This past Wednesday, Dynamite Entertainment released it’s latest foray into the realm of licensed property – The Bionic Man #1. This is the updated story of Colonel Steve Austin’s transformation into the rebuilt man with the 6 million dollar body. Much like their last licensed hit, The Green Hornet, this project is based on an un-produced script from a personal fan favourite filmmaker, Kevin Smith. In fact the entire creative team from the launch of Green Hornet is involved in the making of this new series. Once again, Phil Hester is collaborating on the story, and Jonathan Lau provides the pretty pictures. They brought the band back together! So since I enjoyed what they did last time, I decided I wanted to see what their latest tune sounded like.
The book opens with action right out the gate (something that is not usually associated with Smith, but that may change after people see Red State). We see a top secret lab destroyed and guards and scientists laid to waist by a mysterious, hood character wielding a very big sword. We then jump to a military base where both commanding officers and civilian contractors are awaiting the test flight of the latest stealth craft. The hold up? The test pilot (the aforementioned Colonel Austin) has yet to make it to the base. He’s at home with his fiance, trying to convince her to attend his LAST test flight. She’ll give him a ride but can’t stay as she’s got work of her own. He kisses her and takes what he can get ride wise. Back at the lab, the carnage is explored and the experiment is explained – the installation is working on, you guessed it, Bionic body parts! But that’s for another issue, as we’re back with Steve now, who’s begun his test flight. I don’t really need to tell you what happens next, but I can say it isn’t pretty (well, the art’s pretty, but the situation is not!).
Overall, this book is off to a great start. This is strictly a set up issue in the sense that we’re just getting to know the characters and the feel of the world surrounding them. The dialogue is really catchy – something that you’d expect from a Smith script, but the pacing is especially crisp. Steve is a bit of a joker and I like that. He’s instantly somebody you want to root for. The supporting cast is equally enjoyable. Not much in the sense of villains or long term plot is divulged in the issue, but I am excited to see how the story plays out. And Hester once again shows that he’s good at adapting the work of Smith for the comic page.
The art by Lau is nice and moody. The character don’t come off as fake and cartoony. They have a “real” look to them. The storytelling of the panels is also laid out nicely. Much like on the Green Hornet, he really has a good pacing with his the story they’re telling here.
I highly recommend that you pick up The Bionic Man #1. I enjoyed this team’s Green Hornet run, and I hope that they make this book faster, stronger and better than what’s come before. They have the technology.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!