Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, Alex Ross take on the Bionic Man

I couldn’t be more psyched about this news.  Dynamite Entertainment, the comic book publisher who primarily focuses on adaptations of established properties like Army of Darkness, Robocop, Terminator, Xena, Highlander, Battlestar Galactica and most recently The Green Hornet, announced that it will be launching a new Six Million Dollar Man comic book series starting in August, titled The Bionic Man.  And they aren’t pulling any punches with the creative team.  Kevin Smith and Phil Hester, who together created the second Green Arrow series with the “Quiver” storyline (then with Smith writing and Hester pencils), this time around will be sharing writing duties.  Dynamite regular Jonathan Lau will be drawing the series.  The comic book series will follow Steve Austin again as the test pilot/astronaut whose body is nearly destroyed in a crash and because “we can rebuild him, we have the technology” became the first mainstream cyborg back in the 1970s.  Oh, yeah, and comic cover artists extraordinaire Alex Ross painted the cover to Issue #1 (above).

If you watched the original series, this page from issue #1 will be very familar:

Like other Dynamite titles, Issue #1 will have multiple covers, by Paul Renaud, Stephen Segovia, and interior artist Jonathan Lau.

The creators’ takes on the new series from the Dynamite press release:

“True story: when I turned in a script for The Six Million Dollar Man back in ’98, there was an exec who dismissed it as being more like a comic book than a movie,” said acclaimed film director and writer Kevin Smith.  “It’s an honor to head back into the trenches with the same creative team at Dynamite that made my Green Hornet script so readable and fun.”

“I’m one of those kids who grew up with The Six Million Dollar Man toys all over my house,” said cover artist Alex Ross.  “I still prize them as one of the favorite parts of my youth for the amazing variety of things that Steve Austin could use or fight against.  The Six Million Dollar Man is one of the coolest original superhero properties invented for television.”

“When I heard about The Bionic Man, my initial thought was how to make him stand out from the rest of the cyborg genre, and that’s where my style comes into play,” said artist Jonathan Lau.  “Hopefully this will be a fun ride showcasing a more extreme play of action than I used to do!”

“I’m thrilled to help bring Kevin’s unique vision for Steve Austin and company,” said Phil Hester.  “Fans of the original will find all the classic elements they long for, while those hungry for new elements will get a healthy dose of bionic action for the 21st century.”

“I grew up LOVING The Bionic Man,” said Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “As a child I wanted to be him, but since that hasn’t happened, the next best thing is publishing The Bionic Man. Dynamite will also be bringing The Bionic Woman to stores in 2012!  Wait until you see what we have planned!”

“As a child I wanted to be him…”  Hey, Nick Barrucci, me, too!  Kinda what got me putting this whole thing together as I said in this earlier post.

Although Kevin Smith’s run on Green Arrow wasn’t my favorite, you can see him bringing back a creature like Bigfoot for Bionic Man like he did Stanley and his Monster in Green Arrow.  As for Phil Hester, I’m a big fan because he works all his artistic magic not from LA or NYC but from my home state of Iowa and because he drew some great pages in his run on Green Arrow and because he attends cons like no one else.  And who doesn’t think Alex Ross is one of the top 5 cover artists of our time, if not #1?  I particularly love it when he veers from standard superheroes and hits the tangent characters like Space Ghost and Battle of the Planets and one-off pieces like Sesame Street’s Super Grover.  Jonathan Lau is an up and coming artist with some great pencils–just check out his website for more images.  Here’s Lau’s alternate cover to Issue #1:

And while I’m at it, here’s Stephen Segovia’s alternate cover to Issue #1:

I love Segovia’s because it reminds me of the Star Wars cover of the first cyborg published as a “borg”, borg bounty hunter Valance, seen here:

And here is Paul Renaud’s cover:

Alex Ross’s cover (at the top of this article) mirrors Steve Austin right off the action figure box from the 1970s so it gets a thumbs up from me.

Looks like we’re going to have a busy Fall with some great new series!

C.J. Bunce


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