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Tag Archive: Jamie Summers


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.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

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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.