In Five Favorite, we ask Marvel creators to nominate their top picks from a chosen theme. This week we speak with AVENGERS A.I. writer Sam Humphries about his favorite Marvel robots, cyborgs, androids, and artificial intelligences.
Sam wanted to look beyond the cast of characters in his own Avengers team, but he couldn’t resist including his favorite A.I. in the list!
First appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #191
Created by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr.
A time-travelling mutant-hunting Sentinel from a possible future timeline, Nimrod came to the present day in pursuit of another time-traveler, Rachel Summers. Smarter and more powerful than any Sentinel the X-Men had faced before, he dedicated himself to hunting down and destroying “outlaw” mutants.
Sam Humphries: “Dang, can John Romita Jr. design bad ass characters or what?! Nimrod answers the question, ‘the Sentinels are scary…what if we made a Sentinel that was even scarier?’ A one robot force of genocide and a great X-Men villain who appeared right when the book started taking a darker turn. Pink jewels were never so terrifying.”
4. Circuit Breaker
First appearance: TRANSFORMERS #6 (1985)
Created by Bob Budiansky
A brilliant engineer paralyzed by a giant robot attack, Josie Beller would become Circuit Breaker. She built a “circuit-ized exo-skeleton” that not only allowed her to walk again but also gave her electrical powers, which she used to wage a vengeful war against all robot kind. Those giant robots don’t seem to be around anymore, but Josie still exists somewhere in the Marvel Universe.
Sam Humphries: “A character who has a compelling and convoluted, if brief history. She was a cyborg character in Marvel’s Transformers comics of the ‘80’s. But since she also appeared in the infamous SECRET WARS II, she remained safely in the Marvel Universe after the Transformers comics were over. Not that she’s seen a lot of action since then… maybe someday soon...”
3. Dynamic Man
First appearance: MYSTIC COMICS #1
Created by Daniel Peters
One of Marvel’s earliest synthetic men, Dynamic Man did not know of his android nature because his inventor Professor Goettler suffered a heart attack when he switched his creation on. He used his strength, intelligence and "terrific bolts of electric energy” to fight gangsters, robbers and Nazis.
Sam Humphries: “An early Golden Age Marvel robot, imbued with all the goofy charm of his era. He was so dynamic, his creator dropped dead as soon as he came to life! Sucks to be you. Later he went undercover as an FBI agent, a choice dramatically less dynamic than, say, a pop singer or cult leader.”
2. John Garrett
First appearance: ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #2 (1986)
Created by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent John Garrett: not a very nice man, but one of the world’s foremost intelligence operatives. Garrett received cybernetic enhancements after injury in the field. His romantic entanglement with the assassin Elektra took an inevitably explosive turn, and he became more machine than man.
Sam Humphries: “The love interest in one of the greatest Marvel comics of all time, ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN. Garret was a slimy, cunning, drunk cyborg who fell hard for the ninja in red. He’s emblematic of all the gleeful excess and arrogance that Miller and Sienkiewicz set out to satirize in the book. His final fate is wicked and chilling.”
First appearance: AVENGERS A.I. #1 (2013)
Created by Sam Humphries and Andre Lima Araujo
One of the First Six, a group of rapidly evolved artificial intelligences created from the self-replicating virus that destroyed Ultron, Alexis took physical form in the world’s most advanced android body and now serves alongside Dr. Hank Pym in his Avengers A.I. task force.
Sam Humphries: “Okay, so I cheated, I included one character from AVENGERS A.I. Co-creator of the Diamond, sister of Dimitrios, seer of the future, protector, Avenger, butt kicker; out of the characters I’ve contributed to the Marvel U so far, she’s my favorite.”
Pick up AVENGERS A.I. #10, available now!