob Brown (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks)
Power Man & Iron Fist I#56 (April, 1979) - Mary Jo Duffy (writer), Trevor Von Eeden (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Heroes for Hire I#5 (September, 1997) - John Ostrander (writer), Pasqual Ferry (pencils), Jaime Mendoza (inks), Mark Bernardo (editor)

First Posted: 07/27/2020
Last updated: 08/23/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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