The unnamed man who became M.A.C.H. Zero was the last (though not the first) unsuccessful test subject for the M.A.C.H. Man project, which eventually transformed John Probe into secret agent M.A.C.H One, and the first to survive the process. Unfortunately, while the process gave Zero superhuman strength, it continued to increase without allowing him sufficient time to learn to control it (early on, an attempt to stroke a pet cat resulted in his inadvertently killing the animal, much to Zero's distress) and further, it reduced Zero's intelligence quite considerably.
Denis Sharpe, director of the project, ordered that Zero be confined until his condition could be cured, though no serious attempt seems to have been made to accomplish this. Zero was kept imprisoned in a secret facility in Wales in case Sharpe needed to use him against his successor, but after three years, Zero escaped after going berserk upon seeing Sharpe again. John Probe fought Zero and eventually persuaded him that he would help him, but Sharpe arranged for Zero to die in an "accidental" explosion.
In fact, Zero survived and ended up wandering the country, a fugitive, looking vaguely for his long lost son, Tommy. After ill-fated encounters with a group of sewer-dwelling tramps, a nefarious American stuntman who wanted to put him in a freakshow, a nondescript thief named Harry Winthrop (who was trying to steal an experimental battlesuit) and a slightly crazed train fanatic who had built himself a violently unstable robot as a substitute 'son', Zero ended up working more or less happily as a railway porter under the name 'Mack'.
Zero was still being hunted by the military on the orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, despite protests from her subordinates that he hadn't caused any problems since vanishing and cost a fortune to feed. He was slowly dying as his Hyperpower-augmented body began to break down, but despite seemingly knowing this, he appeared content... until a chance encounter with Tommy, now in the dubious care of an abusive foster family! Setting off to track down and rescue his son, Zero clashed with the army again before eventually dying on Dartmoor in Tommy's arms, just enough of his former intellect returning to him at the end for him to say goodbye.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Strength more or less uncontrollable; severly impaired intellect.
Appearances, Images, and QuotesEdit
Zero first appeared in the M.A.C.H. One strip in 2000 AD progs 43 to 46 before graduating to his own strip in progs 65 to 75 and 162 to 165, and the 1978 edition of the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special. Among the artists to draw him was Ramon Sola.
The M.A.C.H. Zero series was later reprinted in the 1980s incarnation of the Eagle.