oHOTmu or NOT Ep.66: Machinesmith to Mad-Dog

A robot robot builder. Iron Man's femme fatale. A crazy loon. Archie but he's a supervillain. Which are hot, which are not? As 2021 begins, the Hot Squad's starts working on the back half of Marvel Universe Deluxe's Book of the Living!

Featuring permanent panelists Elyse, Isabel, Nathalie, Josée, and Amélie.

Listen to Episode 66 below (the usual mature language warnings apply), or subscribe to oHOTmu OR NOT? on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: oHOTmu or NOT ep.66 Supplemental

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19 responses to “oHOTmu or NOT Ep.66: Machinesmith to Mad-Dog

  1. I think Nath can pull the pose off, but not sure anyone can work that yellow pair of coveralls. Maybe Machinesmith’s eyebrows/ weird beard hair thing all come out of the same box, and the robots just paste them onto each model, interchangeably. It cuts down on parts cost.

    Madame Masque’s, er… mask always reminded me of of the earliest, pointy version of Iron Man’s helmet when he switched to the red and gold. It’s a shame they didn’t go with her for Iron Man 3, because both of their villain swerves left a lot of folks cold, including me. Although I’ve mellowed on it in the past few years.

    I was buying Captain America when Madcap first appeared. My young 10 year old mind was no prepared for the unmitigated weirdness of it all. I kind of think of him as a proto-Deadpool, so good call on the Ryan Reynolds connection.

    I like the idea of a furrier Mad Dog, both in chest hair and faux hair on the costume. He kind of looks like a watered down Wolverine too. Marvel in the 70s/80s seemed stuck on wolf/dog/aggressive mammal costumes that didn’t quite stick the landing with actually matching the animal they were trying to evoke. Archie gone wrong is an interesting concept though, and seems way ahead of its time in a meta-comic way.


    1. Spot on, Chris, with the Wolverine comparative! I see the exact same thing! And as popular as Wolverine is, his costumes also fail to match his animal namesake.

  2. Whitney Frost(Madame Masque) did appear in the Agent Carter as an opponent to Carter, but she did not get disfigured before the show was canceled. The show took place in the late 40’s so no real chance to crossover into later MCU without time travel.
    Nath rocks the Machinesmith pose, but she should have put on the red facial hair! Let’s see some more posing fun in the future.
    Brian Hughes
    3rd Degree Byrne

  3. Interesting show with some good discussion!

    Madame Masque – yes she is definitely hot. I’m not a huge Marvel guy but I definitely had a comic crush on Masque. She’s smart. She’s passionate. She’s hot. The whole ‘she is physically beautiful and sort of dangerous and maybe a little unhinged’ seems to be the perfect fodder for male heterosexual pre-teen comic readers back in the day. For me, as a nerdy kid who followed the rules, the idea that a kind of bad, kind of dangerous woman could like someone like me seemed … fascinating.

    And yes, this is a well traveled trope. Catwoman, Maxima, Baroness, Talia Al Ghul, Elektra … the list goes on and on.

    Madcap – Ahhhh … the costume I would wear for this episode! Bucket boots! Buccaneer cap. Short Heckler mask. Done done and done! Love the idea that he just makes people around him a little crazy!

    Nath kills the pose!

    Thanks again for great episode!

    1. Great episode as always. I’m tagging onto Anj’s comment ’cause I’m mostly repeating his opinions in my own words.

      Nath wins by a mile.

      I’m mostly here for the laughs, but I really enjoyed the serious and thoughtful (but brief) relationship discussion this time.

      Madame Masque is that cocktail of beautiful, dangerous, and sexy that most men are likely to fall for at seventeen or twenty. The same is even more true of Viper, whom I think they saw on the Hydra entry but will learn more about down the road. By the time we’re thirty or thirty-five, we find women like Whitney and Viper just as appealing, but most of us also have an alarm in our heads telling us to flee, lest we destroy the precious and fragile life we have built for ourselves (and sometimes others). At least, that’s how I’ve heard the situation described, I mean.

      Looking forward to more M names next month!

  4. Mad-Dog, ay? Hmmm. While I missed the comicbook issues of his attack on Patsy’s wedding, I think Patsy divorcing him because of his PTSD needed to be explored more on the show. On the surface, that just sounded pretty heartless –someone suffering from PTSD needs support! But, did he get violent towards her during his PTSD episodes? Because then, she gotta bounce. Get herself some safety, and … yeah. Tricky. Does she try supporting him after she’s gone? Did she make a clean break because it was best for them both? Did his revenge at her wedding to Damion come from being abandoned, or did it come from continuing PTSD psychosis? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.

    Meanwhile, I’m so glad I caught up, even though I’m now on the slow track. It gives me a chance to comment in real time. Like when Chris Franklin read my comment under the Power Records episode! I ’bout fell out! Chris’ appearance on Gimme That Star Trek is the reason I dove into Super mates, Power Records, and Knightcast. Something about his affable nature struck a… Kord … with me (I REGRET NOTHINGG).

    Sorry I digressed from oHOTmu or Not love. LADIES, LADIES, LADIES!! Thank you for being your wonderful, candid, uninhibited selves! I LOVE hearing you all represent the Dating Game from Her Side. I’m still learning Who’s Who (oops I did it again) but tales of snogging unknown men at a party or kootchy-cooing her fiancee in the morning with a “hungry boy” singsong is WONDERFUL. Takes me back to my highschool days when all I would do is hang out with girls and their earthy talk. Hating sports and getting punched by the jocks had a lot to do with it too.

    Okay, I’m not trying to become Diablo Frank’s wordcount rival here. Seeyas next month!!

  5. Great show- I love Madam Masque – but otherwise this group is all bad memories. Mad-dog and Madcap were both played by the same “Macho Dude” in a Marvel RPG where we were being villains. He switched because we, the other players , had been forced kill Mad-dog.
    That particular Machine-smith picture was part of an anti-homosexuality “hand out” from the church that promoted anti- D&D, Satanic Panic stuff- his pose was “gay”. I never got a explanation as to how, past “just look at it”.

    1. Bradley, the fact that a church spent their time attacking comics — when there are so many other, genuinely positive things we Christians are actually commanded to do in scripture — makes me sad. The fact that it was so many people’s primary exposure to the church in general makes me sadder. I’m sorry you had to deal with it.

      However, the fact that someone was actively spending money and time reading comics (especially OHotMU) to get this material and may be walking around today with enough (unwanted) comics knowledge to compete in a convention trivia contest — that tickles me a little.

      1. They didn’t spend the money- they took their kids books, cut them up to make the posters and hand-outs. Then burned it along with the Heavy Metal records.

  6. Machinesmith may have been one of the first LGBQT+ characters in the Marvel Universe. When he first appeared in the early 1970s in Daredevil in his regular human identity Starr Saxon, they couldn’t say he was gay, but Barry Windsor-Smith, the artist on his early appearances, has said that he was envisioned as a gay man. From what I understand, Windsor-Smith (who was very young and just beginning his comics career at the time) admitted that his artistic skills then weren’t up to the task of indicating the character’s sexuality without making it too stereotypical, so instead he tried to downplay it. As a result, Starr Saxon was mildly flamboyant and dramatic, but no more so than any other villain, so there was no hint one way or another as to his orientation.

    After his transformation into Machinesmith, other writers did establish that Saxon was gay. In one issue of Iron Man, Machinesmith made some flirtatious remarks to Tony Stark, who essentially replied “Not interested.” Machinesmith then said that he was holding out for the Vision, anyway.

    Regarding Madcap’s bubble-gun: In his first appearance, it was made to seem that the bubble-gun was indeed the source of the craziness he created. Nomad assumed that the bubbles were some kind of drug that caused Madcap’s victims to flip out, and when Nomad smashed the gun, he thought he’d disarmed Madcap and won the fight. Then Madcap revealed that it was just an ordinary toy-store soap-bubble gun…the bubbles were just to get people’s attention and make them look at Madcap, so that he could use his “crazy-vision” power on them through eye contact.

  7. Siskoid and Anj both make excellent points about what MADAME MASQUE represents as an intentional object of desire for both Iron Man and his teenaged heterosexual male readership. It feels like the overwhelming majority or hero/villain romances are hero/villainess. This creates the subtext that sexual temptation is a “villainous” behavior that a sexually pure hero must overcome.

    I’m trying to think of heroine/villain romances based on mutual attraction and consent, and the only ones I think that qualify are the Invisible Woman with Namor the Submariner and She-Hulk with Juggernaut. I’m counting on Siskiod and ship-happy listeners of this show to point out others!

    And yet! Even though I understand that Whitney is deliberately crafted to arouse my desire, she still manages to push so many HOT buttons! The sound bites of her saying “performed to my satisfaction” and “ache” coupled with this episode’s image of her in a whisky bar smoking a cigar definitely sets my inner MAD-DOG to begging!

    Keep up the excellent work, Hot Squad, and I’ll keep listening! OHOTMU or NOT: the show where Lightmaster and Madcap get more consideration than Galactus! Way to stick up for the little guys!

    1. Apparently the She-Hulk/Juggernaut hook-up got retconned as to having never happened. Apparently both the creative talent and the readership disliked there being any relations between the two enough to demand it erased. More evidence, then, of the probkematic nature of heroine/villain romances in superhero comics!

  8. Another fun episode, everyone! There wasn’t as much “squeeing” this episode but it was just as enjoyable. The surprising dating history during the Madcap was hilarious. Also, Nath totally rocks the pose better than Machinesmith! She could totally out-catwalk him!

    Machinesmith – Hair horns! This man is silently judging me…… but not so silently. Also, 6’1″ and almost 300 lbs.?! He’s about 4 inches taller than me but double the weight?! That man is stacked! Those eyebrows must be made of some heavy hair.

    Madame Masque – Great googly moogly, this lady looks like she knows she’s hot and looks like she could use it as a weapon, if she wanted to. And as shown by the commentators above, it seems to be working. I would see her in a bar and pee myself a little because I know she would destroy me.

    Madcap – I find this guy is the G’nort of the Marvel Universe for me. Small doses can go a long way, but a whole issue devoted to him? No thanks. I can’t even imagine what a date with him would be like.

    Mad-Dog – I’m not sure if it’s the hairy cleavage, the small mask, or the “rowrrr” pose, but he isn’t striking fear into the hearts of evil-doers.

    This was lots of fun. Keep up the great work!

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