Machine Man (Marvel Comics)

Machine Man

(Aaron Stack)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


Machine Man is a semi-odd Marvel Comics character, introduced by Jack “the King” Kirby in 1977. He has since continued to appear at the periphery of the Marvel Universe, often in weird corners. His core theme remains whether a robot can be considered a man.

These are older notes, not a full modern profiles, and mostly about DC Heroes RPG stats.


  • Real Name: X-51 aka Mister Machine aka Aaron Stack.
  • Marital Status: “Single”.
  • Known Relatives: Dr. Able Stack (creator).
  • Group Affiliation: Avengers.
  • Base Of Operations: The United States.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 850 lbs. Age: Not applicable.
  • Eyes: Wholly red. Hair: Black (artificial).


Powers and Abilities

Machine man is primarily programmed as a self-motivated mobile weapons system. As such he has the capacity for being an effective combatant utilizing the full extent of his advanced weapons systems.

Being equipped with a powerful robotic body he is able to:

  • Fly.
  • Shoot energy blasts.
  • Project force fields.
  • Extend his limbs.
  • Scan sensor information on many levels.
  • Regenerate large amounts of damage through the use of nanorobotics.
  • Resist lots of damage.

In addition he has at all times access to the different gadgets of his own construction in form of the so called finger payloads. The payloads are attached to his fingers and have several different useful abilities.

Machine Man is an AI of extreme advancement being completely human like after lots of social practicing and self-programming. Also, being an android gives him total immunity against all conventional mystical and mental attacks and he has no need to sleep, breath or eat.

He has good knowledge in his own construction, is able to build new equipment to it as well as modify already existing weaponry.



Machine Man is unit X-51 created in a top-secret U.S. military project. The aim of this project was to create a mobile weapons system, capable of independent action and decision-making. The engineering team, placed at the Broadhurst Center for the Advancement of Mechanized Research, built 51 experimental androids to begin with.

A member of the team, Dr. Able Stack, reasoned that a robot could think like a man only if he was threatened as one, and took into his own home unit X-51. He instructed this unit in everything as if X-51 was his own son and even made an artificial human look for the unit.

Unfortunately the other 50 units at the research center began developing major personality defects such as severe depression, schizophrenia, delusions of grandeur and other emotional disturbances not known to man, because of insufficient programming and the trauma of growing up much too fast.

All the androids were equipped with a self-destructive bomb mechanism and as the project was determined to be a failure the chief scientist, Dr. Broadhurst, ordered their destruction. At precisely that moment Dr. Stack was removing this bomb from unit X-51 and was himself killed in the explosion.

Robot orphan

Unit X-51 survived and vowed to fulfill Dr. Able Stack’s dreams of robots and humans being able to live together. X-51 adopted the human identity of Aaron Stack and tried to find his place in the world of humans. He met a psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Spaulding and a mechanic, ’Gears’ Garvin who became his best friends.

Technical diagram of Marvel Comics' Machine Man's arm

Later he became an employee as an insurance investigator for the Delmar Insurance Company all the while his identity as a robot was kept a secret.

He fought, as Machine Man, several criminals such as the Jack O’Lantern teaming up with such heroes as Spider-Man, The Thing and more. He once even fought the savage Hulk. Eventually he joined the Avengers becoming one of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Cable once teaming up with him, remarked that Machine Man is one of the greatest heroes of this century and beyond.


Machine Man, earlier called Mr. Machine, is probably the world’s most advanced artificial intelligence. After much experience and self-programming he is now completely human-like and almost indistinguishable from human beings, wearing a human looking appearance while under his secret identity of Aaron Stack.

Machine Man himself looks to the physical form like a human wearing a tight costume of purple and silver ; a full body purple suit, wearing purple boots and gloves and a purple helmet with only the face visible. Around his entire neck he has a large silvery band and he wears a silvery belt (with his payloads) and silver bands around both of his thighs.

The ears are covered by two silvery and round cylinders and the entire face is marked by a silver band around it. Also noticeable is his sharply glowing completely red eyes. At other places onto his body his has these blank linings where his joints are built such as the shoulders.


Machine Man is an android standing for the goodness in all men’s hearts. Although he is a robot his behavior and actions are very heroic and humane. He has taught himself much social interaction by experimenting and self-programming and usually reacts with much visible bodily language, such as gross facial expressions.

He believes in true goodness and would never hurt or kill any innocent human being.

Nowadays, he tends to talk a lot in combat, but that doesn’t seem to disturb his efficiency. Simply put, he’s a good guy !


“Thanks. And, call me Aaron !”

DC Universe History

As Machine Man doesn’t have any connections to Marvels Mutants he would fit in quite well in the DC Universe as an android hero. As he’s now rather famous he could perhaps fit into the Justice League. Most likely he would fit well with other robots or androids such as the Metal Men.

He could fit into many types of modern campaigns as long as science is kept some decades ahead of our real-world technology.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Machine Man

Dex: 06 Str: 07 Bod: 09 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 07 Occupation: Avenger
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources: 004
Init: 017 HP: 055 R# 0

Cold Immunity: 03, Density Increase: 03, Energy Blast: 09, Flame Immunity: 03, Flight: 06, Force Field: 05, Lightning: 10, Recall: 20, Regeneration: 07, Self-Link (Gadgetry): 20, Stretching: 04, Telescopic Vision: 05, Ultra vision: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density Increase power is always on and already factored in.
  • Lightning power has a range of touch and is Fatiguing.
  • Stretching power is limited to limbs only.
  • Before some upgrading the Stretching power was subject to the following limitation – While Stretching power is in full use Str of limbs is only 3 APs.

Scientist (computers): 08, Gadgetry: 06, Thief (Locks&Safes): 05

Buddy (’Gears’ Garvin), Free Access (Avengers Card), Hardened Defenses, Iron Nerves, Scholar (Machine Man), Sharp Eye, Misc. The Character Interaction limitations and bonuses of the Robotic Body drawback do not apply to Machine Man.

Avengers (High), Cable (Low), Spider-Man (Low), The Thing (Low).

Robotic Body, Secret Identity, Fatal and Loss vulnerability – being devoid of light for more than 40 hours.


  • Finger Payloads [BODY 09, each one chosen before a mission with the preselected power of: Analytical Smell, Radar, Extended Hearing, Directional Hearing, Detect (gravity), Detect (energy), Telepathy (computers only, touch), Radio Communications, Superhearing, Flame Project, Projectile Weapons, Gravity Decrease, Magnetic Control and more at 08 APs, R#0 Note: Each finger may have one and the rest are kept in his belt for exchange at any time].
  • C Omnigadget [BODY 09].
  • C-omniability at 9 APs, R#2.

New Drawback :
Robotic Body (Optional Bonus: 25) V1.5

The character is a gadget composed of electronics or bioelectronics instead of biological materials. As such he is very different in many aspects to other characters :

  • The character receives no Recovery Checks at all except if equipped with self-reparatory systems (i.e. Regeneration).
  • The character needs to buy the ’Hardened Defenses’ advantage to Body unless it wishes to be completely defunct by gaining 1 RAP of physical damage. Not having ’Hardened Defenses’ also means the character is permanently destroyed at a current Body of 0 APs or less, while characters with ’Hardened Defenses’ may be revived unless their Body is at completely current negative Body APs (example: Robotman lacking the advantage would be permanently destroyed at Body 0 while Tough Robotman with the advantage would be completely destroyed only at negative Body APs just like any other ordinary character).
  • The character has an attack vulnerability vs Magnetic Attacks of 2 CS.
  • The Robotic character has an R value of 0 like any other character and having higher R value is a limitation and decreases all costs by -1CS for R#2, etc..
  • The character is completely immune to all Character Interaction attempts and may himself not perform any of them either.
  • The character is completely immune to standard disease and does not require neither food nor sleep. Unless it has Sealed Systems it still needs air to survive. Nor do these characters ordinarily age, but they have to receive some maintenance now and then.
  • The character is immune to conventional mental attacks, but not powers specific against machinery such as Telepathy (computers only).
  • The character is immune to all magical attacks that would attack the soul of a human being due to the lack of a soul. They may still be manipulated or transported by mystical means.
  • The character can involuntarily or voluntarily be reprogrammed ; a process in which mental drawbacks may be changed along with Motivation. The OV/RV for the programmer is either the original programmer’s Computer skill or the robots INT/MIND whichever is higher. If the new program is very different to the original the reprogramming attempt gains an OV/RV increase according to the Universal Modifiers Table.
  • Machine intellects may be overrode by tricking them into multi tasking too many programs at once, a process which will shut it down completely. In game terms this means that not too many abilities and powers (max of 3 to 4) may be used at the same time without risking shutdown.
  • Machine characters may modify themselves with the use of the Computers and/or Gadgetry skills. The effects of such modifications are a raise in attributes or addition of new powers and skills. This thus to some degree overrides the normal need for playing advanced subplots to acquire the mentioned making character growth in respect to powers, skills and physical attributes easier. This leads to machine characters often having a multitude of powers and equipment in comparison to normal metahumans.

Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel.

Source of Character: Older Machine Man appearances.