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M.A.C.H. 1

mach1_cb_adv40 mach1_cb_adv08 mach1_cb_adv22 mach1_cb_adv02 mach1_cb_adv23 mach1_cb_adv06 mach1_cb_adv20 mach1_cb_adv14 mach1_cb_adv25 mach0_cb_adv01 mach1_cb_adv19 mach1_cb_adv26 mach1_cb_adv15 mach0_cb_adv02 mach0_cb_adv04 mach1_cb_adv09 mach1_cb_adv33 mach1_cb_adv17 mach1_cb_adv29 mach1_cb_adv01 mach1_cb_adv24 mach1_cb_adv36 mach1_cb_adv37 mach1_cb_adv31 mach1_cb_adv32
 
Full Name: M.A.C.H. 1
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Pat Mills
Time Span: 1977 - 1980

ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is an agent with the British Secret Service.
       When we first meet Probe, we are told that is his employing organization. Later there is a brief reference to D.I.6 (aka MI6) was the controlling agency. Which ever it is, the man in charge of the M.A.C.H. program is a man we know only as Sharpe. We learn very little about this authoritative handler except that to him the job is everything. He has no interest in Probe as a human, only as the means to get the mission accomplished. Any concern he may show, and it is rare indeed, comes from his interest in the technology and the tool that he considers Probe to be.
       Truth be told about the relationship between Probe and Sharpe is they really dislike each other. A lot. It seems as much as Sharpe wants his weapon to be preserved, the life of Probe is something he would offer in a heartbeat. At the same time, Probe often seems determined to succeed more to annoy Sharpe than anything else.
       Already a successful and quite accomplished operative for that intelligence organization, Probe was chosen largely because he was in the peak of physical condition and the most likely person to survive the procedure.
       Thousands of electro-needles penetrate every inch of his body daily, sending high voltages of electricity into him, the charge amounts increasing each time until after six months the power amounts reached optimum levels. At that time the brain surgery took place and after a sixteen hour operation, the surgeons "print computer circuits directly onto his skull. The computer circuits will assist Probe on missions by feeding information into his brain."
       This resulted in his becoming the first "Man to be Activated by Compu-puncture Hyperpower". Being the first meant having the designation 'M.A.C.H. 1'.
       This hyperpower, for which he receives monthly booster treatments, greatly enhances his physical prowess. He can call up the strength of 50 men (tipping over a 16-ton vehicle requires 60% of his prowess). He can run at speeds exceeding 70 mph and can swim faster than 40 knots. His body and his mind now has too much energy, making it near impossible to sleep. The computer 'voice' in his head makes relaxing a difficult activity as well as it seems ever ready to inform Probe that his activities are 'illogical' and unnecessary.

Odd Line:
"No one can defeat a Mach Man!"

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:41
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:1980

       When the incredibly (to me) innovative comic book 2000 AD came out with a small but very nice assortment of brand new series, one of those founding members was M.A.C.H. 1.
       After a two-parter introduction, the series created a pattern of one short but interesting story per issue. Then the stories were increased in size for the next six adventures, each adventure taking 2-4 issues of several pages each.
       When issue 46 came out ending the adventure currently going, the series went on hiatus in an interesting way; John Probe's boss knows Probe is ready to kill him so he goes "on vacation" for a few weeks. This coincided with the series itself taking a break and being replaced by the ultra-weird (to me) The Visible Man in which a scientific experiment caused a man's skin to become invisible, but not his innards. Yuch!
       Issue 53 of the magazine saw the return of John Probe for a handful of stories culminating in The Final Encounter where we see the end of the main character - perhaps. This is comicbook-land, of course. Absolutely permanent death forever just means it will be a bit longer before the return of someone.
       There were a couple of adventures afterwards in special editions (annual and such) but those could easily have been intended to go before The Final Encounter.

       The adventure that led up to the hiatus concerned John Probe discovering there had been another agent before him, referred to as M.A.C.H. Zero. Immediately after the end of the regular run of M.A.C.H. 1, two multi-part adventures of that origianl fellow were told. another mission was depicted in a Special edition. A couple years later, a final adventure was given in a 4-issue sequence.
       These adventures of the pre-Probe characters do not fit the requirements of this site on their own but since they are intimately connected to the M.A.C.H. universe, they are mentioned and listed here.

1 Vulcan Vulcan
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Enio Leguizamon (pencils and inks), Bill Nuttall (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #1-#2, 02/26/1977 - 10 pages
Origin story for how John Probe became M.A.C.H. 1 and his first mission to stop terrorists from releasing a deadly toxin over London.
Click here to read the story.

2 Battleship Battleship
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Massimo Beladinelli (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #3, 03/12/1977 - 6 pages
"A mysterious explosion sends a secret NATO mini-battleship to a water grave". John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, has the task of learning if the Russian trawler in the area is really catching fish or has a more sinister motive.
Click here to read the story.

3 To Kill a President To Kill a President
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Enio Leguizamon (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #4, 03/19/1977 - 6 pages
"In 24 hours the power-mad president of Irania is going to invade the neighboring country of Kurkostan ... unless [M.A.C.H. 1] eliminates him first."
Click here to read the story.

4 Probesnatch Probesnatch
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #5, 03/26/1977 - 5 pages
John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is ordered to take a vacation. At the tropical resort he is approached by Otto Brandt, illegal weapons dealer, who will kill a lot of innocent vacationers unless Probe agrees to fly away with him to be analyzed.
Click here to read the story.

5 Himmler's Gold Himmler's Gold
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Mike Dorey (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #6, 04/02/1977
M.A.C.H. 1 is in Munich on his assignment the Nazi group 'The Werewolves' needs money to carry out terrorist attacks and hopes to get it by finding finding a treasure of gold sent by Himmler to Switzerland. The ship moving it across Lake Constance was sunk and the location held by one man recently released from prison.
Click here to read the story.

6 Bolivia Bolivia
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Enio Leguizamon (pencils and inks), Bill Nuttall (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #7, 04/09/1977 - 7 pages
Assignment: To bring back to Britain Albert Armstrong, President of British Arms Corporation held under house arrest since revolution in Bolavia.
Click here to read the story.

7 Spain Kidnap Spain Kidnap
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Bill Nuttall (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #8, 04/16/1977 - 6 pages
In Spain a ruthless woman leads a gang of kidnappers that snatch a millionaire's daughter for ransom. M.A.C.H. 1 is an old friend of her father so steps in to help.
Click here to read the story.

8 Our Man in Turkostan Our Man in Turkostan
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: John Wagner (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #9, 04/23/1977 - 5 pages
In the country of Turkostan which is in a civil war, John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is to rescue Professor Nils Nansen who is being held by one side of the conflict. Nansen must be freed because he "could turn this civil war into World War Three".
Click here to read the story.

9 On the Roof of the World On the Roof of the World
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Enio Leguizamon (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #10, 04/30/1977 - 6 pages
M.A.C.H. 1 must parachute into the Armenian Mountains to kidnap Eastern spy master Igor Khyvosky before he escapes behind the Iron Curtain. The man had just killed several British agents and Probe's boss wants him brought back for interrogation.
Click here to read the story.

10 Operation Death-Drive! Operation Death-Drive!
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Roy Preston (writer), Barry Mitchell (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #11, 05/07/1977 - 7 pages
M.A.C.H. 1 has the mission of getting military expert Adolf Meisser from Dubrovnik to Paris in 12 hours so he can report to a UN arms limitation conference. Bad weather prevents a plane trip so he has to drive the 1300 miles in that 12 hours, Lots of people want to stop them.
Click here to read the story.

11 The Laser Hound The Laser Hound
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Charles Herring (writer), Mike Dorey (pencils and inks), J. Swain (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #12, 05/14/1977 - 5 pages
The Yanks have a new weapon, a tank-like vehicle called the Laser-House that doesn't use ammunition. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, and his boss, Sharpe, are in West Germany to see a demonstration. Enemy agents take it over and Probe must stop it.
Click here to read the story.

12 Airship Airship
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Jesus Redondo (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #13, 05/21/1977 - 6 pages
"The first of a new generation of nuclear airships, the Morse X4, takes off on its maiden flight ... and head straight for disaster!" Naturally it is the target of terrorists. M.A.C.H. 1 is also on board as bodyguard for a UN peacemaker.
Click here to read the story.

13 Chinese Formula Chinese Formula
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Gerry Finley-Day (writer), Kato (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #15, 05/29/1977 - 6 pages
John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent undercover to Peking with the British table tennis team. He is there to learn what he can about a revolutionary process developed by the Chinese for growing food. After defeating the best kung-fu fighters in the world (according to him), he has to take on the incredible Shang-Chin.
Click here to read the story.

14 Kraal Kraal
Published by IPC Magazines

Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD Summer Special 1977 - 8 pages
John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, literally jumps into a situation in the West African nation of Kraal where he is to help stop a rebel air force from inflicting suffering by taking out the base and a jet or two.
Click here to read the story.

15 Yeti Yeti
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Peter Harris (writer), Marzal Canos (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #15, 06/04/1977 - 6 pages
A group of British tourists were approached by the ruler of Bepal in the Himalayas to smuggle opium to the West. When they refused, they were attacked by an invisible death ray. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent there to learn more and ends up meeting the ruler's Yetis.
Click here to read the story.

16 Capitol Capitol
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: John Wagner (writer), P. Martinez Henares (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #16, 06/11/1977 - 6 pages
On loan to the Americans, John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is helping investigate planes lost in the Devil's Triangle in the Caribbean. Flying as part of the crew of an SR-71, Probe is onhand when they discover on an island what appears to be the US Capitol building. A ray from that edifice shoots the plane down and Probe is introduced to the crazed weapons expert Adolf Kemper.
Click here to read the story.

17 Spotbox Spotbox
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Jesus Redondo (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #17, 06/18/1977 - 6 pages
A NATO F-16 crashes in some mountains and it is a race between the East and West to get to the wreckage to recover the nuclear weapons it had. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, leads the West team,
Click here to read the story.

18 Skyscraper Terrorists Skyscraper Terrorists
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Marzal Canos (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #18, 06/25/1977 - 6 pages
Returning from a conference on security, John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is nearby when he learns the President of a South American country friendly to the UK is the target of an assassination plot by rebels. Probe decides to stop them.
Click here to read the story.

19 Corporal Tanaka Corporal Tanaka
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Robert Flynn (writer), Luis Callado (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #19, 07/02/1977 - 6 pages
A British mining company invade an island in the Gilbert Islands. Their operations are stymied by a Japanese soldier left from WWII who is still fighting. John Probe is flown in to find and stop him.
Click here to read the story.

20 Tokyo Tokyo
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Steve MacManus (writer), Lopez (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #20, 07/09/1977 - 6 pages
The British Prime Minister is on a two day visit to Tokyo. He has just landed when a mob of protesters attack, demanding his head. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is ordered by him to learn who and why. Probe teams up with martial arts expert Michael Khan.
Click here to read the story.

21 Recluse Recluse
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Carlos (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #21, 07/16/1977 - 5 pages
To learn why four top athletes have disappeared after being invited the fortress compound of a multi-millionaire, John Probe heads there himself and finds a meglamaniac who will do anything to preserve his aged body.
Click here to read the story.

22 Arab Story Arab Story
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #22, 07/23/1977 - 5 pages
A British oil company operating in the country of Gola is the subject of deadly tribal attacks. The tribe is angry because a sacred flame from the ground had been extinguished, showing the gods were angry. John Probe is sent to resolve the matter.
Click here to read the story.

23 Spy Plane Spy Plane
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Robert Flynn (writer), Massimo Beladinelli (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #23, 07/30/1977 - 5 pages
A British spy plane goes down in the mountains of Russia. The pilot is missing. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent in with a fancy hover glider to locate the pilot and get his out. Higher in priority, though, is getting the film from the new radar camera the plane was using.
Click here to read the story.

24 King Karat King Karat
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Roy Preston (writer), Massimo Beladinelli (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #24, 08/06/1977 - 5 pages
Calling himself King Karat, the ruler of his own island off Dubai controls everything with fear. He maintains his control with money gained through flooding the market with stolen gold. John Probe has the job of eliminating him.
Click here to read the story.

25 Terror Train Terror Train
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Nick Allen (writer), Pierre Frisano (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #25, 08/13/1977 - 6 pages
A French commuter train is taken hostage by the "Third World Terror Group" as they demand freedom for convicted terrorists or passengers start dying. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent in to resolve things.
Click here to read the story.

26 The Death Trumpet The Death Trumpet
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Steve MacManus (writer), Marzal Canos (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Alternate title is The Gods Themselves - Published in 2000AD #26, 01/20/1977 - 6 pages
John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent into the South American jungle to locate and rescue a British archaeologist named Gault. He finds him in an ancient city but he also finds ghosts from his past.
Click here to read the story.

27 The Planet Killers The Planet Killers
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Jesus Redondo (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #27-#29, 08/27/1977 - 19 pages
A Space shuttle pilot in for a routine appendectomy is murdered to replace him with a duplicate. Six months later the next flight has as its copilot John Probe just off 6 months training. Probe learns the hard way that the replacement is enhanced just like he is. The question is, why the substitution?
Click here to read the story.

28 'To Lose Control' 'To Lose Control'
Published by IPC Magazines

Copyright: 1977

1st of 2 stories published in 2000AD Annual 1978 - 5 pages
As John Probe parachutes into a weapons test area to join a test, enemy agents nearby use a jamming device to take control of him to make him steal the new missile being tested. Probe cannot stop himself but he does find a way to turn the tables on the enemy.
Click here to read the story.

29 Operation Hercules Operation Hercules
Published by IPC Magazines

Copyright: 1977

2nd of 2 stories published in 2000AD Annual 1978 - 7 pages
Terrorists hijack a plane and hauls the French passengers to the country of Natanga. To get them free, the French government asks Probe to get them free.
Click here to read the story.

30 Close Encounter of the Third Kind Close Encounter of the Third Kind
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Carlos Freixas (pencils and inks), Tom Frame (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Also referred to as UFO. Published in 2000AD #30-#33, 09/17/1977 - 22 pages
A UFO crashes near the town of Pine City. John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent in to investigate. He has to first stop the locals from destroying it.
Click here to read the story.

31 Everest Everest
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Scott Goddall (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #34-#35, 10/15/1977 - 9 pages
When a climbing expedition on Everest goes missing, John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is sent to learn what happened to them. What he finds is a solar power station previously unknown.
Click here to read the story.

32 M.A.C.H. Woman M.A.C.H. Woman
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Alan Hebden (writer), Leopoldo Sanchez (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #36-#39, 10/29/1977 - 24 pages
An intrusion into the MACH facility results in the technology for M.A.C.H. is stolen. Weeks later, John Probe is accosted in the street by a woman who has the same abilities as he.
Click here to read the story.

33 Death Ray Death Ray
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Alan Hebden (writer), Leopoldo Sanchez (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #40-#42, 11/26/1977 - 17 pages
While John Probe is very curious what destroyed an American satellite, he is surprised to find both the CIA and his own boss, Sharpe, do not want him looking into it.
Click here to read the story.

34 M.A.C.H. Zero - Minus One M.A.C.H. Zero - Minus One
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Steve MacManus (writer), Ramon Sola (pencils and inks), Tom Frame (letters)
Copyright: 1977

Published in 2000AD #43-#46, 12/17/1977 - 22 pages
John Probe learns that for the past three years, his boss, Sharpe, has been holding in a secure location the man who was the "last unsuccessful prototype" of MACH men. Designated M.A.C.H. Zero, the immensely powerful but out of control person has an overriding desired to destroy Sharpe - and has finally broken out.
Click here to read the story.

35 Return to Sharpe Return to Sharpe
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Roy Preston (writer), Jose Perez Montero (pencils and inks), Bill Nuttall (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Also known as The Dolphin Tapes (Prologue). Published in 2000AD #53, 02/25/1978 - 5 pages
John Probe has left the MACH program and turned to drink over his anger with Sharpe. Six weeks go by and Probe's power is starting to leave him when Sharpe sends agents to bring him back. Sharpe tells Probe, "I don't just employ you. I OWN you!"
Click here to read the story.

36 The Dolphin Tapes The Dolphin Tapes
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Steve MacManus (writer), Jesus Redondo (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Published in 2000AD #54-#57, 03/04/1978 - 21 pages
John Probe is being forced to go on a mission by Sharpe. The job is to go under cover to a dolphin research facility in Florida to steal a top secret project called The Dolphin Tapes and to learn what happened to agent Robert Peel who had been on the mission before.
Click here to read the story.

37 Swamp Saga Swamp Saga
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Roy Preston (writer), John Cooper (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Also called What Is There Left For M.A.C.H. 1?. Published in 2000AD #58, 04/01/1978 - 5 pages
Still in Florida after failing in his previous mission, John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, is wondering what he will do next when he hears a young girl cry for help. That act of kindness will prove interesting.
Click here to read the story.

38 Origins Origins
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Roy Preston (writer), Nick Landau (writer), Lothano (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Published in 2000AD #59-#60, 04/08/1978 - 8 pages
Returning to London from Florida, John Probe realizes to his amazement that his memories of life before the M.A.C.H. program are gone. His search for his past takes him to HQ where he finds the equipment that made him and keeps him alive destroyed and a new M.A.C.H. 2 waiting to end him.
Click here to read the story.

39 The Final Encounter The Final Encounter
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Pat Mills (writer), Jose Perez Montero (pencils and inks), John Aldrich (letters)
Copyright: 1978

Published in 2000AD #61-#64, 04/22/1978 - 25 pages
The story begins with the burial of John Probe and the unanswered question of whether he died a traitor or a hero. The mission was to go to a military base where everyone had suddenly collapsed into comas. Probe was to find why and who.
Click here to read the story.

40 'Moon Base 'Enterprise'' 'Moon Base 'Enterprise''
Published by IPC Magazines

Copyright: 1979

Published in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1979, 06/1979 - 8 pages
Though his file shows his status as deceased, this story tells of a mission by John Probe, M.A.C.H. 1, who is sent to the Moon to investigate the disappearance of two scientists from Moon Base 'Enterprise'. He will encounter alien visitors not very pleased with humans and he will give them more reasons to be unhappy.
Click here to read the story.

41 'The Defector' 'The Defector'
Published by IPC Magazines

Copyright: 1979

Published in 2000AD Annual 1979 - 9 pages
A Russian scientist who had already defected to Britain has information about a new bomb the other side is developing but he will not reveal it unless his brother, a hockey player on the Russian team, is helped to defect as well. John Probe is sent to join the Canadian team playing them.
Click here to read the story.

42 Curious George Curious George
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Steve MacManus (writer), Ramon Sola (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1979

Story 1 of 4 of M.A.C.H. 0 - Published in 2000AD #65-#72 05/20/1978 - 40 pages
Though his "boss", Sharpe, thought he had killed off M.A.C.H. Zero, the man survived. He showed himself during a special demonstration by a stunt showman extraordinaire name Curious George and accidentally upstaged the man. This turns George into a vengeance-seeker.
Click here to read the story.

43 Cyborg Express Cyborg Express
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Henry Miller (writer), Kevin O'Neill (pencils and inks), Peter Knight (letters)
Copyright: 1979

Story 2 of 4 of M.A.C.H. 0 - Published in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1978 - 8 pages
Wandering and hungry, M.A.C.H. 0 comes upon an old inn where the aging keeper offers hospitality and lets him see the robot he has created. The meeting does not go well.
Click here to read the story.

44 The Suit The Suit
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Geoffrey Miller (writer), Jose Perez Montero (pencils and inks), Jack Potter (letters)
Copyright: 1979

Story 3 of 4 of M.A.C.H. 0 - Published in 2000AD #73-#75 07/15/1978 - 15 pages
Choosing a nice garden to sleep the night in, M.A.C.H. 0 is not looking for trouble, just rest. Unfortunately, the garden is on the estate of a rich man working with on a revolutionary battle suit. Things go very badly and the suit fuses with the testing man's skin causing all sorts of commotions. Noise is something that upsets M.A.C.H. 0.
Click here to read the story.

45 The Final Days The Final Days
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Ian Rogan (writer), Mike Dorey (pencils and inks), Tony Jacob (letters)
Copyright: 1980

Story 4 of 4 of M.A.C.H. 0 - Published in 2000AD and Tornado #162-#165 07/15/1978 - 10 pages
Recounts how the prolonged effects of the compu-puncture hyperpower begins to rapidly cause M.A.C.H. 0 to deteriorate. A final meeting with his teenage son is shown.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

       As I started reading this fun but over-the-top series, two other series came immediately to mind.
       The first one, The Six Million Dollar Man, is obvious. In the case of John Probe, the scientists did not fix a broken man but took an extremely healthy individual and just made him a whole lot better but the concept of scientifically enhancing a normal man to make him superhuman was similar. I guess I could go back thirty years more and cite Captain America and the Super Soldier program but I think Steve Austin was really the target. The SMDM had just come out a couple years before on television and the urge to capitalize would have been tremendous.
       The second is Dredger, another British comic spy. In this case the man was not "improved" in any way but he was an extraordinary agent who did whatever it took to get the job done. Probe and Dredger have much in common in this way. Plus the same man, Pat Mills, is credited with creating Dredger and it just feels like he decided to take a Dredger-like person and bump up his powers to be an Austin-like person.
       Anyways, to me it worked because these mostly short adventures are actually a lot of fun and I enjoyed reading each one to come up with the synopsis and was sorta dismayed when I had read the last one and knew there were no more.
       Good spy-fi? Not in the least. Over-the-top adventure with a side dish of I-hate-my-boss-and-he-hates-me thrown in. Spy-fi-ish style adventures handled in a sci-fi-ish way. No good in the least. But fun.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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