Days of Deathlok's Future's Past's Moral Compass

"Tomorrow Dies Today" Part 5 in "Wolverine: Weapon X" #15 from Marvel Comics

(You should know up front, I haven't read Parts 1 through 3 of this story from "Wolverine: Weapon X" #11, 12, and 13.)

I avoided this story for a long time simply because it looked like just another excuse to have a bunch of superheroes do a dogpile on a bunch of killer robots... I wasn't entirely wrong but I wasn't entirely right either.

I only peeked at it because of Spider-Man's appearance on the cover, a sometimes accurate and sometimes entirely inaccurate promise of a guest-appearance in mainstream superhero comics, and was shocked to discover: not only is Spider-Man actually in the damn thing, it's also a comic intelligently using tropes of the superhero genre, sci-fi action time travel movies, and the history of several Marvel Comics characters to tell a probing story about the nature of humanity. I should have known better than to assume junk could come out of the mind and the pencils of the writer of "Scalped" and the penciler of "Amazing Spider-Man" #539, one of the better issues of a Spider-Man series in recent memory.

The character Deathlok, as I remember him from the 90s, was a cyborg who talked to himself. Not exactly brilliant-sounding stuff is it? As a cyborg he had an onboard computer, this computer had an A.I. which took care of all the needs of their shared body's mechanical parts. So there was always a bit of arguing between them. Whether Aaron was the first to utilize this dichotomy for revealing something about our own humanity is pretty immaterial as he has done it very well here. This new version of Deathlok is just one of a massive army of Deathloks, a mere drop in a sea of cyborgs. His mind belonged to a serial killer named Evan and his robot A.I. well... it makes some interesting choices for itself.

Jason Aaron and Ron Garney have crafted a good story of heartbreak, human deprivation, and finally redemption.

With a lot of superheroes.

And time travel.

~ @JonGorga

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