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Tag Archive: Lee Majors


Trektacular 2014

Planet Comicon 2014 wrapped today, bringing to close the region’s biggest and best comic book and pop culture convention ever.  The best was saved for last with the TREKtacular reunion of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members hosted by William Shatner, including a surprise visit by John deLancie.  Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner did not disappoint a sold out crowd in the giant ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center.  For those attending this once-in-a-lifetime event that did not purchase one of the 100 limited edition exclusive artist signed TREKtacular prints, a few may still be available.  Contact Reinke Arts on Facebook for more information.

Michael Dorn and Marina Sirtis

We talked with Michael Dorn about his real-life jet fighter flying experience and Marina Sirtis said she loved today’s borg.com editor’s cosplay choice (so did Return of the Jedi’s Femi Taylor!).

Lee Majors panel

Lee Majors was a superb storyteller, catching up panel attendees on his recent TV series work, and delving into his stunt work on The Fall Guy (where he performed 80% of his stunts) and The Big Valley. He also discussed the success and appeal of The Six Million Dollar Man to fans.

Bionic Man action figure

We resurrected last year’s Convention costume of The Six Million Dollar Man action figure, which we wore meeting The Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner, at Planet Comicon 2013, complete with jumpsuit, patch, plastic hair, data chip arm tattoo, bionic eye, and trademark Adidas Dragons.

Meeting Lee Majors

A kid’s fantasy come true–meeting your childhood hero, Lee Majors, who called me his “double” and said he thought the outfit and plastic hair was cool.  He also autographed the photo that was sent out to kids in the original fan club set in 1974, signed then by “Col. Steve Austin.”

With Zoie Palmer at Planet Comicon 2014

With Zoie Palmer from the Toronto-based TV series Lost Girl, the great Syfy Channel series we have reviewed previously here at borg.com.

With Margot Kidder at Planet Comicon 2014

With Margot Kidder, Lois Lane from the 1970s Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve.

Aquaman and Mera

Aquaman and Mera, Queen of Atlantis.

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The final day of Planet Comicon 2014 is here, with a turnout as great as Saturday.  Above, your borg.com editor has some fun with The Big Valley, The Fall Guy, and The Six Million Dollar Man star Lee Majors today.

Shatner Planet Comicon

Then author and borg.com writer Elizabeth C. Bunce met William Shatner at one of his several signings.  Shatner is shown above with his security detail moving between events.

Legenderry Red Sonja

Elizabeth was sporting her steampunk Red Sonja from Bill Willingham’s Legenderry series.

More later!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Six Million Dollar Man Season Six cover 1

The new Dynamite Comics series that is intended to take over where season five of The Six Million Dollar Man TV series left off hits comic book stores next Wednesday.  We’ve previewed the book and are eager to see how the story develops over the coming year.  Written by James Kuhoric with art by Juan Antonio Ramirez, The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six wastes no time before featuring Maskatron–a great retro idea–in its first story arc with Issue #1.

The best feature of Issue #1 is undeniably the cover by Alex Ross, which is just beautiful.  Ramirez’s interior pages feature well done composition and backgrounds, outer space imagery and technology.  His character faces, however, could be improved with more detail so readers can follow who’s who.  Since this is supposed to be a continuation of the series featuring Lee Majors, it’d be great to see Lee Majors come through in the visuals.  It’s only Issue #1 so we’ll wait to see what future issues have in store for us.

Ramirez interior art Six Million Dollar Man Season Six issue 1

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Lee Majors PSA flu

Thanks to a tip from Firstline Media on Twitter, we bring to you a useful public service announcement (PSA) at a time of year when a new round of flu seems to be sweeping across the country.  Lee Majors has donned his Six Million Dollar Man jumpsuit and turtlenecks for an important new mission.

Check out this PSA and take heed, and any Bronies out there should pay close attention:

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Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany as everyone

Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before.  And that in no less way was true for TV watching.  At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining.  We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list.  Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media.  We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!

Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters.  It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted.  It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time.  But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years.  Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.

Almost Human partners

Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox.  Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day.  And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.

Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America.  What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.

Sleepy Hollow

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Next Gen cast photo from Insurrection

Planet Comicon, the Midwest’s premiere pop culture and comic book convention, will host a 20-year reunion of members of the bridge crew of the Enterprise-D at The Star Trek: The Next Generation Reunion March 14-16, 2014 at the Kansas City Convention Center.  Commemorating 20 years since the seven-year series wrapped in May 1994, it will be a unique opportunity for the public to meet seven of the most beloved actors in sci-fi history, and they will all appear on stage together for an exclusive interactive cast panel Sunday, March 16.  It is the first time so many cast members will have appeared at one venue in the Kansas City area.  Three days of meeting fans, photo ops and signing autographs also presents the opportunity for the most access ever at one Con to all of these Star Trek icons.

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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

borg dot com benchmark logo tape

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 to provide “your daily science fiction, fantasy, and entertainment fix” for two years now and continue to forge ahead as we tick past our 800,000th 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

Some of the most fun we’ve had is meeting new people as we keep up on the coolest happenings in the genre realm, some at conventions, some are friends we are grateful to chat with each week of the year.  And lucky for us, borg.com has allowed us to meet some of our own favorite celebrities over the past two years, sci-fi stars like Mark Hamill, Joss Whedon, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Anthony Stewart Head, Scott Bakula, Adam Baldwin, Lindsay Wagner, Saul Rubinek, Zachary Levi, Eddie McClintock, Wil Wheaton, and Mark Sheppard.  Sci-fi and fantasy writers like Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, James Blaylock, and Sharon Shinn.  And comic book creators like Frank Cho, Jim Lee, Sergio Aragones, Neal Adams, and Howard Chaykin, and scores of other great comics creators like Mike Mayhew, Mike Norton, Michael Golden and Mikel Janin (and several not named Mike).

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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.

Review by C.J. Bunce

The highly anticipated adaptation of the Six Million Dollar Man TV series in comic book from Dynamite Comics was released this Wednesday and was not surprisingly sold out in its first print run.  Titled The Bionic Man, the adaptation was written by Kevin Smith (Green Arrow, Jay and Silent Bob) with Phil Hester (Green Arrow, Green Hornet, Ant Man), based upon a screenplay Smith had written for a never-produced 1990s motion picture version of The Six Million Dollar Man.  Over all, I’d say issue one is a good launch.

Starting with the numerous covers, which you cannot tell a book by, they all look great, and the ten variant covers based on four original works are all pictured inside the back page.  Alex Ross provided the main cover, with Paul Renaud, Stephen Segovia and series artist Jonathan Lau providing the rarer incentive covers.  I posted the covers in a prior article.

The interior art, with pencils by Jonathan Lau and coloring by Ivan Nunes, also looks great.  This is an appealing looking book.  Steve Austin looks pretty close to Scott Bakula as he looks today, as opposed to original series actor Lee Majors, making me think he’d be fun to watch as this updated character.  Oscar Goldman, on the other hand, looks younger than Richard Anderson from the TV series, but has similar facial features to the actor and a more rumpled look about him.  Recall Goldman’s incredible arsenal of suits and the inexplicable checkered suit on the action figure.  Yet check out how similar they look…

   

Clearly this is not about adapting the original but updating it a bit.  The story starts out with an apparent cyborg character gone astray, something like Rambo with a sword, yet some slasher flick stylings…

If there is anything I didn’t care for with the art in issue one, it was this over the top scene, which reminded me of the disturbing opener of Ghost Ship (not a recommended flick).  All other visuals are interesting, with good continuity, and the scene of Austin’s test pilot trip of the experimental Daedalus Mach 8-capable aircraft is definitely nostalgic.

As to the story, there are minor changes to update the character, an already existing relationship with future Bionic Woman Jamie Summers, for example, but otherwise the book’s main story is tracking with the TV series pilot.  Which begs the question, why does Kevin Smith’s name need to be so big on the cover?  And if this is based on a screenplay by Smith, how much of the resulting story reflects Smith and how much reflects co-writer Phil Hester?  At least for this first issue, I think the answer might reflect Smith a bit, based on his modern aka umm, too personal (?) look at Austin discussing a negative bathroom experience with girlfriend Jamie, and an almost pop culture adherence to the original story.  Something about Smith bringing Stanley and his Monster into the first ten issues of his Green Arrow story reminded me of the second storyline of this book. Regarding the killer cyborg subplot–little is divulged, yet is he reminiscent of the Six Million Dollar Man android Maskatron?    Austin is billed as the bravest man alive, yet unlike the TV version, this guy has a nervous stomach before his flight.  Necessary?  I don’t know, but worth pointing out and maybe Smith’s/Hester’s intention of showing thaeir Austin is footed in “modern reality.”

An oddity is the similarity of the character building for Steve Austin as compared to the treatment of the motion picture Hal Jordan in this summer’s Green Lantern movie.  No doubt this is just a coincidence, but the almost slacker test pilot running late to his important test flight is now firmly, if it wasn’t before, cliche.  Since neither original work had it, you get the impression that the slacker generation is creeping into the iconography and mythology of American pop culture a bit.  Maybe this is just an attempt at a hot shot pilot a la Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  No doubt Chuck Yeager and his Right Stuff brethren had a bit of this cockiness to be able to do what they did.

Looking forward to the character development and addition of the cybernetic enhancements that define the Bionic Man in issue #2, out next month.

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