Following up on the recent scuttlebutt on a possible Bionic Man movie down the road from the Weinsteins and Bryan Singer, Dynamite Comics has announced it is creating a Bionic Man spin-off series featuring Jaime Sommers, Bionic Woman. Writer Paul Tobin has an entirely new take on the Bionic Woman, first appearing in the original Six Million Dollar Man series in the early 1970s. Interviewed by WestfieldComics.com, Tobin characterizes the story as follows:
“At heart it’s a mystery tale, where Jaime needs to uncover a group of DECIDEDLY illegal organ transplant doctors, ones who have begun to look at Jaime, and other “bionics” as THE best organ donors, whether these “donors” like it or not. Along the way, there are quite a few explosions, some new friends, some betrayals, a man with amazing hunting skills and no morals at all, a pretty French girl, a boat that sinks, some afternoon tea, a romantic hopeful, exactly 12,456 bullets (barring script revisions) and a partridge in a pear tree. Said partridge may or may not explode. Have I mentioned the explosions?”
Sounds like it will have some good humor. Dynamite Comics is marketing the series with the following blurb:
“Paris is the city of love? Not anymore… not since Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, came to town hot on the trail of the Mission, a collection of insanely high-priced surgeons who’ve been murdering OSI’s bionic prototypes in order to provide new life for billionaire patients. But while the Bionic Woman is hunting the Mission, their #1 hunter is after her! Can Jaime pick up the pieces of her past while protecting her life in the present, or will the city of love turn its back, and its bullets, on the Bionic Woman? Acclaimed writer Paul Tobin brings you a tale of baguettes, bullets, and bionic badass!”
So it sure doesn’t feel like an origin story. But maybe Tobin and Dynamite are only summarizing the series itself as opposed to the first issue. Still, Tobin has said there will be only a slight appearance by Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, despite the header on the book “From the pages of Kevin Smith’s Bionic Man.” I still can’t help but scrunch my eyebrows a bit over the emphasis on the Bionic Man being a Smith story vs. the original Martin Caidin story. Strangely enough one cover released has the reference to Kevin Smith, the other nearly identical cover doesn’t. But no matter, one more bionic book just gives us more to look forward to on the comics rack and if Smith’s name has some marketing power then great.
We can also look forward to the new series’ Brazilian artist Leno Carvalho, who will be penciling the Bionic Woman. Carvalho is a more recent entrant into the comic book art world. Covers will be created by Paul Renaud.
And here is what finally makes sense about Jaime Sommers. Her name. Yes, “jaime” means “I love” in French, pronounced “zhem”, but as names go, Jaime is a centuries old Spanish boy’s name pronounced “hi-may.” But like the street name Madison was turned into thousands of girls’ names in the 1980s because of Daryl Hannah in the movie Splash, there are as many 30 and 40-something girls out there from the 1970s named Jaime, not Jamie, and they pronounce it the same way: “jay-me”. So by making Jaime a character in Paris, it finally all makes sense, right? But how do we pronounce it? I bet I know how readers in France will pronounce it. Too bad they didn’t spell Sommers as Summers and we could have had a crossover family tale with our old pal Buffy Summers.
Anyway… Europe as a venue for modern superheroines is a good idea. The Huntress limited series from DC Comics used Italy to good effect, and hopefully Hobin will do the same for the Bionic Woman in the streets of Paris.
Bionic Woman, published by Dynamite Comics, is expected to be published in March 2012.