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Oil Man-alongside Time Man made an appearance in the final page of the fourth issue of the first story arc, Let the Games Begin, but only received his formal debut in Issue 5. Originally, he and Time Man were to be among Dr. Light's original Robot Masters, but Light thought they were too powered up, and decided not to finish them. Unknown to Dr. Light, Dr. Wily had taken the liberty of finishing them up. Like Bomb Man, Guts Man, Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man and Elec Man, he alongside Time Man had been stolen by Dr. Wily, and were even modified by the mad doctor. However, unlike the other six Robot Masters, they were not ordered to target Mega Man. Instead, they were placed on standby mode with orders to orchestrate Dr. Wily's escape in case he was stopped by Mega Man.
In Issue 5, Oil Man abducted Roll at Dr. Wily's orders just as she was returning from grocery shopping to Light Labs (presumably also vandalizing Light Labs with his Oil Slider, causing Roll, just prior to her capture, to worry that she may have ruptured a joint when noticing the oil on her hand when touching the doorknob) to act as leverage against Mega Man, also leaving a note behind threatening to dismantle Roll if Mega Man tried to get help from Dr. Light. When abducting her, Oil Man, deducing that Dr. Light never showed Roll his file, told her to either come quietly, or he'll take Roll over to Dr. Wily in pieces. He then returned to their hideout, the workshop they were created at, with Oil Man getting into a quarrel with Time Man regarding their arrogance and uptightness, respectively before Wily quelled the argument. Wily then explained to Roll their history. His using the Oil Slider ultimately resulted in Dr. Light deducing their involvement as well as Wily's current hideout when Mega Man was forced to seek help.
Eventually, after Mega Man and the six other Robot Masters arrive at their hideout, Oil Man, alongside Time Man, ambushed the Robot Masters and knocked them out. Oil Man also ignored the order to stop Roll, due to his being eager to fight Mega Man. Upon noticing that Agent Krantz was going towards Wily while Mega Man fended off Guts Man and Elec Man with the Ice Slasher, Oil Man complimented the blue bomber with the "slick trick," but then bragged that there "ain't nobody as slick" as himself before spraying Mega Man with the Oil Slider. He and Time Man are eventually defeated by the Robot Masters (after they faked reprogramming by Dr. Wily, as Light had proofed them earlier to ensure such a thing doesn't happen again). After Mega Man seemingly shot down Wily's saucer, Oil Man revealed that the "Wily" was actually a hologram, and the saucer was its projector, and it also can't even fly by itself. He alongside Time Man eventually join Light Labs and put their skills to more noble use.
Oil Man later joined up with Time Man and the other Light Robot Masters to aid Mega Man in raiding Wily's fortress. Oil Man proceeded to take down the guards alongside Ice Man, Fire Man, Elec Man, and Bomb Man, with Time Man slowing down time enough to have the opening. Oil Man eventually got into an argument with Ice Man regarding who should hide behind Guts Man regarding the Mecha Dragon's firepower, due to being weak against the dragon's flamethrower. He eventually, after restoring Mega Man's free will and defeating the Mecha Dragon, accompanied Mega Man and all the Robot Masters save for Cut Man, Ice Man, Fire Man, and Elec Man (the former three to attend to and take the latter to Light Labs for repairs for an injury sustained in the aforementioned battle), although he ended up facing the Guts Tank with Time Man and Guts Man (the last of whom was particularly outraged at Wily using his likeness for the weapon). Oil Man and the others barely escaped in time when Wily set the castle to self-destruct.
In Roll With It, Oil Man was also involved in rescuing the ocean liner's passengers after it ran aground. He also was responsible for activating Splash Woman to aid Roll when she contacted him (she was trying to call Dr. Light, but he was too busy undergoing modifications to Mega Man to respond). Later, after the Genesis Wave altered his world and moved time forward into the near future, Oil Man would once again join his fellow Robot Masters of Dr. Light's original line in battling Dr. Wily's forces, this time coming to the aid of Sonic the Hedgehog's beleaguered allies as they battled Wily and Dr. Eggman's army of time-cloned Robot Masters. He was later returned to his proper place in time and reality after the Super Genesis Wave's effects were reversed.
Oil Man appears in the Short Circuits strips. In issue 5, he shows Proto Man that he is the character with a scarf that will appear in the main story. In Issue 8, he loudly belched, citing that he's made of crude oil to excuse his bad behavior, to Roll's disgust.
- Oil Man's game design has been a source of some controversy, as he resembles the "Blackface" caricature. The Archie Comics addressed this issue by having Oil Man cover the lower half of his face with his scarf at all times.