Machinesmith is a supervillain in the Marvel Universe. He specializes in robotics, and is able to make convincing doubles of other superhumans. His own mind was later transferred to a robotic body.
Barry Windsor-Smith has stated that back in Daredevil #50, Saxon was supposed to be presented as gay; however, he admits that his art wasn't good enough to get the point across. Other issues have since revealed his sexuality more directly, such as Captain America #368 and Iron Man #320.
Fictional character biography
Starr Saxon was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His original efforts saw to his use of his robotics and engineering abilities to become a professional criminal robot maker and construct a variety of androids to be used as assassins for hire/personal gain. At some point during this period, he constructs a facsimile of Magneto and a variety of robotic "mutant" drones called The Demi Men who went on to battle the X-Men. The Magneto-Robot appears several times over the years, believing itself to be the true Magneto, until it was destroyed by a Sentinel. As of this writing, the individual(s) who commissioned Saxon for the creation of the robot is unrevealed.
In his first actual appearance, Starr Saxon was hired by Biggie Benson to kill Daredevil. Saxon dispatched a powerful android to do so, and to commit a series of crimes in New York. He discovered Daredevil's secret identity, and kidnapped Daredevil's girlfriend, Karen Page. He blackmailed Daredevil into allowing him to escape. Saxon decides to confront Daredevil directly. He murders the original Mister Fear and steals his costume and weaponry. As Mister Fear, Saxon challenged Daredevil to a public duel in New York City. He rigged Daredevil's billy club to release fear-gas pellets, and began a crime spree. However, he battled Daredevil and lost, breaking his neck in a fall from a flying hovercraft platform.
Saxon's robots find his dying body and transfer his brain patterns and consciousness into a computer, from which he could control into a variety of android bodies. Now calling himself the Machinesmith, he was hired by the Corporation agent the Carnation to defeat the Fantastic Four. He dispatched his robots to subdue the Thing so he could be brainwashed into destroying the Fantastic Four. The Thing encountered Jack of Hearts instead and was defeated. Machinesmith was then revealed to be a robot.
He came to despise his artificial "life", but his programming prevents him from committing suicide. Machinesmith sent Dragon Man to attack Captain America in an unsuccessful attempt for a while to have Captain America bring about his destruction.
Machinesmith is hired into the exclusive employ of the Red Skull, for whom he served as his primary scientist/machinist and member of the Skeleton Crew. On several occasions, Machinesmith undertakes various field missions for the Skull, usually confronting Captain America.
As per the Red Skull's orders, he set mechanisms in S.H.I.E.L.D. Central against Captain America and Nick Fury. As per the Red Skull's orders, he next activated the Sleeper robot, and attempted to liberate the other robots impounded on Avengers Island. He then assisted Mother Night in an attempt to bug the Avengers headquarters, and he battled and overpowered the Vision. Alongside the Skeleton Crew, he later battled the Schutz-Heiligruppe.
A portion of the Machinesmith consciousness is eventually captured, (assumed to be Saxon's entire consciousness), and enslaved by Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. This happened when Tony is under the thrall of Kang the Conqueror. Machinesmith later claims to have easily recovered the lost fragment and re-assimilated it.
When the Skull was blasted apart by the destruction of the Kubekult's Cosmic Cube, Machinesmith enacts a series of protocols dictated by the Skull to kill Captain America and plunge the world into nuclear holocaust. Machinesmith is defeated.
Later, Machinesmith came under the employ of the Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil. After the defeat of the team by the Thunderbolts, Machinesmith has since lain low. He later appeared battling against the young heroes, the New Warriors.
Powers and equipment
Starr Saxon originally had a genius intellect, but no superhuman powers. He is one of the most gifted robot designers in the world, and has vast experience in cybernetic and bionics.
After breaking his neck, his consciousness began to occupy a robot duplicate of himself, programmed with the complete brain patterns of Starr Saxon, and capable of self-motivated, creative activity. His robotic materials, design, and construction provided him with a number of superhuman capacities, including superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes.
Machinesmith exists as a living, cybernetic-system program (artificial consciousness), which is equipped to transmit its program along an infrared laser beam into virtually any electronics system at will; thus be can transfer from one robotic body to another within .25 seconds. Machinesmith can even place his personal program (personality) into multiple bodies at the same time, though the number of complex motions he can make his automatons perform simultaneously is limited. His physical properties vary in accordance with the robot form he is inside. Certain Machinesmith robots possess superhuman capacities such as telescoping arms and legs, explosive launchers, special infrared or telescopic eyes. He has yet to inhabit a robot body greatly superior to a standard human-mimicking robot's capacity. If an electronics system shuts down before he has a chance to project out of it he can be trapped inside of it. Machinesmith is a genius at creating complex behavioral programs and bionic systems.
Machinesmith has also created a vast arsenal of weaponry, defense systems, and surveillance devices, whose specifications are constantly upgraded.
- Conroy, Mike (2004), 500 Comic Book Villains, Barron's, ISBN 0764129082
- Daredevil #49-52
- Daredevil #54-55
- Marvel Two-in-One #47-48
- Captain America #248-249
- Captain America #351
- Captain America #354
- Avengers #324-325
- Captain America #390-391
- New Warriors (vol.4) #11