Friday, December 23, 2011


The Bionic Man #5
I’m not the biggest fan of comic book adaptations of movies or television shows. Particularly older television shows. I find they often rely too heavily on the nostalgia factor and the attempts by the artist to capture the look of the actors usually end up making the characters faces look like lifeless masks pasted over the actual drawings. But Dynamite Entertainments new Bionic Man series is a lot of fun and the series in general avoids many of the pitfalls of television to comic book adaptations. Written by Kevin Smith and Phil Hester with interior art by Jonathan Lau and covers by Alex Ross, the series revives one of the most iconic superheroes that 70s television ever produced, Col. Steve Austin aka the Six Million Dollar Man.

The Bionic Man #1
The Bionic Man #2
Issues one through four focused on the creation of the Bionic Man, showing us test pilot Steve Austin’s horrific crash and the decision of his government friend Oscar Goldman to save his life by replacing his irreparably damaged body parts with state of the art, government funded bionics. But as we learned over the course of the first 4 issues, Steve is the second bionic man. The first is a psychotic killer who has run amok.
In issue 5, Steve Austin’s first mission as the governments new secret weapon is to use his considerable abilities to gather intelligence that will lead them to the rogue cyborg. Unfortunately for Steve he ends up face to face with his homicidal predecessor much earlier than he or his superiors had anticipated.

The Bionic Man #3
Smith and Hester’s writing captures the fun of the old TV show even going so far as to incorporate the dialogue from the opening credits into the story (this was very cool). The nostalgia factor works in the series favor more incidentally rather than the writers serving it up in heavy doses.

The Bionic Man #4
Dynamites line of comics has at times been criticized for having good ideas, great cover art but shoddy interiors. However, Jonathan Lau’s interiors are clean, attractive and efficient with eye catching panel layouts. Thankfully he does not try to make Steve Austin look like Lee Majors. Issue 5 continues to maintain the excitement of the previous 4 issues. Bionic Man is a fun read and I am definitely going to stick around to see where this story goes.

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