Review by C.J. Bunce (with spoilers)
Kevin Smith and Phil Hester’s second issue of the new Bionic Man comic offers some great exchanges between characters, particularly between Oscar Goldman and a lead of the O.S.I. branch responsible for the bionics division named Margaret. Margaret must select a second candidate for the bionic program as the prototype has gone all “Frankenstein’s monster” and ripped up a few special strike force SEAL teams. The bionic prototype, called Hull, has created its own goons and they are not just killing their creators, they are eating them. It’s a strange turn of events for this story, yet it seems to be a good segue into the types of stories from the original Six Million Dollar Man TV series a lot of us loved 35 years ago.
And artist Jonathan Lau’s depiction of this Margaret character would be nicely portrayed on-screen by TV series Psych‘s chief Karen Vick, played by actress Kirsten Nelson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Everwood).
Time to cast Bionic Man for a new series or movie?
For some unreal circumstances the character exchanges are believable, and whereas the first issue seemed to spend too much time on more clichéd exchanges, the dialogue seems to have kicked in. The O.S.I. team needs a new bionic man to take out the first creation that has failed so miserably and the board room exchange is full of politics and posturing. We want to like this Oscar Goldman fellow, and the set-up allows us to want to support this guy’s efforts.
It is the background story that takes charge in Issue #2, primarily because our series lead has crashed his experimental aircraft at the end of Issue #1, with the fallout spilling into Issue #2. Goldman only late in his discussions learns his friend Steve Austin is barely alive, and jaws of life can’t get him out of his smashed plane. Goldman doesn’t ask anyone for permission, he gets his crew to start working straight away to use the resources available–the best resources anywhere–to save Steve.
In the first 48 pages we haven’t moved toward Austin’s reactions to the bionics, so it will be interesting to follow the pacing of the Bionic Man series.
Alex Ross continues to provide superb cover art, as does Lau with alternate covers. From time to time you buy a book with a Ross cover and you’re disappointed with the interior art. Not so with this issue and Lau’s good images.
Here is Lau’s alternate cover to Issue #2 featuring the mangled and menacing bionic villain Hull: