Issue(s): Death3 #1, Death3 #2, Death3 #3, Death3 #4
Even beyond the names, when you look at the ads for Marvel UK around this time, it's hilarious how many of them feature hulking killer cyborg/robots with attitudes: Death's Head II, Die-Cut, Death Wreck, Death Metal. You can barely tell them apart.
You'd also think that Death's Head II was the second coming of Batman based on all the imitators he was spawning, instead of just a minor hit whose appeal was already majorly diluted.
This story begins in the year 2021. We see Dr. Eveyln Necker, who we know as the creator of Minion (i.e. Death's Head II before he merged minds with the original Death's Head). She is currently working for the Omni Mega-Corporation, but is worried that AIM will retaliate against her for the failure of the Minion program and the destruction of AIM locations by Charnel. Necker is suddenly visited by Death Wreck, who calls her "momeee".
We then flash back to the year 2018 to learn the origin of Death Wreck. It turns out that Death's Head II was in fact that second Minion. Death Wreck was the first. The problem was that AIM cut funding on Necker's Minion program, and she was forced to cut corners, including using a 1990s era car engine to power him and giving him the brain of a homeless person who turned out to be a hopeless alcoholic. He's even got a photocopier mixed in there.
Death Wreck disappeared with a time disk soon after it was created, but now it's back.
Necker is glad for Death Wreck's return since she can use him as a bodyguard against AIM. But while she's trouble-shooting why he disappeared in the first place, she activates a time disk and he winds up in a world with little metal men.
His fight with them is interrupted when Necker's test has him snap back to her lab. He returns with one of the creatures' arms.
Necker calls the metal "prometheum" and uses it to construct a new Minion called Death Metal. We'll learn that the metal actually comes from Charnel, and the little robots were his "spawn".
But Necker's luck with the new Minion is the same as it always is.
She tries to get Death Wreck to stop it, but they both wind up getting zapped away when Death Metal activates a time disk.
Death Metal wakes up in "another" 2021...
...where he's found by a Doctor Octopus.
This world is a dystopian wreck that has been conquered by Dr. Doom.
Dock Ock brings Death Metal to Doom as tribute, but Doom's lackey Wilson Fisk mocks him and says it's a trick. While they are fighting, Death Metal wakes up and kills Doom, and then the rest of them.
Death Wreck, though, is said to wind up in 2020 and is found by Alicia Masters-Grimm...
...who brings him to Avengers Mansion. Death Wreck is mostly interested in Tony Stark's collection of wine. Note that this world is ruled by Charnel.
Iron Man assumes that Death Wreck is a vagrant, and attacks him. He's joined by the other Avengers, the Thing and the Black Widow.
When the misunderstanding is settled, Death Wreck is invited to join the Avengers (with the lure of more wine). Iron Man has learned that Death Wreck is from a timeline where Charnel doesn't rule, and he also learns that Death Wreck is part of a line of robots, so he uses a tachyon pulse generator to try to summon more creatures with Death Wreck's genetic encoding. He gets Death's Head II.
Death's Head II therefore learns that he's got an older brother.
He also learns that Charnel is ruling this timeline. Death's Head II has good and bad news for the Avengers. The good news is that Death's Head II has already created the temporal wave that will destroy Charnel. The bad news is that it will also wipe out everything about this timeline.
When Death's Head II tries to take Death Wreck and leave, Wreck tells him about their other brother, Death Metal. And when Death's Head learns about him, he realizes that Death Metal probably knows from Necker everything about how Charnel was stopped, and that Death Metal might warn Charnel and save him from the coming wave. So he teams up with the Avengers and another group of heroes called the X-Saviors.
Meanwhile, Death Metal is attacked by Ghost Rider, who recognizes him as being spawn of Charnel.
Death Metal seemingly kills Ghost Rider.
Note that even though Death Metal was said to be in 2021 while Death Wreck was in 2020, they both seem to be on the same world, which is ruled by Charnel.
And indeed, after the Avengers and X-Saviors are attacked by Charnel's spawn...
...Death Metal himself shows up, with no indication that he's jumped timelines.
Death Metal has already warned Charnel.
We are definitely "still" in the year 2020, for what it's worth.
Death Wreck tries to break up the fight between his two brothers.
They wind up falling down a chasm, leaving the other heroes to fight Charnel's spawn. They're forced to flee. But then Ghost Rider shows up and jumps down the chasm. He gives Death Metal the penance stare.
The effort seems to burn out the Ghost Rider, but it causes Death Metal to have a change of heart, or rather take control of himself from Charnel.
They return to Charnel with a ruse, pretending that Death Metal has captured the other two. When they get close, they attack and destroy him.
This doesn't stop the time wave that wipes out this timeline.
Death's Head II is returned to his "point of origin", present day Earth. Death Wreck is returned to Necker in the other year 2021. Death Metal's location is unknown.
I don't have the interest in alternate futures that many comic readers do (hey, look, the Thing is wearing armor!), so this story is not very interesting to me. Death Wreck, with his addled, childlike mind and his substance addiction, at least has a distinct personality and makes things a little more fun. In this series, Death Metal is at best a shadow of Death's Head II. But in his later appearances he'll get a unique motivation.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place in the future, but Death Metal will come to the present for the Death Metal and Death Metal vs. Genetix series. And in Death Metal, Death's Head II will reference these events, so this must be the "regular" version of him (i.e. not a future version). His "point of origin" also seems to confirm that. The Charnel appearing here is a version from before the time wave that will destroy him was triggered in the Death's Head II miniseries. So i'm not listing him, since he's out of sequence. Death Wreck will later get his own series which takes place prior to this, but that series takes place entirely in the future so i won't be covering it, and that's Death Wreck's only other appearance as far as i know, so i'm not listing him as a Character Appearing. I'm not 100% sure about Evelyn Necker. It's possible that she's appearing here after her appearances in the main Death's Head II series, or it's possible that she's here between the mini and the main series. I've decided to list her with the assumption that after getting caught in the time-wave in Death's Head II #12 she wound up in 2021 and got a job with the Omni Mega-Corporation.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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