by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester and Jonathan Lau (Artist)
Trade Paperback, 248 pg.
Dynamite Comics, 2012
Read: February 16, 2016
I was a big fan of The Six Million Dollar Man as a kid, and when I got a little older I stumbled onto — and devoured (repeatedly) — Martin Caidin’s Cyborg. Throw in a strong appreciation for Smith’s work? And I’m clearly the target audience for this (so why did it take me 3+ years to read it? Good question).
The main story hasn’t changed: Steve Austin is a test-pilot, horrifically injured — almost killed — when a test flight goes wrong. A team of experts save his life, rebuild him with bionics, and set him loose fighting for truth, justice, and the American way and so on.
The story was nothing special — good, solid action/adventure story. There were a couple of nice twists on the TV show’s story/characters. Just enough to keep it updated and fresh. I’d have appreciated something closer to Cyborg, but I understand why they made the choices they made. Austin goes up against his bionic predecessor, who has gone rogue and now is running around attacking and raiding technology companies. The battle scenes may have been a bit too big and epic — but they fit in with the current cinema trends, so, I guess they worked.
I was sure I’d seen Jonathan Lau’s art somewhere before, but from what I can tell, I haven’t. Which is a shame — it’s great. I’m not going to say that it’s my favorite comic art — but it’s exactly what I want comic art to look like. Which seems like a contradiction, but let’s move on. Yeah, some of the gestures are over-done, and a couple of the men are just too huge. But otherwise, dynamic, easy to tell character-from-character, nice detail, overall very attractive. I’d be willing to give a book a second look just because of his art in the future.
There are some nice references — visual and verbal — to the TV series that are pretty seamlessly worked in. Which I appreciated — looks like the next volume will be less subtle about it (which is not necessarily bad). I’m not going to say this was a great comic that leaves me chomping at the bit for the next, but it was worth the time and entertaining. Not much more to ask for.