These two 1998 annuals told a single story. At first glance: Happy to see the return of Machine Man! And VERY happy to see some work by Rick Leonardi!

Even having Bastion in this book doesn’t ruin it.

Basic tale: Bastion escapes SHIELD custody and uses the old Master Mold sentinel’s energy to turn himself into a Nimrod. I think this is the first time we know for certain that Bastion is not human–he’s a Prime Sentinel.

Using his Nimrod skills, he takes control of Machine Man, enabling a fight between the two title characters of the first annual in this story.

The second Annual gives Bastion title billing.

Cable is able to free Machine Man from Bastion’s control and, seemingly, blow up Bastion/Nimrod.

They end up as friends, and it appears that this is the re-introduction to Machine Man. He’s getting a series starting in 1999.

I’ve tagged both Nimrod and Bastion. It’s not clear to me if Bastion is the same Nimrod from that robot’s earlier appearances because, you know, they’re both sent from the future and as soon as that happens nobody is really “the same” again.

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