The newly reborn Machine Man, looking a lot more like a Sentinel, takes on a gang of techno-enhanced bikers, while A.I.M. and MODOK spy on him and plot capture him.
It turns out that the gang is actually linked to The Celestials, and during the fight he accesses and uses their awesome power to wipe the gang out. He is now X.E.R.O.: Xeno-Engramatic Robot Organism.
It looks to me like the creators had planned many more issues, but the book got cancelled and so the final issue is essentially a book with pictures. I’ll admit, I don’t have a lot of patience for these kinds of stories.
It’s obvious we are in the future now. And we see the monolith from Space Odyssey–the comic book that spawned Machine Man–coming towards Earth, so that the narrative can end when the movie begins…
That’s the final page. We’re told that the Celestials sent the monolith specifically because they were interested in Machine Man’s sentience. He leaves Earth with the Celestials in the end.
This was a really good comic. I’m sad it wasn’t able to complete its narrative in a decompressed fashion.
This ending, also, is not canon–Machine Man has many more appearances in the Marvel Universe that are inconsistent with this series. But I still dug it a lot.