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Tag Archive: Cyborg


RoboCop Blu-ray

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It is likely the best format you will have seen Paul Verhoeven’s classic vision of social commentary meets science fiction since it appeared in theaters in 1987.  If you’ve only watched it on TV and in standard formats you’ll want to take another look at RoboCop, your favorite borg cop, now on high-definition Blu-ray in an unrated director’s cut.  Known for its excess violence and campy cyborg superheroics, RoboCop manages to avoid the dated look of many of its contemporary films, falling in an elite league of re-watchable, cult-favorite 1980s films with The Terminator and Tron.  Filmed in Dallas for its futuristic building locations instead of its actual story setting in Detroit, the police uniforms, corporate setting, and street scenes all feel as if they could be part of some future, with maybe only hair styles and faked media clips that shout 1980s.

RoboCop remastered

Relive the classic boardroom scene where Ronny Cox’s new alternative police replacement robot has a “glitch.”  Relive the first time you saw Ray Wise and Kurtwood Smith playing their earliest genre roles.  And don’t forget the unforgettable Basil Poledouris (The Hunt for Red October, Starship Troopers, Conan the Barbarian, The Twilight Zone) soundtrack.

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We kicked off borg.com as a way to catch up on entertainment news, books and movies back on June 10, 2011. We’ve posted what’s new each day ever since to provide “your daily science fiction, fantasy, and entertainment fix” and continue to forge ahead as we ticked past our 900,000th view by readers today.

We want to say thanks to you for reading. It’s a lot of fun (and hard work) keeping up on all the great genre entertainment out there, be it on TV, in theaters, in books, or comics. We also want to thank all the comic book publishers out there that provide us with preview review copies, as well as book publishers and TV and movie studios and collectible companies that allow us to give you first available previews and reviews. We cover only what we’re interested in and excited about–we figure that if we like it, so might you.

bionic borg meter

Thanks to our great reader friends who share story ideas with us, too, from the U.S. and the U.K. and around the globe. Keep ‘em coming! We love tracking our readership in hundreds of countries each week, and welcoming new subscribers to our updates as well as those who follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Keep coming back–we’re now counting down to our 1,000,000th site visit.

Best wishes,

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Steve Austin Fan Club photo of Lee Majors

The Six Million Dollar Man himself, Lee Majors will be one of the featured guests at the next Planet Comicon comic book and pop culture convention in Kansas City, Missouri.  Propelled to sci-fi icon status in the 1970s because of his five-year stint as the astronaut Steve Austin who became the first modern cyborg, Majors was already known to Western fans for his roles on The Big Valley and The Virginian.  And the action figure with his likeness remains one of the best-selling toys of all time.

In his post-borg years Majors starred as stuntman Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy.  Not a year has gone by since his five years on The Fall Guy that Majors hasn’t appeared as a guest actor on TV series after TV series, including having a key role in Season 2 of TNT’s Dallas reboot this year.

ABC's "Good Morning America" - 2010

After meeting up with the Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner at Planet Comicon 2013, we’re doubly psyched to see one of our favorite borg actors in person.  We’re looking forward to meeting the man who sported that red track suit and, backed by the sound effects and famous techno theme song, became the guy that OSI’s Oscar Goldman promised us each week “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the
capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man.  Better than he was before.  Better, stronger, faster.”

Planet Comicon 2014 will be held in Kansas City’s giant Bartle Hall, March 14-16.  Ticket sales will begin December 1, 2013.  Check out the Planet Comicon website link at the bottom of the borg.com home page in the coming weeks for more announcements.  Planet Comicon 2014 promises to be the biggest show in more than a decade of being one of the Midwest’s premier fan conventions.  borg.com will again have a presence at the show with updates all weekend.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Alex Ross SMDM Season Six 1

Following on the heels of the successful Dark Horse Comics series Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 and 9 and IDW Publishing’s The X-Files Season 10, this week Dynamite Comics announced Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man will be continued where the TV series left off with The Six Million Dollar Man Season 6.

Unlike the current successful monthly series Bionic Man and Bionic Woman, which updated the original TV series for the 21st century, The Six Million Dollar Man Season 6 will make an effort to look back to elements, styles, designs and even sounds that made the original series popular in the 1970s.  Expect familiar special effects, slow motion movements, and kung-fu gripping action.

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New RoboCop

The classic borg cop is back, and if you thought the 2014 MGM/Columbia Pictures release of RoboCop would be another bad remake like Total Recall or lame franchise redux like Die Hard 6, we think we may have found the exception.  When we first learned in April 2012 about the reboot of the RoboCop franchise, our first thought was what bigtime actor would get the title role.  We reported here then that Joel Kinnaman was selected as the murdered cop turned cyborg Alex Murphy.  Back then he hadn’t yet been featured as the male lead in the TV series The Killing.  He looks pretty believable, and interesting as a newly borgified lifeform, in this first trailer for the film.

But better yet, you couldn’t put a more stellar, dream team supporting cast together to make this movie succeed.

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Robocop Last Stand cover

BOOM! Studios’ new eight-issue mini-series Robocop: Last Stand is something of a surprise.  It looks like it could easily stand up next to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, 300, and Sin City.  The art looks very much like an impression of the ugly future-world of Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.  Yet Miller is not the artist here.  Korkut Oztekin is the series artist, and seems hand-picked to create a book that looks as if Miller was responsible for every aspect of it.  This means that the art isn’t very pretty, it is violent in the way most Miller books are violent, and the characters tend to be wide-eyed and a bit freakish.  Robocop: Last Stand is based on the unused screenplay Miller wrote for RoboCop 3, but the comic book script was written by Steven Grant.

The best part in Issue #1 is RoboCop himself, appearing in this new series a short time after we last saw him in the original film.  Now he is seen as an enemy of the people of Old Detroit, destroyed and being revamped into Delta City, with the real enforcement group the strange organization called OCP (a mega-corporation called Omni Consumer Products).  OCP is on a manhunt for the former cop named Alex Murphy, murdered but brought back to life in the form of a cyborg cop with “full body prosthesis,” detailed in the original film.  In Issue #1, released this week, we see RoboCop take on what looks like the early stage, scout walker-inspired ED-209 enforcement droid that famously fouled up and killed an OCP employee in a classic original movie scene, and continue his work fighting crime in the city.

Robocop Last Stand interior

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Justice League Volume 2 cover

With DC Comics having wrapped it first year with the New 52, it is now releasing the second hardcover volume of its flagship title, Justice League.  If you don’t read the monthly series, now is the time to catch up on the full first year with Volumes 1 and 2 now on the shelves.  Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin reprinted Issues 1-6, and now Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey reprints Issues 7-12, both volumes including variant covers and cover sketch art by the popular artist Jim Lee.

Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin, now available in both hardcover and trade paperback, began the entire New 52, a new DC Universe unveiled first 5 years ago, a reality which may or may not have been manipulated from the universe we’ve known all along by the red-hooded Pandora, who has managed to flit in and out of nearly every DC Comics series since the reboot in September 2011.  In Volume 1 we met the new original seven members of the League–first a comical run-in of Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who then have their own run-in with Superman (run-in meaning lots of bruises and destruction of property).  Then Barry Allen’s Flash entered the picture as probably the most interesting character in the new League.  He formed a relationship with buddy Hal Jordan which provided many of the most entertaining scenes of the series so far.  Then we met Wonder Woman, who in this incarnation of the DCU is far more Valkyrie than Amazon, and this plays nicely off of Aquaman’s entrance, whose Atlantis origins are here very much influenced by the world of Thor.  This is all tied together by a new League entrant, the young Vic Stone, transformed by happenstance into a cyborg, now known as the League member Cyborg.  And they all must come together to protect the world from being devastated by none other than classic villain Darkseid.  We reviewed the monthly series at borg.com least year here.

Justice League Volume 2

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Last year there were rumors aplenty that the story of the original cyborg himself, Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, would be remade into a motion picture.  With a new RoboCop movie now pushed out to February 2014 with an all-star cast (well, except for the borg cop himself, played by Joel Kinnaman) including Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earle Haley, it’s not a stretch to think someone would lay down some real money to make the first big screen adaptation of Martin Caidin’s astronaut-turned-borg novel Cyborg.  The big rumor revolved around Leonardo DiCaprio as set to play Steve Austin.  But even if you don’t think Lee Majors was the perfect running man, it’s pretty difficult to imagine DiCaprio a tough astronaut of the Right Stuff variety who could survive a test craft auguring into the earth.

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By C.J. Bunce

We highlight them all the time here at borg.com.  But some of them don’t naturally come to mind when you think of cybernetically enhanced organisms–cyborgs, or borgs for short.  What makes a borg?  An organism, human, alien, or animal, who has been modified by technology or uses technology as part of or in place of another biological function.  We use this broadly, encompassing not only a long-accepted group of borgs that are more metal than man, but also robots or androids modified with biology or biomatter, although taken to the extreme this would seem to include the bioneural starship USS Voyager from Star Trek Voyager.

Regardless of how you define it, meet our borg.com Hall of Fame, always ready for new honorees…

With Marvel’s big premiere of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, we’ll begin with Tony Stark’s Iron Man.  Tony Stark is not advertised as a borg, but if your power source involves techno-gadgetry via an arc reactor and you have his fully integrated armor, we think that makes you a borg.  Whedon is very familiar with borgs, having created the character Adam, the nasty, almost unstoppable foe of the Scooby Gang in Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If Iron Man is a borg, should one of the oldest creatures of science fiction be considered a borg as well–Frankenstein’s monster?  How integral are those bolts and attachments to his survival anyway?  Does an external power source make a borg?  Did he ever have to regenerate?

And if Frankenstein’s monster makes the cut, maybe this spin-off fellow should, too:

Yes, Frankenberry, the only cereal mascot borg?  Are those pressure gauges on his head?  What functions do they serve?  Before we move forward very far in time, we also think we need to at least consider Maria’s doppelganger from Fritz Lang’s sci-fi film classic Metropolis as a possible borg.com honoree–a robot admittedly, but somehow transformed into a humanoid creation with flesh, used to replace the real Maria and wreak havoc across Metropolis:

From one of the biggest science fantasy franchises, Star Wars, Darth Vader began as Anakin Skywalker, but through his own rise to evil and subsequent downfall he became more machine than man:

He even caused his son to require borg technology by slicing off his arm and hand with his lightsaber, making Luke Skywalker a borg as well:

With Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, we met an interesting new villain, General Grievous, a four-lightsaber wielding almost lobster-like biological creature made up of techno-armor and, in close-up are those reptilian eyes?  His apparent disfigurement and breathing problems hint at a back story that must be not unlike Vader’s.

In The Empire Strikes Back we also briefly met Lando Calrissian’s majordomo who possessed some type of brain adapter technology–we learn from action figures, trading cards and comics his name is Lobot:

And probably the very first cyborg to be referred to specifically as a “borg” (by Luke Skywalker, even), Valance was a cyborg bounty hunter in the early pages of Star Wars, the Marvel Comics series:

Some borgs are more cybernetic than organism, at least at first appearance.  This would include Doctor Who’s Cybermen:

and we’d learn even the Daleks were cybernetic organisms:

and the Terminators from the Terminator movie and Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, very much more machine with a bit of organics (and even Arnold’s character called himself a “cybernetic organism”):

In Star Trek: First Contact the Borg Queen alters the android Lieutenant Commander Data in such a way so as to make Pinocchio a real boy:

giving real organic material to Data, (like Maria’s double above from Metropolis?) bringing him briefly into the realm of borg status, like Isaac Asimov’s Bicentennial Man:

and this even suggests the Tin Man from L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz may be a rudimentary variant borg being along the lines of Frankenstein’s monster:

All humanoids or aliens modified to become The Borg of the Star Trek franchise clearly are good examples of cyborg beings, the most famous of which are probably Patrick Stewart’s Locutus:

the seemingly innocent Hugh:

and Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager:

On Earth we encounter humans all the time with bodies improved by borg technology.  Because of the OSI Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers were rescued from near death with enhanced biology and appendages to become the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman:

The British agent James Bond had to take on Doctor No, an evil scientist who took on his own technological enhancements because of medical maladies, bringing James Bond into the fold of genre franchises investigating a borg character:

Featured in a 1980s movie series and soon to be the subject of a new movie, Robocop:

showed us a variant on Austin and Sommers, and a bit like Iron Man, we have the government creating technology to make super-humans, and here, a superhuman police officer.  This is taken even further, making three animals into borgs for military use in the Eisner-nominated comic book mini-series WE3:

 …a far darker take on the classic cartoon character Dynomutt from Scooby Doo:

Inspector Gadget:

and Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock) in Spider-man 2:

 

both were borgs that made it into big-screen films.

In the DC Comics universe we have a newer Justice League featured member Cyborg, a football player/student who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, when his father’s lab goes up in flames and his father uses his own research to save his son from death:

Before that, Frank Miller envisioned a disfigured future world Green Arrow who would need his own prosthetic cybernetic arm in The Dark Knight Returns:

Mr. Freeze was an early borg villain in the Batman series:

In Marvel Comics Rich Buckler created Deathlok the Demolisher, another cyborg creation, and one of the earliest borgs in comics:

Add to that Marvel characters like Ultron, the “living” automaton:

Ultron’s own creation, named Vision, the “synthezoid”–

and the borg called Cable:

In the 1990s Jim Lee created the Russian borg in the pages of X-Men called Omega Red:

Long before these Marvel characters the cyborgs Robotman and Robotdog graced the pages of DC Comics in the 1940s, and yes, they were not just robots:

The modern Cylons from the reboot Battlestar Galactica TV series are borgs in the Terminator sense, robots made to look and pass for human.  And there were a bunch, not just background, but named characters, the most famous of which was the seductive Number Six:

  

Years before, Philip K. Dick would create more than one borg character in his novels and short stories, revealed to us the best as the Replicants in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner:

Several replicants appeared in the film:

 

…all indistinguishable from humans to the naked eye.

In the horror realm we have Ash, from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, his arm a functioning chainsaw, and at least in the comic book, like the Star Trek borgs he has an interchangeable arm like a mega Swiss Army knife:

If we include Ash do we also need to include Cherry Darling from Planet Terror, since she has a rifle as a leg like Ash’s arm attachment?

Heck, even horrific camp troller Jason became a borg eventually in Jason X:

Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn comics had both the borg assassin Overtkill:

and the cybernetic gorilla Cy-Gor:

Speaking of borg beasties, even Japanese monster movies embraced borgs, having their hero Godzilla encounter Mechagodzilla:

and Gigan:

In the world of manga and anime we have Ghost in the Machine’s own borg girl Motoko Kusanagi:

leader of a group of borgs, and the villain Cell from Dragon Ball: 

Cowboy Bebop had the borg character Jet Black, which seems influenced by the design of Seven of Nine:

Akira had Tetsuo Shima:

And we have a new one to add to the list because of the film Prometheus, the creepy borg, David 8:

But he’s certainly not the first in Ridley Scott’s Alien universe.  Don’t forget Ian Holm’s Ash in Alien:

Lance Henrikson’s Bishop from Aliens:

and Winona Ryder’s Annalee Call from Alien: Resurrection:

But these are just the biggest examples of borgs in popular genre works.  Countless books, comics and short stories have introduced other borg beings, not to mention every other new video game.   What will be the next borg to enter the mainstream, with a new TV show or movie?

Should we add an Honorable Mention list to the borg.com Borg Hall of Fame, for beings resulting from the merging of humans with cyberspace?  Think of characters like Tron and Flynn from Tron and Tron: Legacy?  Or Neo and Trinity & Co. from the Matrix movies?  You can argue some of the above in or out of the list, but we’ll be visiting most of them here now and then.

We’ll update this list from time to time and feature it as its own page on the borg.com home page.

By C.J. Bunce

Dynamite Comics writer Paul Tobin promised readers “baguettes, bullets, and bionic badass” with his new Bionic Woman comic book series and Issue #1 delivers on the “bionic badass”.  Although it feels more like a prologue to the series, because it spends the issue with backstory and tells more than it shows, it’s a good enough start to keep readers coming back for more.

Jaime Sommers has been completely updated from the 1970s cyborg superhero played by Lindsay Wagner, who spun off her own show from the original Six Million Dollar Man TV series that starred Lee Majors as Bionic Man Steve Austin.  In the new Bionic Canon we have only seen Jaime in the origin story of Kevin Smith and Phil Hester’s rebooted Bionic Man series.  There we learned she was Steve Austin’s girlfriend, but after Steve crashed and was turned into a cybernetic weapon of the Office of Scientific Intelligence or OSI, she was told Steve was dead and we know now she has moved on.  We learn that they got back together once Steve recovered, and shortly thereafter Jaime plunged to the ground in a parachuting accident.  Steve convinces Oscar Goldman & Company to rebuild her as they rebuilt him, and this occurs.  Then they have a falling out.  We don’t get a lot of information comparing Steve and Jaime’s bionics, but we do learn Jaime is “smoother” and “faster” than Steve.

So we now have Jaime Sommers, cybernetic human, a former teacher, who has lost most of her pre-surgery memories, on the run in Paris from the people who rebuilt her.  Unlike the original Jaime, this new Bionic Woman has amped up abilities–if Lindsay Wagner was Bionic Woman 1.0, think of her as a Bionic Woman 8.0.  In one scene we see that her bionics are smooth and form fitting with her arms and legs, a bit like the Terminator.  But like the Terminatrix from Terminator 3, she can do many new, cool things, like camouflage herself by morphing her face to change her appearance.  She can also download anything and everything from the Web into her brain… enormous amounts of information that she is yet to fully be able to control.  And she knows kung-fu.

We meet her in Issue #1 on the run with another runner, apparently a bit of a bounty hunter searching out information to broker to others, including information on the illusive Ms. Sommers.  Not knowing what she looks like, he reveals all that he knows–basically the backstory for readers–also letting Jaime in on what information he has on her.  It doesn’t amount to much.  She barely attempts to hide her identity, mainly because she is so confident in the outcome of the charade.  She doesn’t have to hide.  With a move of her arm she opens up a port releasing a nano-bug that temporarily incapacitates her comrade, and she is off to hide from watchers off the Grid.

But as she catches up with a friend in a restaurant a bullet pierces a nearby window en route to her head.  And we are left with the series first cliffhanger ending.  The villains are a new organization trying to steal cyborg parts from Bionic prototypes, predecessors to Jaime and Steve–presumably to use for others for a price.

Other than a quick peek at her cybernetics in her apartment, Jaime is not drawn as your typical female superhero.  She wears a pant suit of sorts as she speeds through town across the cityscape.  Leno Carvalho does not take the normal route here of skimpy outfits and emphasis on her feminity.  This creates visually a more promising heroine for us to keep an eye on.  She’s savvy, smart and sure-footed… a badass who can clear a room full of bad guys all by herself.

Issue #1 reveals big questions that writer Tobin will be taking us through in coming issues:  Who is after Jaime?  Why is she on the run?  Why did she leave Steve?  How did she end up in Paris?  How long can she stay hidden?  What other bionic tricks are up her sleeve (or accessible through her data ports)?

Issue #1 is available at all comic shops beginning this week and will be published monthly.

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