This is truly a work that’s ahead of its time by a decade. Deathlok’s original, unfettered series in Astonishing Tales was a highwater mark for Marvel in the seventies: It hit the ground running and there were so many thematic innovations. Cyberpunk, Robocop, The Matrix, and many other sci-fi franchises owe a debt to Deathlok, since a lot of the now-common place themes were done first in the stories reprinted in this volume. This is what Marvel should STILL be doing, instead of endless crossovers and events – creating and publishing good, solid stories.
Doug Moench manages to make what might be a convoluted tale interesting and understandable for the youngster I was when I read it for the first time. He also managed to make a reader feel for this death-dealing cyborg, which considering the body count of the series, was a near-miraculous feat itself. The artwork is pencilled by comic book legend Rich Buckler; if Jack Kirby was the King of Marvel Comics’ Sixties, Rich Buckler was the Crown Prince of the Seventies. The only artist who comes close to being as omnipresent (and as good) as him was the Royal Regent in the form of John Buscema.
This is a book any comic book of science fiction fan should have in their library. There is a cheaper color trade paperback of the same work out now (Deathlok the Demolisher The Complete Collection) as well, but if you can get this one for a reasonable price (I spent perhaps $10 more for this one than the trade on Amazon’s Marketplace), I think this is one to get, just for the durability.