It didn’t take much to get us on board when we heard The Bionic Woman was finally getting its Season Four. Following other classic genre properties like The Six Million Dollar Man, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jaime Sommers wasn’t going to make it back to the small screen very soon. But with Dynamite Comics’ four-issue limited series first published in 2014, at least we had an opportunity to see where a new set of creators would have taken the character after we last saw her in her own series in 1978.
Those four issues are now available this week for the first time together in a trade edition. You’ll find familiar faces like Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman, as well as plenty of cyborgs and Fembots. But the star is still Jaime Sommers, and the series, written by Brandon Jerwa with interior artwork by David Cabrera, will take you back in time.
Bionic action figure cosplay with the Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner.
After the break, check out a giant 12-page preview of the new edition, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:
If you like modern noir or pulp throwback stories, as we did with last year’s The X-Files: Year Zero comic book series, ABC’s new Marvel Universe series Agent Carter is pretty much going to be a sure win.
Actors take note: When you take on a supporting character role in your next film or TV series and do better-than-expected job at it, make sure you love the part as you may just end up living with the role for a while. Along with a first film and franchise that also was taking off to parts unknown thanks to it success, Hayley Atwell’s tough 1940s British Secret Intelligence agent Peggy Carter pulled off that rare chance at a second life. Tomorrow night she gets her own spotlight as her own weekly series begins. Aside from the brief return of Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark (father to Tony aka Iron Man), Atwell’s Carter will be forging ahead on her own.
Some of TV’s best characters were the results of a spin-off from one of those supporting characters who, because of great acting and great writing, popped with viewers beyond any expectation of the show’s creators. Going back to the 1970s whether unintended surprises or gambled backdoor spin-offs, we wouldn’t have seen more Jeffersons or Maude, or J.J. Evans and his family from Good Times, but for their standout performances spun out of All in the Family. We wouldn’t know Buddy Epsen’s seven years of sleuthing as Barnaby Jones without his guest role on Cannon, a decade of the kids in Facts of Life if not for Diff’rent Strokes, or spend primetime with the cops and firefighters on Adam-12 or Emergency! if not for some cool guest spots on Dragnet.
What would our TV night fun have been like without years of Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy resulting from guest star bits on Happy Days, or, let’s not forget, our fave Lindsay Wagner’s Bionic Woman took on her own series from the episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man? Modern genre fans’ reactions helped propel John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who into multiple Torchwood series. Other coming spin-offs are Breaking Bad’s Better Call Saul and Walking Dead’s in-the-works spin-off (with the working title Cobalt), and we’re still hoping for a Special Operations Bureau spin-off from The Closer’s own spinoff, Major Crimes.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Starting next Wednesday, September 17, 2014, the Bionic Woman is back. This time, in her third comic book series in the past two years, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Six Million Dollar Man, it’s a continuation of the original television series, right where the series last left our bionic heroine.
Dynamite Comics is publishing the new series written by Brandon Jerwa, with interior art by David T. Cabrera. Issue #1 features cover art by Sean Chen and Ivan Nunes and a photo incentive cover featuring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.
So how does Issue #1 fare?
They have the introduction right, presumably to begin each issue like an episodes of the series. As to moving the series forward in continuity of the era, the tech gets a slight–but only slight–upgrade, with walkie-talkies replaced with wireless comm-links in Jaime’s ears. Dr. Rudy Wells and Oscar Goldman are back, too. So the setting checks out.
The following information is classified: TOP SECRET
Clearance Authorization: Level 6
Critical Injury: Parachute Accident
Anatomical Damage: Both legs, Right arm, Right ear
Operational Procedure: Bionic Replacement
The Bionic Woman is back. This time, in her third comic book series in the past two years, following Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and The Six Million Dollar Man, it’s a continuation of the original television series, right where the series last left our bionic heroine.
Dynamite Comics is publishing the new series, written by Brandon Jerwa, with interior art by David T. Cabrera. The Bionic Woman: Season Four Issue #1 features cover art by Sean Chen and a photo incentive cover featuring Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers.
Here are some preview images from Issue #1:
If you like action-centric stories then in 2013 you couldn’t get much better than Dynamite Publishing’s Bionic Man series. Beginning first as co-writer with Phil Hester then continuing the series as solo writer, Aaron Gillespie quickly made Steve Austin his own, bringing forward the best of the 1970s TV series and updating Austin, O.S.I. chief Oscar Goldman, and Bionic Woman Jaime Sommers for a new generation of fans.
The Six Million Dollar Man, and Austin’s experiences as the world’s first real-life cyborg, is a great franchise for today, and Gillespie has taken advantage of modern technologies in his Issues #12 through this month’s Issue #26. The Bionic Man has encountered everything from good uses for bluetooths to unexpected side-effects of cyber-hacking, and the introduction of hacker Floyd was one of Gillespie’s great updates to the franchise. He knows his characters and story, enough to play with the characters in a light-hearted way, while keeping with the spirit of the original source material.
Some of the best additions to Austin’s story include Floyd hacking into his brain computer and appearing as a pink My Little Pony inspired avatar that keeps perplexing the cyborg spy. It’s a great (and hilarious) device to allow the characters to give jabs at each other, and it provides a relaxed moment for Jaime Sommers’ lost memories of her relationship with Steve to slowly begin to return.
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.
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.
After a crazy day of an insane volume of fans storming Bartle Hall in Kansas City Saturday for the biggest Planet Comicon event in more than a dozen years of events, it seemed like everyone came back Sunday for Day Two with aisles jam-packed again. And for fans of all things borg like us, it was a banner day, meeting up with the original Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner, and the current writer on Dynamite’s Bionic Man series, Aaron Gillespie.
First up–Bionic Man cosplay. The idea was inspired by my own large-sized action figure as a kid. Originally planned by DW and me for SDCC 2012, it seemed a great fit for a borg.com tie-in, too. Always looking for something original for other fans to enjoy, we’d never seen anyone re-create Steve Austin, the Bionic Man, at any convention ever, or posted online anywhere. As the idea developed we decided it needed something more–and we moved from the character to the 1970s action figure itself. With bionic eye, inserted arm circuitry, a pair of classic red and white striped Adidas Dragons, the classic red track suit, and the key identifier–the patch that was used as the official fan club badge and stuck on the chest of every Bionic Man action figure, which makes sense for the toy but would never make sense on the show–we had all but one thing left. Decades ago you could find plastic hair at costume or theatrical shops but go searching and you’ll come up empty. So we searched for full face masks that could be altered and came up with a JFK mask that could be cut and repainted, which seemed to do the trick. Add some spirit gum (which may never ever come off my face) and temporarily lose the goatee, we found contact lenses from a UK retailer, made the patch from transfer paper using Web images and interfacing, and temporary tattoo material, and we have the Six Million Dollar Man large-sized action figure. We got some good reaction to it at the Elite Comics Halloween event last year, and when we saw Lindsay Wagner as a guest of this year’s Planet Comicon it was obvious I was going to wear it to the show.
A borg serial killer is on the loose, making his way from Kansas City to somewhere nearby Lawrence, Kansas, 40 miles away. OSI has video footage of his last rampage, taking out several agents. The results aren’t pretty. OSI has identified a well-established, horrifying M.O.
Unlike the OSI-created menace from Phil Hester’s Bionic Man series, Oscar Goldman has no idea who is behind this new villain. But he’s going to loan Steve Austin to the FBI to attempt to sleuth out the answer to that question.
Meanwhile in Manhattan (presumably Manhattan, NY and not Manhattan, KS) Goldman has set Jamie Sommers (sometimes spelled in the book as Jaime) on a mission to a stripper club to bring in an international arms dealer.
By C.J. Bunce
As much as I want to jump ahead and discuss the current story of The Bionic Man in Issue #12, which features a character we all have wanted to see since the series started, let’s catch up with the first compilation of Dynamite Comics’ adaptation of the original Six Million Dollar Man that started last year. The Bionic Man Volume 1: Some Assembly Required collects the first ten issues of The Bionic Man. These ten issues were billed as “Kevin Smith’s” Bionic Man as the origin story was adapted into an unused screenplay by Smith, then writer Phil Hester re-wrote it, blocking it into chapter/issues, then Smith ran a dialogue pass and Jonathan Lau made it all look good with the visuals. After Issue #10, the real excitement begins as Hester takes Steve Austin into new, and sometimes nostalgic, directions. The ongoing series is currently at Issue #12, and we will discuss Hester’s Bionic Man here at borg.com soon.
Dynamite Comics released two new comic book covers being released in November 2012, featuring two of our favorite cyborg subjects: The Bionic Man and The Bionic Woman. Alex Ross has been painting some superb covers for The Bionic Man that have blown me away, and now I am just as excited that Mike Mayhew is next up with two great pieces in the bionic line-up.
First up is his first The Bionic Man cover to issue #16. Could Steve Austin possibly look more badass?